What are the Phases of Onboarding?

The phases of onboarding can make or break your employee retention goals. But onboarding is also your secret weapon for attaining all sorts of other goals for your business too. For example, taking the time to make the best impression for new hires can help increase employee retention. Having a well-rounded training plan in place can catapult your new employee from lumbering novice to an agent of productive wizardry. The onboarding process can help you take the helm of your company’s culture to increase collaboration and reduce petty grumblings.

Small to medium-sized businesses often neglect the onboarding process at their peril. But realizing the potential of onboarding requires thoughtful planning. Taking new hires on the journey from clumsy newcomer to accomplished contributor calls for a phased onboarding plan.

Phases of Employee Onboarding

You may find yourself saying “I hate the term onboarding” once you really take a deep dive into how you can make this process better. But I assure you, if you don’t take control of your new employees’ experience, your organization will suffer.

A good onboarding definition is simply the process of introducing your new employee into the organization. Employee onboarding can help your organization reach its financial goals, and that prospect is maximized when you create a phased plan for this important process. Below are the stages–or phases of employee onboarding.

Employee Onboarding Process Phases

There are six stages to employee onboarding. The first is project management, during which you plan and break down the steps for onboarding your new hire.

The second is preparation and pre-boarding. During this phase, you complete your background checks and brief the staff who will be taking part in the onboarding process. You’ll also communicate with your new hire to help ease lingering doubts about his new position.

Next is the tedious, yet necessary step, that you’re already familiar with: new hire paperwork. Employee onboarding software can help you easily crank out this administrative detail while saving time and reducing errors.

The fourth step is new employee orientation, followed closely  by the sixth step, new employee training. During this phase of onboarding, your new hire will be introduced to your organization’s structure and will learn how he fits in.

Finally, the last step, reviewing productivity and performance, will help you assess the success of the previous five onboarding phases.

Process Project Management

In many ways, bringing in new hires and helping them evolve into productive and contributing members of the organization is no different than any other project. You can use the principles of project management to create your employee onboarding process flow. In this first phase, you consider your goals for the onboarding process and develop the basics, such as a timeline.

The goals you set for your new employee will help determine your metrics for the onboarding process. Make the goals specific with clear standards for success.

You want new hires to feel comfortable with how things are done at your company. You can do this by identifying what new hires need to know about the company’s culture and work environment. Consider assigning a coworker to mentor the new hire in the subtleties of staff interactions.

Remember that perfecting each phase of onboarding is a key factor in employee retention. Consider each onboarding phase from your new hire’s perspective. Consider what impression you want your new hires to have throughout each phase of the onboarding process.

The project management phase for the onboarding process workflow is also when you determine your timeline. Most employee turnover happens in the first year of employment. Incorporate support for that entire first year into your onboarding plan.

The project management phase is also a good time to rally your onboarding team. These are the people who will play a role in helping the new hire acclimate to her new role. Make sure each of these people understand their role in welcoming the new employee.

At the end of this stage, you’ll be able to create an onboarding process checklist. While many of the tasks on this checklist will apply to all new hires, you want to create a detailed checklist unique to each new hire’s position.

Download ExactHire's Employee Onboarding Checklist

Employee Onboarding Preparation And Pre-Boarding

The following onboarding process steps include everything on your checklist that happens before the new hire’s first day.

Don’t forget to think about the onboarding process project from the point of view of your new employee. In this sense, bringing on a new hire is much like your customer onboarding process. In other words, extend as much consideration to your new hire as you do your new customers.

Consider sending him a welcome email with photos and welcome messages from co-workers with whom he’ll be working closely. Include information about parking. Let them know which door they should enter through and who his first point of contact will be.

During the preparation phase, the new hire’s workstation should be set up with the relevant equipment and supplies. Don’t forget some company swag. It’s also a good time for the hiring manager or supervisor to send an email invitation to lunch.

This step in your employee onboarding process is also when you coordinate with security and the IT team to make sure the employee is outfitted with appropriate user IDs and access. Don’t forget to add the new hire to calendar invites and email distribution lists.

New Hire Paperwork

While business has seen a lot of changes in 2020, the content of new hire paperwork has stayed largely the same. From tax forms to payroll forms, the data gathered from paperwork keeps your company rolling and in compliance with important government guidelines.

The most tedious part of the new hire checklist, paperwork, is prone to mindless errors. Onboarding software can automate employment paperwork to save time and reduce errors. New hires will need to enter information only once to populate multiple forms. And the data they enter can cross over to your other human resources software.

After the new hire digitally signs her paperwork, paperless onboarding software can automatically direct her to the orientation checklist and training modules.

New Employee Orientation Checklist

Orientation is your opportunity to help your new hire acclimate to your company’s culture and conform to procedures. Your employee onboarding checklist will include all the items to go over during orientation. You can automate this portion of the new employee checklist with onboarding software.

During this time, introduce your new hire to the company’s mission and its organizational chart. Your new hire checklist wouldn’t be complete without a review of the employee handbook and safety policies. The new employee orientation checklist should also include benefits documents and basic administrative procedures from security to the telephone systems.

Include activities and/or content to help the new hire better understand your organization’s culture as part of your new employee onboarding checklist. Schedule lunch outings with key employees. Personal fact sheets are a great way for coworkers to learn about each other. Invite your new hire to complete one and give her access to her coworkers’ fact sheets.

Onboarding software is a great way to manage your new employee orientation checklist templates. You can find a free checklist here if you need ideas for what to include during orientation.

Onboarding Phase – Employee Training

Employee training is when your new hire learns the nuts and bolts of his new position. How long it takes to learn a new job depends on many factors. Your onboarding process should be thorough enough to encourage success, yet succinct enough for your new hire to get up to speed quickly.

How long it does take for a new employee to be productive really depends on a comprehensive onboarding process. You should give your new employee access to training modules. Onboarding software can make the distribution and tracking of these modules easy.

New employee training should also be collaborative. Assign knowledgeable staff members to teach the new hire how to do various tasks. If you incorporate these tutorials as items on your onboarding software, you’ll be able to track their completion and coordinate communication between the stakeholders.

Throughout the training process, you should give your new employee clear standards by which they can gauge their own success. Help them feel comfortable and encourage them to ask questions. Their productivity and performance will depend on how well they grasp key information during the training phase.

New Hire Time to Productivity and Performance

Hopefully, these onboarding steps will lead to success in the last phase: productivity and performance. All of your goals for onboarding hinge on making sure your new hire graduates into a productive employee.

Once your new hire is trained, you can continue your onboarding efforts with support and feedback. Schedule meetings to provide feedback on the new hire’s performance. This is also a good time to introduce your new hire to additional training opportunities.

