I think it is safe to say that most companies have received the memo about the importance of a solid onboarding process. While they received the memo, there are still a significant number of companies that either do not have a formal onboarding process or have implemented one without proper deliberation.
According to a 2013 Aberdeen Report, companies with a best-in-class onboarding process retained 91% of employees within the first year. For companies with industry-average onboarding processes, that number drops to 70% and then 30% for laggard companies. These numbers indicate the significance of not only having an onboarding process, but the necessity for quality in the process output. Essentially, it is no longer a wise business decision to refrain from investing in onboarding. With retention concerns as an ongoing dialogue in companies, making sure your new hires are adequately supported and prepared to contribute is paramount.
There are so many statistics out there regarding onboarding, how do you know what the appropriate approach is for your organization?
Here are five things that you should be considering when developing and deploying an onboarding process:
- Onboarding is not your new hire orientation. While your new hire orientation is one of the facets in the hiring process that facilitates onboarding new hires; one should not mistake the orientation itself as the method of onboarding. There should be several components to your onboarding process- new hire orientation is just one of them.
- Streamline your hiring process prior to investing in an Onboarding platform. As the saying goes, garbage in, garbage out. The worst thing any company can do is to take an inefficient process and apply it to a new system in hopes that the system will magically improve it. Take the time to look for inefficiencies and create a more lean process in support of any onboarding system you implement.
- It’s not just about collecting paperwork. Yes, one of the necessary and efficient uses of an onboarding system is task management and collecting new hire paperwork; but what about incorporating training components? How about video messages from your recruitment team or CEO that provide tidbits on getting settled in their new role? Get creative and make onboarding a company experience.
- Onboarding is a collective effort. We speak about onboarding quite frequently from an HR perspective, but how are we training our hiring managers and ancillary staff in support of this process? Everyone that touches the hiring process has to be on the same page with regard to how you approach the onboarding of new hires. This is the only way to ensure the consistency of your message and delivery.
- Onboarding of a new hire does not stop once they are hired. Onboarding extends well beyond the first day of work. That new hire needs to be followed as they get acclimated to your company for a minimum of one year to ensure that they are receiving the proper support and resources needed to do their job successfully. This is where you get ahead of flight risks and potential turnover issues before they become exit interviews.