The employee onboarding process has always had its challenges and as America begins to climb out of the current economic recession, HR professionals find themselves presented with new obstacles, many of which they've never before encountered.
The trick is turning your onboarding challenges into opportunities: to face head-on the fast-changing world of recruitment and move into the future with a renewed focus on what really counts:
- Revamp your company's new-hire orientation program. Rather than just giving your new-hires a tour of the office, having them read the employee handbook and fill out paperwork, make all your company's forms and documents electronic and save in-person orientation time for training classes over a one-to-two-week period, where a representative from each department can present something. This will familiarize your new-hires with your organization and encourage them to network internally.
- Checkpoints. Continually checking in with your new-hires can help you realize how to onboard successfully. Employee feedback can prove invaluable when trying to learn what your new-hires expect from the onboarding process, and will enable you to identify and tackle problems before your new star players are out the door.
- Meet the Family. Give your new-hires the opportunity to meet the entire company—even if that means walking them office-to-office to introduce them to the teams. For national and global businesses, perhaps an intranet-based "digital photo album" of your company's employees is a better way to familiarize your new-hires with the various departments. They will also know who to reach out to for help and important things such as who your CEO is. Take advantage of social networks. An employee-focused Facebook is a great way to make your new-hires feel like they're a part of an environment.
- Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Whether it's that free gym benefit, reimbursements for transportation costs, casual Fridays or pot-luck Mondays, your new-hire should be made well aware of your company's benefits, policies and procedures. Maintain an online newsletter that reviews your company's offerings, post announcements in the lunch room and promote company perks on your firm's social networking pages. Constantly informing your new-hires will keep them engaged and appreciative of the policies and benefits that your firm offers.
- Mentoring. A classic mentorship program will help new-hires build relationships quickly and enable them to be a part of a team from the onset. There's nothing like guidance from a seasoned employee to help a new-hire get comfortable with the inner workings of your organization.
Just like nature, the economy runs in cycles, and in turn, so does the recruiting process. As the job market continues to bounce back and retaining the best and the brightest new-hires again becomes a top priority- revisiting traditional onboarding processes will increase retention and connectivity, keep employees productive and create new ambassadors for your organization.