Let your new hire know his input is important, too. Ask him to provide feedback about the onboarding process. Encourage him to ask questions and address concerns.

From time to time, you’ll need to part ways with a recently hired employee. You can use onboarding software to manage your offboarding checklist. The data you acquire can be incorporated to give you a clearer picture of how to increase employee retention.

If you’re using onboarding software, you can effortlessly measure your onboarding success. Over time, you’ll collect enough data to know the average time it takes to onboard a new employee. You’ll be able to use that data to measure the time it takes that employee to reach the position’s expected level of productivity and competence.

A great onboarding process will help your organization develop effective, long-term employees. By reducing turnover and reducing the time it takes new hires to be fully productive employees, you’ll have a healthier bottom-line.


Want to learn more about onboarding software?

Schedule a live demo today!

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

5 Pro Tips for Quickly Pivoting to a Virtual Employee Onboarding Process

The new normal of living amidst the COVID-19 global pandemic is causing many employers to adopt new business processes…and to adopt them quite quickly.

For those organizations who are fortunate enough to continue hiring new employees, one of those business processes is to learn how to correctly onboard remote employees in a distributed workforce.

A hastily created employee onboarding process will put new hires at risk of feeling disconnected from their work and organization. On the other hand, a productive virtual employee onboarding program will forge a connection between the new teammate and the organization; thereby, positively contributing to employee satisfaction and the goals of the organization despite the uncertainty and hardship attributable to our current coronavirus reality.

Are you ready to pivot to a distributed workforce? Whether virtual employee onboarding is a brand new practice at your company, or you’re just looking for ways to fine tune employee onboarding for distributed workforces, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, I’ll discuss five best practices for quickly pivoting to a virtual employee onboarding process.

1 – Create a “remote-first” pre-boarding experience

With so much uncertainty on everyone’s mind, your new hire’s interactions with your organization in the days leading up to his start date shouldn’t further increase his anxiety. Make a toolkit of digital assets to share with a new teammate to make sure he feels adequately prepared and informed on day one. Here are some ideas:

  • Provide an organizational chart listing all employee names, titles and the hierarchy of the management structure. If you are a part of a very large organization, then a chart of the new employee’s department and/or division may be sufficient.
  • Create a task list or training schedule for the new hire’s first few days on the job. Create this in a shared document (e.g. Google Docs) that can be edited on-the-fly to include additional tasks as time progresses, as well as hyperlinked resource documents. With this approach, the employee can follow links to conduct further research to acquaint himself with your company and its organizational knowledge as his schedule permits.
  • Task relevant co-workers with creating video welcome messages to be shared with the new employee in the days leading up to the first day. We use a variety of tools at ExactHire (ranging from completely free to very affordable) such as video capture on our smartphones, and video applications like Soapbox, Vidyard and Camtasia.
  • Share a short, hyperlinked list of your company’s social media profiles with the new hire, as well as expectations about whether he is likely to be bombarded by social media invitation requests in his first week (as this can be a common way for remote workers to connect with one another).
  • Make it clear what equipment will be provided by the company (and by what date), and/or whether the new hire is responsible for bringing any of his own devices to his remote workstation. Ensure that all devices are accompanied by robust instructions on how to use and/or setup appropriate security protocols for effective work within the organization.

2 – Leverage the unique onboarding resources now available to your organization

While social distancing has caused many of us to approach the work setting in dramatically different ways, it has also led to the installation of a handful of new laws and limited regulations meant to help the American working population and employers cope with this crisis. Aside from new laws such as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has also recently relaxed its normal requirements for Form I-9 compliance when hiring new employees. This change will help employees who have never hired remote workers to examine and temporarily approve employment eligibility documentation with confidence.

In particular, DHS has “[deferred] the physical presence requirements associated with Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) under Section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Employers with employees taking physical proximity precautions due to COVID-19 will not be required to review the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents in the employee’s physical presence.”

However, not all employers meet the criteria necessary for taking advantage of the option to initially virtually examine new hire documentation. In fact, only employers who have gone 100% remote for all employees may utilize this temporary flexibility in document examination. For more details on which organizations qualify and what documentation is necessary to participate, check out this recent Forbes article.

3 – Make a short list of near-term new hire expectations

To make this pivot toward remote onboarding manageable and relatively fast, focus on only the absolutely critical expectations that you need all new hires to know right from the start. In doing so, make sure you communicate that the current situation necessitates focusing on the “must-knows” initially, but that icing-on-the-cake knowledge and nurturing will be sure to follow as things calm down a bit.

Your new hire will appreciate your candor, and be more likely to establish trust in the organization early because it is helping to flesh out priorities to ensure the new hire’s success.

Here are some examples of employee expectations that may resonate with your team. Be sure to educate your new hire about each of the items below that may be important for his work.

  • Training prerequisites that must be completed before certain aspects of a job can be endeavored (e.g. safety, password security protocol)
  • Preferred methods for co-workers to communicate with each other (e.g. email, phone, Slack, text, video conference, project management tool comments)
  • Mission-critical reports and metrics that must be updated…and with what frequency

Remember that while your ability to equip your new employee with these essential bits of information can shorten his learning curve and improve outcomes, don’t forget that our normal isn’t so normal right now. In fact, it reminds me of an unidentified quote that my co-worker shared on our Slack channel today…one that very appropriately describes the current plight for many of America’s remote workers:

“You’re not working from home; you are at your home during a crisis trying to work.”

There’s a place for grace right now.

4 – Communicate your culture

While company culture can be somewhat nebulous to describe to others, as it is often something experienced for one’s self in-person, there’s no doubt that remote cultures exist, too.

However, it may take longer to assimilate remote workers to cultural norms if you don’t take strides to help them take seed early. Here are some ways to make your virtual culture more quickly tangible:

  • Facilitate video introductions between a new hire and fellow department members and other key co-workers. Make sure all teammates take a turn to introduce themselves, explain their respective roles, and offer suggestions on how they interface with the new employee in his job.
  • Recognize that your organization likely has a multitude of multimedia approaches for communication in different situations. Create a “cheat sheet” of common scenarios to give your new employees a head start:
    • Protocol for out of office messages
    • Appropriate channels for different types of Slack posts
    • Frequency for co-worker video meet-ups and the purpose of each (e.g. is this a project-related call or a virtual happy hour?)
    • General guidelines on how quickly to respond to different inquiries and requests (make sure to allow for time zone differences between co-workers)
    • Location of a schedule of regular working hours for different employees
    • Protocol on whether to use one’s video camera on conference calls (is it preferred or required by various departments?)
    • Acceptable format for email signatures
    • Preferred software applications for different assignments (e.g. MS Word or Google Docs when both are available?)

