How to Successfully Onboard A New Hire

How to Successfully Onboard A New Hire

You have spent a significant amount of time recruiting and interviewing candidates to find the right fit for your open position.  Now that is done, it is time to plan how you will onboard your new hire to acclimate  them quickly to your culture and foster that sense of belonging.  The Society for Human Resources Management describes onboarding as “the process by which new hires get adjusted to the social and performance aspects of their job quickly and smoothly, and learn the attitudes, knowledge, skills and behaviors required to function effectively within an organization.”

The onboarding process should begin even before the new hire’s first day by making them feel welcome and helping to alleviate some stress by sharing a schedule and essential information in advance of the start date.  Provide a realistic job description during the recruiting process and set clear management expectations during the onboarding process so that there are no surprises when performance review time comes.  Consider having another employee mentor the new hire to help them navigate the organization’s culture and be an added “safe” workplace resource for general questions (no question is a stupid question).

Include everyone in the onboarding process – stakeholders, HR, managers, other team members, key clients, etc.  This helps keep the lines of communication open from the start and the new hire can begin to build relationships with the people s/he will be working with regularly.

Consider using an onboarding checklist to create a welcome atmosphere and long-term employment relationship. Here is a sample you can use and customize to fit your needs:

By having a structured onboarding process, you will improve employee retention and engagement.  An onboarding process that reinforces the company’s culture and brand helps to solidify what and why the organization does what it does and builds a strong relationship with the new hire from the start.

By Maria Peterson,HR Manager, SPHR, SHRM-SCP