5 – Implement employee onboarding software for remote hiring success

Depending on the industry in which you work, you likely use a set of software applications critical to the productivity of your business–it’s your tech stack. From CRMs to POS systems, and project management suites to ticketing portals, these varied forms of technology are essential to different industries because they leverage technology to automate and improve repetitive, and perhaps otherwise manual tasks for different employers.

While health clinics may not need POS systems, and safety equipment manufacturers aren’t desperate for software issue ticketing suites, I will advocate that all employers who are currently hiring should consider employee onboarding software.

Moreover, if you are hiring remote employees, onboarding software gives you a significant competitive advantage as you can improve the new hire user experience (aka first impression) as well as minimize documentation errors.

ExactHire’s OnboardCentric employee onboarding software can be implemented either as a stand-alone solution to meet your urgent onboarding needs; or, as a hiring component integrated with our ExactHire applicant tracking system.

As employers face constantly evolving news related to COVID-19, they are adjusting priorities and re-allocating resources on a daily basis. Our team understands the need for fluidity and responsiveness, and we’re equipped to get you up and running with onboarding software quickly.

To expedite implementation and improve your new hire experience despite the current pandemic, we recommend that you start by implementing required new hire forms (e.g. state tax forms, Form W-4, Form I-9, direct deposit, etc.) and allow us to train supervisors who need access right away.

Then, as demands on your schedule decline, our team is happy to work with you to include non-essential nice-to-have new hire forms, discuss onboarding process best practices and conduct more advanced user training with all of your hiring managers. Our responsive team is ready to work as your partner through this crisis.

Demo ExactHire Onboarding Software

Are you ready to improve your employee onboarding experience and respond to the rapidly changing hiring landscape with success? Schedule a demo of OnboardCentric today.

How to Automate Workflow Within Employee Onboarding Software [VIDEO]

While web-based solutions that can automate new hire employment forms and documents do exist, very few solutions also empower employers to customize their onboarding software platform to automate all the new hire and existing employee tasks associated with a robust employee onboarding process. The ability to automate workflow is one of the core strengths of the OnboardCentric employee onboarding solution. Two features that are key factors in the ability to accommodate unique client workflows are FlexFields and Roles.

OnboardCentric FlexFields Roles Video

FlexFields at work

FlexFields, as the name implies, are flexible, multiple-choice data fields that store unique information about each employee within an organization. These fields are customized on a per client basis. Examples of different FlexFields might include individual employee attributes such as

  • division,
  • department,
  • exemption status or pay type, and
  • employee level.

The values selected for FlexFields on an employee record drive two primary outcomes within OnboardCentric:

  1. tasks assigned to the new hire, and
  2. follow up tasks assigned to an internal staff member.

New hire tasks

Let’s talk about new hire tasks. We’ll group them into two categories:

  1. tasks assigned to every new hire, and
  2. tasks assigned only to certain new hires.

Tasks assigned to every new hire tend to include the completion of required federal forms such as the I-9 and W4, state tax forms, and policies and procedures specific to a given organization. Please note that FlexFields do not impact those forms or documents assigned to all employees.

However, FlexFields are involved for tasks related to forms and documents that only a subset of employees are required to complete. In fact, the criteria that define this subset of employees are determined by the values of one or more FlexFields.

For example, if new hires in the Compliance Division should be assigned items that other new hires outside the Compliance Division should not be assigned, then “Division” would be setup as a FlexField. Likewise, if new hires at the Executive Level are assigned items that hires at other levels aren’t assigned, then “Employee Level” would be setup as a FlexField. To determine the FlexFields necessary for your business, create a list of all the attributes that differentiate one group’s employee onboarding tasks from another group’s tasks.

Once your FlexFields are created, they’ll be visible as drop-down boxes for each new employee you add to OnboardCentric.

Using the previous examples, there would be a FlexField for “Division” that might have values of “Compliance”, “Information Technology”, “Manufacturing”, and “Marketing.” If “Compliance” is selected, that new hire will be assigned extra tasks that new hires in the other divisions will not. Similarly, there would be a FlexField entitled “Employee Level” that might have values of “Associate”, “Executive”, “Manager”, and “Staff.” If “Executive” is selected, that new hire will have additional tasks that new hires with other values for that field will not.

Roles for existing employees

Next, let’s talk about how Roles work within OnboardCentric.

Think of Roles as the acting parts your existing staff members play in the onboarding process. You may have as few or as many Roles as necessary to handle any follow up actions that must be completed by your staff. These follow ups will always be triggered by a task completed by a new hire.

For instance, once a new hire completes his portion of the I-9 form, that will trigger a follow up for someone within your organization to verify/approve that I-9 form on behalf of the organization. Typically this Role is referred to as an “I-9 Approver.”

Other common examples of Roles include “Countersigner”, “Equipment Provisioner”, or “License Certifier.” In each of these examples, the Role name used may be anything that makes sense within your organization. Instead of “Equipment Provisioner,” you may choose to call that Role “Supply Orderer.” The key point to understand is that the Role refers only to what type of follow up actions you’ll want that person to perform within the OnboardCentric platform.

Accommodating people with similar tasks

The intersection of FlexFields and Roles occurs in situations where you have more than one staff member performing a given type of Role. For example, let’s assume that you have four different staff members who each have the Role of I-9 Approver.

In this scenario, the FlexField values you assign to a given new hire will then be used to determine which of the four I-9 Approvers will be assigned that follow up task once the new hire completes his portion of the I-9.

FlexFields and Roles allow OnboardCentric to accommodate almost any type of workflow necessary for the unique needs of your organization’s onboarding process. We encourage you to take advantage of these capabilities so that you may maximize your onboarding efficiency.


Get started on the path to better onboarding.

Contact ExactHire to learn more about OnboardCentric employee onboarding software.


18 Onboarding Ideas Especially Suited to Part-Time Employees

In this era of increasing instances of flexible work arrangements, many employers find that an increasingly larger percentage of their workforce is comprised of part-time employees, specifically. In fact, part-time might mean anything from a periodic five to ten hours per week up to thirty hours based on the feedback I receive from peers in HR who strive to compete for talent by offering work schedules that accommodate greater balance between work and personal life.

As we shift to putting a greater emphasis on better serving part-time teammates, don’t forget to account for how their needs may be slightly different than those of full-time employees during the employee onboarding process. In this blog, and with the help of some of my human resources friends, we’ll explore eighteen ideas for rolling out the onboarding red carpet for your newly-hired part-time employees. Some tips will present a solid plan of action for engaging “part-timers” specifically, while others are best practices for onboarding all types of employees.

1 – Avoid overwhelming part-time employees

Don’t make part-time new hires “drink from the firehose” during training by overwhelming them with too much material too early. Remember, they may be on the job only half the time you are (assuming you work full-time) and so will have half as much time to absorb new content.

2 – Be supportive of self-study

Build in blocks of self-study or skills practice time within the first few weeks of the new hire’s employment tenure. Have pre-determined study or hands-on projects ready for them to tackle during the training process.

3 – Take care with time sheets

Since your part-time employees are classified as non-exempt, clearly explain the process for submitting a time sheet and make sure they have reminders scheduled to turn them in promptly.

4 – Prepare with pre-boarding

According to Linda Dausend, Consultant and Account Lead for FlashPoint Leadership Consulting, the “pre-boarding” process is just as important as the onboarding process. Pre-boarding includes:

  • sending a new part-timer a welcome kit at home–perhaps include a flash drive with a welcome video;
  • having a coffee meeting prior to the start date;
  • setting up the new hire’s desk, computer, and ordering business cards;
  • notifying your team of existing employees and asking them to sign a welcome card; and,
  • scheduling a session to officially welcome the new part-time hire during a time frame that falls within his/her work hours.

5 – Set expectations for special events

If your organization occasionally schedules optional learning or social events during lunch or a part-time employee’s regular work hours, make sure to set expectations with that new hire about whether he should consider that event part of his work time. For example, at ExactHire we have a few part-time employees, and we encourage them to join us at events such as our annual lunch outings to the Indiana State Fair or the downtown Indy Strawberry Festival on the Circle.

6 – Make use of mentors

Bradley Galin, President and Principal Consultant for Allegro HR, advises employers to assign a mentor to newly hired employees so they have someone to ask those questions that they may not want to ask the supervisor. When possible, assign a mentor who is either doing the same job as the new hire or someone who has done the job previously.

Don’t discount the importance of pairing a part-time new hire with a mentor or guide to help him get going. This may be even more important for part-time hires relative to full-timers, since they likely need a longer period of time to get to know other team members. Having a mentor gives them a consistent point of contact while they’re getting familiar with everyone. William Dykstra, Regional Talent Acquisition Consultant III and Officer at a large banking institution, says that most of the departments for which he recruits have a peer mentor paired with a new hire for the first 90 days of employment.

7 – Proactive paperwork

Dykstra also indicates that it’s helpful for employers to have new hires complete traditional employment paperwork prior to the start date. That way they can focus on learning the job on the first day instead of doing tedious paperwork.


ExactHire’s OnboardCentric employee onboarding software makes the forms, documents and tasks associated with employee onboarding paperless.

ExactHire OnboardCentric Onboarding Software Video

8 – Be clear about benefits

Bradley Galin also suggests providing a benefits overview to new part-time hires that is customized to their position and full-time equivalency (FTE). After all, your organization may have folks receive different benefits depending on their exact FTE and bargaining unit…so avoid one-size-fits-all communication approaches.

9 – Create opportunities for interaction

If you have other staff members who work flexible shifts and/or work from home certain days of the week, consider varying a new part-time hire’s work schedule over the first week or two so that she has a chance to meet and interact with all members of her new team.

10 – Adjust recurring meeting invitations

Prior to a new PT employee’s start date, evaluate which traditionally all-company or all-department recurring meetings he should or should not attend based on his work hours. For those meetings that are feasible, make sure the new hire’s email address is added to any existing recurring calendar invitations.

11 – Standardize the swag

With experience being a part-time employee herself, Kye Hawkins, Management Consultant and Marketing Specialist for ADVISA, encourages employers to welcome new part-time hires to the team just as you would any full-time employee. Whatever your company does: a gift basket on the desk, company swag, a welcome lunch, etc. Being a part-time employee still means she is fully part of the team!

12 – Share work schedules

Hawkins also emphasizes that one of a new hire’s first orders of business should be having him update his calendar with the days and times he’ll be working. Then, share his schedule with the appropriate people at the company along with a message clarifying his work schedule. Part-time employees’ schedules are more likely to confuse those who work full-time, and keeping track of work days will help all involved.

13 – Don’t underestimate the power of perception

Remember that perception influences employee engagement. By making a new PT employee’s first day as special as a typical full-time hire’s experience, you’re showing that part-timer he is just as valued as full-time staff members.

14 – Help connect the dots

According to Catherine Schmidt, Consulting Manager at Purple Ink, LLC, employers should make sure their new part-time employees understand and connect with the value and meaning of their work by speaking to others in the company about how their positions impact the organization, clients, or the community. Having meaningful work is a large predictor for retaining an employee and in this low-unemployment job market, it’s important for companies to keep good employees regardless of whether they’re full or part-time.

15 – Plan for the potential future

Additionally, JoDee Curtis, the owner of Purple Ink, LLC, cautions organizations to note that even though these individuals work part-time, it doesn’t mean they only need to hear “part” of the orientation. It’s likely that most everything will pertain to them…and what doesn’t (e.g. certain benefits) might be good for them to learn in case they decide to go full-time within the organization down the road.

16 – Introduce employees in similar situations

Especially if you work for a larger employer, make a point to introduce new part-timers to others who may have a similar work schedule early in their employment.

17 – Paint the picture for existing employees, too

Discuss the do’s and don’t’s associated with being part-time, especially for individuals transitioning from full-time positions to part-time roles. It’s easy to place a lot of emphasis on hiring brand new part-time hires, but we can’t forget to address the dynamics associated with existing staff members who reduce hours to adapt to changing life circumstances.

18 – Show and tell

Plan sessions that allow new part-time hires a means to “reverse train” a few weeks into their employment tenure. This gives them the opportunity to share with the manager what they’ve learned and reinforce understanding.

With some thoughtful consideration of how you might incorporate some of the above tips, you’ll be on the right track to welcoming and retaining your part-time employees!

Download ExactHire's Employee Onboarding Checklist

5 Ways a Cloud Based Solution Saves Time and Eliminates HR Paper Trail Nightmares

Anybody who has spent anytime filing and shuffling through paperwork knows the nightmare that it entails.  For human resources professionals, this nightmare is compounded by the requirements that employment compliance regulations place on maintaining personnel files and documenting activity and personnel actions.  This leads to extra labor, costs and time-consuming activities for human resources departments.

Today’s human resources functions are trying to break the mold of the traditional administrative arms that are squirreled away in the corners of headquarters buildings around every corporation.  True HR business partners need to be out front where people and managers are. They need to be visible. To truly be effective, today’s HR professionals need to focus on transformational activities and not transactional activities. This requires getting out of the nightmare of paperwork.

1 – Elimination of Filing Paperwork

The primary benefit of any cloud-based human resources technology is not having to print countless sheets of paper which then need to be filed meticulously.  Most HR departments have a very structured filing system comprised of personal information, performance records, benefits enrollments, payroll and tax information, and United States work authorization.  Additionally, some employers may have files for training records, education and other qualification information.  Printing and filing all these documents can be cumbersome.  

Employees spend precious time updating information and signing and completing documents.  A high quality employee onboarding cloud solution will allow you to store standard employment paperwork and forms as well as provide parsing ability for new hire information.  This means, the information entered into one initial form by new employees will auto-populate to various new hire forms and documents.  No more repetitive entering of addresses, phone numbers, birth dates, etc. on multiple forms.  

Paperwork completed via the cloud can also be electronically signed and confirmed as well.  This eliminates the need for faxing, scanning, emailing, mailing and/or requiring an employee to be physically present to turn in paperwork to the corporate office.  Most systems will safeguard and protect the privacy of the information as well–if not don’t partner with them!

2 – Easy Recall of Information

So once all that legacy information is put into a file, what do you do with it?  Some of this paperwork is for compliance and record keeping requirements.  However, employment documents having to do with performance, education, training and other similar information are useful.  Managers may want to reference, an employee may want to reference and HR will definitely want to reference them.

A standard cloud-based solution will allow you to quickly reference this information via a reporting interface or dashboard. You will also be able to report on it to identify trends and data points for the entire organization, an individual department or a group of employees.  If you relied on paper files for this task, you would have to manually go through personnel files, pull the required documents and manually aggregate the data.

What is the ultimate benefit?  The ultimate benefit is that this information will actually be used for what it is intended.  The danger of a paper filing system is that the information goes into files and then never gets referenced or used because it has to be requested, then analyzed, then provided–and probably dusted off in the process.  Cloud-based systems put this information right at the decision maker’s finger tips. 

3 – Bulk Transactions for New Employee Records

In many situations, human resources staff may find themselves needing to make multiple changes to multiple employee records at the same time.  A traditional paper filing system would require access to all files to manually make the changes for all employees, and then all the new paperwork would have to be refiled.  Think about the time involved with that tedious task!  Alternatively, if all employee files are cloud-based, the processor could make one change and have it apply to multiple employees at the same time.

Setting up your new employees in different divisions, groups, etc. within a cloud system will allow fast changes to the groups of new hires you choose.  The changes will be applied across all employees you’ve selected, and once processed, their records updated.  There will be no further need to print and file paperwork as it’s all stored in the cloud.

4 – Connectivity of Systems

Many of today’s HR cloud solutions are integrated or can be integrated.  This means different vendors of different software applications can pass data back and forth.  The advantage of this for HR professionals lies with the ability to push information from one system to another.  This greatly reduces duplicate entry into multiple systems.  Most vendors of HR software do not provide a solution for every HR need, so if they can talk to each other through the cloud it is much, much better. For example, our HireCentric applicant tracking system integrates with our employee onboarding software.

5 – Self-Service

The days of the form library outside the human resources wing are long gone.  Cloud services allow employees to update information from anywhere at anytime.  In many cases, even from their smart phones.  Likewise, HR representatives can review, approve and process these information updates with ease.  The connectivity of systems described above also lets this information reach multiple platforms and vendors with a single update from the employee and/or administrator.

The advantages a cloud based system can provide are limitless in how they can help reduce time, improve efficiency and reduce human resources labor costs.  As an added benefit, new employees are more satisfied with their onboarding experience as they don’t have to make a trip to the HR department during business hours to fill out forms just to submit their basic information.  When selecting a cloud based system, make sure it provides you the analytics and recall of information you need.  And, make sure it is user-friendly with a great user interface; otherwise, your employees won’t use it.

Ready to Make Your Onboarding Nightmares Go Away?

Automate and improve your new hire onboarding process. Contact ExactHire to schedule a live demo of our onboarding software solution today.

Turnover High? Go Paperless With Your HR.

You know all that paperwork you have your new hires fill out? You know all those forms you have to keep updated and accessible in a shared drive or file somewhere? You know all that communication you have to do with managers when forms change, are added or deleted? Yeah..all that stuff. Not only is it a pain in the butt (especially if you’re in a high turnover industry), but most of it is not needed.  Want to go paperless with your HR–read on.

HR departments are notorious for collecting oodles of information that they don’t need and will never use. They sit in personnel files as documentation in the event of an audit. Managers rarely reference them and HR puts all the information into some sort of database anyways.

Simplify your life, the life of your HR department and the lives of your employees. If you are in a high turnover industry, you especially need to streamline this process. High turnover industries typically see turnover in the first two weeks to 90 days. Just think of all that paperwork you have to manage for someone that may only stick around for a few weeks–and if you’re lucky a few months.

Today’s typical hiring and employee onboarding processes can be challenging for employers. New hires and HR professionals often spend valuable hours completing forms and various tasks. These hours come with a dollar figure. On top of that figure is the expense of paper and ink, which for just a single new hire is staggering.

Luckily there are some steps you can take to reduce the HR workload and paperwork requirements. Warning…the information below should not be taken as legal advice. HR managers should always check with legal counsel before making any substantial changes to policies and practices. Employers with government contracts should take extra precautions to ensure they are compliant with their obligations.

Where to Start

Cut back to just the basics.  For most employers there are only three forms that you actually need filled out. A federal W4 form (and the corresponding state form) for tax purposes, the I-9 form for work authorization, and the voluntary EEO information (assuming you employ 100 or more employees). Really all three of these forms will have all the information you need to pay, contact and authorize the employee to work.  If you’re not sure what this is, the form is pretty self-explanatory and you can check it out for yourself. You can populate whatever database you have with the information on these forms. However, this still includes filling out forms and collecting them.

For a small investment you can collect and manage this information and more electronically. When considering a year’s worth of new hires, many businesses are hemorrhaging money through the inefficient use of materials and time. Until recently, this has been the cost of doing business. But today’s paperless HR solutions offer better alternatives. Luckily ATS software, employee onboarding software and HRIS systems are readily available for all budgets and sizes.  Cost can typically be justified by eliminating a clerical HR position since you won’t have to take information from one source and input it into another.

There are some considerations you want to make in selecting a paperless HR solution. Since your goal is to eliminate transactional duties, you’ll want to select a system that will actually do this. ExactHire’s paperless onboarding system does exactly this.

Consider Integrated Solutions

When evaluating integrated HR software solutions you want to make sure they will actually reduce your transactional tasks. A solution that allows information to flow from an applicant tracking system, to an electronic onboarding process, and possibly even to an HRIS may be the best fit for some organizations. Some systems will even feed information electronically to benefits providers and state agencies further reducing transactional duties. Consider whether your organization will have other integration needs, as well, such as e-Verify during the onboarding process.

When you’re hiring lots of employees in a high turnover environment, you need the ability to onboard them fast and collect the information you need. You also need a compliant solution to offboard them quickly and effectively.

Look for Employee Self-Service Features

A strong self-service function within an HRIS will allow employees to make changes to information such as contact information, payroll information, benefits elections for qualifying events and other administrative functions. All these transactions will be queued for an HR associate to verify before processing.  Don’t confuse this with paperwork! You still want a trained eye to audit for errors and compliance. You never want employees to directly change information in systems without someone else taking a look at it.

The user experience or interface should be intuitive, easy and effective. These are administrative tasks employees don’t want to bother with either so the better the interface the better the results will be. Allow them to access their information electronically and print if needed. Eliminate the burden of requests for pay stubs, benefits summaries and other common documents that employees typically request and need access to right away.  If you can find a solution with a mobile interface, even better.

Documentation and Reporting

You won’t be eliminating paperwork if you have to print everything and file it. Select an employee onboarding solution that allows for electronically signed documents, storage of those documents and easy recovery of those documents–you’ll want to be able to print them in the event of litigation or a regulatory audit.  Most integrated systems will allow you to generate correctly formatted reports for things such as EEO-1 reports and other regulatory requirements. Be sure to select a system workflow that will meet your common and ad-hoc reporting needs.

Benefits of Paperless HR in High Turnover Situations

In high turnover industries an employee may actually quit before you are able to process all the paperwork. With a paperless process you can carry information from workflow stage to workflow stage. By the time the employee starts you will have most of the information you need to pay them, file taxes, report them to your state as a new employee and get them a W-2 at the end of the year. This is information you don’t want to be tracking down or chasing on forms once an employee has left the company.


Want to go paperless? Contact ExactHire to learn how our paperless HR solutions can help.


Photo Credit:  cocoparisienne

New Hire Onboarding Success with a SWOT Analysis

The purpose of a SWOT analysis in the business planning process is to make sure you’ve identified all the possible strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to your business.  Only then can you create a business plan taking into consideration all these aspects and setting your business up for it’s best chance at success.  The new hire onboarding process should be no different.

Some aspects of the SWOT analysis are designed to act upon.  For example, you want to make sure you capitalize on and take advantage of your strengths and seize your opportunities.  Other aspects are for you to be aware of.  You must be aware of your weaknesses and competitors in the market place.

If you really think about it, doing the same type of analysis for a new hire should be no different. To a new employee, changing jobs is a “new business” operating in a new environment with different conditions. Extremely savvy job seekers will do their own SWOT analysis on the company before joining.  Why?  They want to make sure they are setting themselves up for the best chance at success.

Your analysis of your new employee should occur over the course of his/her onboarding and should be a critical part of the employee onboarding process.  Ideally you would have done most of this during the hiring process.  However, it’s not an exact science and you may have missed some items. Hopefully, at a minimum, you determined the new hire should have a seat on the bus.  Now you just need to figure out what that correct seat is.

It’s not uncommon for individuals to be hired for a certain position then find themselves in another. This happens quite frequently in organizations that focus their hiring efforts on the type of person and their strengths and abilities, more so than technical knowledge and experience.  You can only gain this much clearer understanding of the best fit for the individual once she is on board and you have had a chance to analyze her capabilities against various positions.




This is the single most important aspect of an individual’s SWOT.  If you do nothing else, make sure you thoroughly assess strengths and figure out how to apply them appropriately. Getting a new hire aligned with his strengths is the best way to set him up for success in his new role.  

To properly identify strengths, you must allocate the proper time and training.  Just immersing someone in a new role will not yield the results you need to identify his core strengths.  Step one would be to have a simple conversation with the individual and see what he thinks his strengths are.  Consider a tool such as the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment to assist in this endeavor. Then have him work through various aspects of his role (and other roles if possible) to see where he naturally excels with the least amount of direction.  By doing this, you can identify where his best opportunity for success may be.




Awareness of weaknesses will avoid early failure and miss-steps for a new employee.  It is critical that he be given every opportunity to succeed, build confidence in his new role and gain confidence of his coworkers.  This doesn’t mean you don’t want to challenge him, but you want to make sure you are challenging him utilizing his strengths.

Once you’ve identified potential weak points, note them and work to avoid them.  The last thing you want to do is try to change someone or improve his weaknesses.  It’s much easier to focus on the strengths.  There’s also a tough leadership decision in this step of the process.  If it so happens that his weaknesses actually need to be his core strengths for the position, you will have to find this employee another seat on the bus — or another bus.




This is the fun step.  After your analysis of strengths and weaknesses you should have a pretty good idea of the direction(s) the individual can go within the organization after his onboarding.  These are his opportunities.  By the time you get to this step, the individual has probably started to see his opportunities as well and may have expressed some desire towards those.  

Don’t forget to have this important employee development conversation.  This will likely be the difference maker between an engaged long-term employee or a short-term employee.  Most employees will look for their next opportunity within the organization fairly quickly and if they don’t see one they’ll plan their next move — out of the company.  Your job as a leader is to make sure the opportunities they are seeking within the organization align with their strengths and avoid as many of their weaknesses as possible.




Typically addressing threats in a SWOT analysis takes into account competition.  We don’t want to think of competition in terms of an individual’s employment SWOT.  Rather, you want to look at what potential roadblocks stand in the way of his success.  The roadblocks you should try to identify are resource issues, process and procedural issues and potentially other individuals.

Ever wonder why they sweep the ice in front of the stone in Olympic curling?  They are grooming the ice and creating the best possible conditions for the stone to travel further and straighter.  As a leader you must continue to sweep the ice in front of an employee to ensure his optimal onboarding experience and continued success.  What you are doing is eliminating or mitigating the threats you know will stand in the employee’s way.   


If you’ve properly integrated a SWOT analysis into the new hire onboarding process you will be setting the stage for initial and continued success for the employee and your team/company.  It takes a little bit of discipline and practice to master, but really isn’t that difficult.  The most difficult part is evolving to the point where you only focus on aligning his strengths within the role, or a different role, and completely avoid any assignments that will draw on his weaknesses.

Done correctly, and applied correctly, a SWOT analysis will ensure a business stays on course, remains competitive in the market and services customers profitably.  This directly correlates with the same success of a new employee, his level of engagement, productivity and length of retention.

Looking for tools to improve your employee onboarding process? Contact ExactHire to learn how our employee onboarding software can automate your new hire paperwork and workflow.


Baby, You’re a Firework (or at Least Your New Employee Is)

Fourth of July is just around the corner and just like fireworks, onboarding employees can be exciting, stressful, and downright treacherous at times. In the spirit of the patriotic festivities, let’s look through the top ten most popular fireworks in comparison to common candidates and employees that could be experienced in the onboarding process. The process of Onboarding a new employee can be time-consuming, but with ExactHire’s resources and Onboarding Software, you could spend more time getting to know your employee!

If you’re interested in finding out what type of employee you are, take this light-hearted quiz, and then check out the descriptions of each firework below!

1. Party Poppersfirework-party-popper

Party poppers are generally listed as a novelty item or trick noise maker and are sold year-round in shops which sell party supplies. It emits a loud popping noise by means of a small friction-actuated explosive charge that is emitted by pulling a string. Finding a candidate similar to a party popper may come in many forms; one may be the applicant that initially seems exciting and opinionated but can also fizzle out fairly quickly, or it could be the employee that brings excitement all year-round.

2. TNT Poppers


These are a hit with younger kids, mainly because they can’t set themselves on fire but can still annoy the ever-living daylights out of adults by throwing them at their feet. TNT Poppers are inexpensive and can keep people entertained for a total of maybe 20 minutes. In terms of potential employees, this is probably the applicant that may seem like a good fit initially, but after further investigation or an interview, he or she would probably only last a few months in the company.

3. Snakes


At first glance, snakes may seem like mere child’s play, but if you really think about it, how does a small tube of practically nothing turn into an endless black “snake”? We may never know, but this is the new employee that you may not have had high hopes for but it turns out that he can do literally anything – all day. This candidate can make something out of nothing, and can truly be one of the best assets to your company. (Or maybe you’d rather just consider them the metaphorical snake, we’re not here to judge.)

4. Sparklers


An age-old favorite, sparklers light up the front yard for a few minutes and as any new employee does, lights up the eyes of those around it (or him). Though sparklers only last for a few moments, a new employee or candidate may qualify as a Sparkler if he or she comes into the business with flare and favoritism, and sticks around as a consistent favorite.

5. Firecrackers


Iconic? Sure. Noisy? Definitely. It’s easy to imagine what a potential employee with the personality (or voice) of a firecracker would be – loud and potentially explosive. As a candidate, this person or “firecracker” could be full of ideas and popping with enthusiasm! Definitely someone worth holding on to.

6. Bottle Rockets


Just as its name suggests, a Bottle Rocket is a small rocket lodged in a bottle with a stabilizing stick attached to it. A big oversight when thinking about Bottle Rockets (in terms of people) is that they come in a ton of different sizes and models; sure they stick to the basic model, but also bring different ideas (big or small), projects, and goals to the workplace.

7. Roman Candles


As the site, Thrillist, describes Roman Candles “Lovely but dangerous” and they couldn’t be more accurate – for the actual firework. In terms of Roman Candle-esque people though – it’s more in terms of lovely and dangerous. Roman Candle employees come in everyday ready to conquer the workplace and any task that may come their way.

8. Smoke Balls


Smoke Balls are little bombs that when lit give off a few minutes of colored smoke and usually stain anything they touch (I love them). As far as excitement goes, they probably wouldn’t make anyone’s top ten, but they are fun and reliable – never changing what they do. To find someone in the workplace comparable to a smoke ball, you’d probably consider them to be trustworthy, dependable, and mostly predicable.

9. Fountains


A family favorite, Fountains are the fireworks that everyone gets because it’s probably illegal to buy artillery shells in your town. Either way, Fountains are fun and last a long time with many different effects throughout their show. As a potential employee, the fountain may be underestimated at first but with time will prove that she has a ton of new ideas, one just as different as the one before it. Fountain employees are stellar assets to a company and should be held onto at all costs.

10. Artillery Shells


Artillery Shells are the massive fireworks that Fourth of July is truly known for – and also illegal in many states – but that’s not important. What’s important is how big and beautiful they are, each different and special in their own way. As these should be left to be set on fire by the professionals, it is likely that the Artillery Shells in the office are probably the CEO’s or someone who set the whole business in motion. If not, watch out because the shell in your office is heading for big things.


No matter what kind of employee you or anyone in the office is, everyone should be celebrated this Fourth of July, just like our nation’s Independence.

Have a great holiday from everyone at ExactHire!

Image credit: FREE CLIP: Sparklers by Cinema White (contact)

Rewrite Your Talent Onboarding Story In 7 Game-Changing Steps

Once upon a time there was a talented, optimistic marketing professional named Simon. An exciting, fast-growth technology firm was fortunate enough to woo Simon during a flashy interviewing process and he was pleased to accept its offer of employment shortly thereafter. His new position would offer him more responsibility, more pay and a chance to learn some new technologies. Sounds like a storybook ending for Simon, right?

That’s what he thought, too, until he began to experience the firm’s employee onboarding process. While the tech firm had many things going for it, it had a few things to learn when it came to giving its new hires the best opportunity to be successful and productive in their working environment. Let’s see how Simon’s story unfolded and consider what the tech firm might have done differently to make a positive impression on him in the critical early days and months of his employment.

1 – Wait, What’s Pre-Boarding?

Once Simon accepted his offer, he still had to give his current employer a few weeks’ notice before finishing his job there. While his new employer was hiring frequently, and at such a pace that it often had employees start just days after accepting an offer, Simon was an anomaly in that he had some time to kill before his start date. Unfortunately, his new tech firm was radio silent during this period. Simon actually had to proactively reach out to confirm details like start date and arrival time. He wondered if his new company had forgotten about him.

Rewrite the Story: Simon’s new hiring manager could have called or emailed him to welcome him to the fold and prep him with some housekeeping details prior to his first day. This “pre-boarding” scenario (aka the period before official employee onboarding) is also a golden opportunity for an organization to send a welcome kit to a new hire with goodies like a prepared training schedule, visual organizational chart, fun facts about the company and some branded company swag.

A best practice during pre-boarding is to make sure that your company’s existing employees know about the forthcoming start date of your new employee so they can be ready to make him feel at home. This also gives the onboarding process stakeholders a chance to update recurring meeting requests and email distribution lists to include the new employee. Otherwise, Simon might feel silly if he was the only one that didn’t know to show up to the monthly corporate meeting.

2 – Learning the Unwritten Rules

Simon was an organized guy and liked to be prepared. During his interview, they told him that they had a relaxed dress code, but he still hadn’t seen any evidence of that and didn’t want to be the only guy in jeans on his first day. So, he showed up in business casual to be safe meanwhile contemplating the extent of the company’s flexibility when it came to the “flexible work schedule.” In addition, he was still in limbo with how daycare arrangements would work for his daughter, too. He would continue to feel a little stressed about that until he could adjust her drop-off and pick-up times to accommodate his new schedule. Of course his nerves weren’t helped when a bunch of his new co-workers asked him why he was so dressed up for his first day.

Rewrite the Story: Starting a new job is stressful enough; don’t make it worse by keeping your new hires guessing. At a minimum send new hires a Q&A sheet of commonly asked company culture-related questions before their first day.

  • Go the extra mile by pairing a new employee with a mentor buddy who can give him the real dish, and
  • assembling an attractive book or website full of pictures of your employees enjoying the unique aspects of your culture (for example, hitting the gong to celebrate a goal achievement or modeling work-appropriate attire).

Better yet, create a video office tour in which you interview employees that answer these burning company culture questions. Give employees like Simon the confidence to know when it’s actually okay to play ping-pong during work hours.

3 – You Mean I Don’t Even Get a Red Stapler?

Once Simon was shown to his working space, it was remarkably bare. While thankfully his laptop was awaiting him, there wasn’t much else other than tedious employment paperwork. His cube neighbor said that the supplies he needed were around, and that he could show him the office cabinet. So, Simon grabbed some sticky notes, a pen and a notepad since he wasn’t sure how much was appropriate to take. Back at his desk, he passed the time waiting for further direction (his boss was in a meeting on the morning of his first day) by investigating a new “twiddle your thumbs” finger workout on his smartphone…or at least he felt like that was what he was doing.

Rewrite the Story: Not having supplies ready on a new hire’s first day is frustrating and makes a poor first impression on a new employee. Stock a new hire’s space with all the essentials…have email setup, browsers downloaded and include a handy guide to applications that will be used on a regular basis. Complete the staging with a thoughtful welcome sign with the employee’s name. To make this setup easy on existing employees, too, have a basic onboarding checklist or template in place that can be quickly customized based on departmental needs. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel with every new hire.

Identify additional employee onboarding best practices like implementing software to automate both the workflow-related checklists for existing employees, as well as the actual paperwork completed by new employees. Instead of taking up two hours of a new hire’s first few days on the job with boring, redundant paperwork, give him a web-based portal to enter that data in about fifteen minutes. Make sure your onboarding process brand matches the sleek corporate brand that people have come to expect from a fast-growth tech firm.

4 – Be More Innovative Than Lunch

Simon was pleased to learn that he wouldn’t have to figure out lunch on his first day. His manager, as well as some other members of his department, did take him out to a nice restaurant to get to know him better. There’s nothing wrong with lunch as long as that’s not all you do to learn about new hires.

Rewrite the Story: Use your organization’s industry, resources and/or culture to create a unique experience for your new employees. For example, a technology firm might have a space for all employees to share their favorite mobile app along with comments about why each app was selected. A design firm with graphic artists on staff might choose to commemorate the arrival of newer employees by adding their caricature to a wall of fame after 90 days. An organization of travel buffs could have a giant world map and invite new employees to mark the exotic places to which they have traveled with pushpins. Be imaginative and discover each employee’s passion.

5 – My Brain is Only So Spongy

Once his first few days had passed, Simon had to admit that his training schedule did become quite rigorous…full of people to meet all day everyday. He was hustled from one office to another, desperately trying to absorb all the information he heard like the latest chamois cloth mop from QVC. Alas, cramming isn’t generally effective; however, sometimes employers still feel compelled to fill all the gaps in the first few week’s of an employee’s training schedule. While the firm did gain some points for doing its best to expose Simon to a number of areas in the hopes that he’d be more productive sooner, they should have allowed some time for his early foundational knowledge to soak in and then solidify.

Rewrite the Story: Consider a shortened training schedule for the early days of a new hire’s employment. By empowering an individual to train and shadow with others for just part of the day, you enable him to take the rest of the day to reflect and absorb the information gleaned. He can form questions, review the most recent lessons and be better prepared to be a true participant in the rest of his training activities. Incorporate gamification elements into the training and orientation phase by creating company- and/or department-specific quizzes to assess the employee’s learning while also providing entertaining education.

6 – That’s the End?

A month into his employment experience, Simon was starting to feel like a member of the team. Especially when he was thrown into the training mix for three newer hires that were starting the coming week. That’s right, Simon’s fifteen minutes of new hire fame were already up. And while it’s not a bad idea to help new hires hit the ground running by involving them in improving the onboarding process for future hires, you also don’t want to let your hair down too early with your newer employees. The firm was riding on its own cultural coat tails too aggressively. Keeping employees for the long-term requires a learning and development culture that doesn’t end after a new employee’s first three weeks on the job.

Rewrite the Story: Chart an onboarding course for the long haul and remember that the good stuff happens at milestones you intentionally plan for new hires along their entire employment journey…whether it is three weeks or one year into employment. Beyond new hire paperwork and software login credentials, build in triggers for activities like

  • more advanced learning “courses” once initial onboarding prerequisites are met,
  • exposure to other departments to better learn how one’s own job impacts others,
  • individual assessment in order to uncover opportunities for synergy between the newer employee, his hiring manager and/or other department members,
  • succession planning conversations, and
  • personal achievement recognition at notable anniversary dates.

7 – Get What You Expect

Being organized and self-motivated, Simon already had his own ideas about what he wanted to accomplish in his career with the tech firm. He certainly knew his own job responsibilities and had a vague idea of the potential career path available; however, he was foggy on his firm’s expectations when it came to targeting dates for specific skills mastery and project completions. He was looking forward to really producing now that he had a few months behind him, but he would have appreciated more detail about what success had meant for other top performers in the past.

Rewrite the Story: Having a culture of performance management doesn’t mean forcing a performance review every 90 days, or perhaps ever. But, it does mean having candid, personalized conversations with employees about their passions, developmental goals and the organization’s expectations for achievement. Create a job success factors document for all positions so that new and existing employees alike have a benchmark for comparing their own performance to the model for success for their role. Include details about initial job priorities, expected time frames for project completion and resources available from the organization to support the employee. Then, work with employees to align their strengths and passions with opportunities for increasing responsibility and rewards. Providing a map to success will set employees up to have a true sense of accomplishment once they’ve reached important job milestones.

Where Will Simon’s Story Take Him?

Is your organization guilty of any of the onboarding oversights that befell Simon in his new position? If so, take action now so that when your newer employees get a recruiter InMail message after seven months on the job they politely decline the chance to learn more about the next exciting, fast-growth tech firm.

This blog originally appeared on

Image credit: Swoosh Goes Swish by slgckgc (contact)

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