Let's Get Efficient with Onboarding: Here's How It's Done Right

Let's Get Efficient with Onboarding: Here's How It's Done Right

Having a supportive and efficient onboarding process is more important than ever. There are talent shortages in many areas, creating a "seller's market" for employees who have higher expectations. At the same time, you need the best talent to ensure your company can grow and thrive. 

The average cost of a new hire is about $4,000, so frequently hiring because of a poor employee fit can affect your bottom line. 

All of this makes onboarding a struggle, especially for less experienced business owners who may lack the necessary knowledge. Your new hires can affect your culture, productivity, and retention rates.

Onboarding and training also cost money, which is lost if the new employee quits before they reach full productivity. Here are some things business owners need to know: 

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Set Company Objectives Before Hiring 

Before you even start the hiring process for any position, you need to know what you want to gain from the new employee. 

Make sure you know what qualities you are looking for to ensure that new team members improve company culture and productivity, rather than the reverse. They need to have the right personality and work ethic. Many companies don't consider this and rush the candidate search. 

Make sure to establish your culture and values before adding to the team. Choose three (or more) company values that are particularly important to you: For example, excellent customer service, low-conflict personal relationships, safety, respect, integrity, or work-life balance. Your company culture must align with these values, and all new hires must align with the culture. 

Also, consider the personality mix of your current team and the strengths and knowledge you lack. These elements of your recruiting strategy help support onboarding and reduce long-term turnover.  

Make sure you have an employee handbook that outlines objectives, compliance issues, and expectations and provides employees with what they need to know. A PEO can help you develop a good employee handbook. 

Communicate, Engage, Interview 

The interview is not only your first impression of the candidate, but it's also their first impression of the company. Remember that the interview process goes both ways, and try to avoid making it a one-way street, ensuring that candidate engagement in recruitment is prioritized. Always take your time. Have standard interview questions that tell you what you need to know (and support compliance). 

Personality tests can help you tease out a candidate's values but be careful as some personality tests can inadvertently reveal disability-related information and result in discrimination. 

Make sure that their values align with the long game. As much as possible, introduce candidates to other team members, and get feedback from as many people as possible. This also helps the candidate properly assess whether the position is a good fit for them and brings together recruitment and employee engagement. 

Never leave a candidate hanging. Too many companies do not respond to rejected interviewees, which burns a bridge. If you are interested in an individual, communicate this immediately, so they don't move on while waiting for a response. Keep engaging the candidate and make sure they know what the plan is. Regardless of whether you want to move forward with someone or not, be sure to reach out and provide feedback. 

Have a Training Program 

Proper training is a must for all employees, not just in the first stages of employment but throughout their careers. Ongoing training helps employees grow, lets them potentially move into higher positions over time, and keeps them from feeling like they have to move on. 

Training should include safety and compliance but also transferable skills that are of value to both you and the employee. This is another thing a PEO can help with. They already have training programs and ideas for companies in your industry. 

Welcome With Enthusiasm 

Everyone wants to feel welcomed and needed. Turnover is likely within the first few weeks if you don't properly receive your new employee. In fact, up to 20 percent of turnover takes place in the first 45 days. Some of this is because the client made a poor (or desperate) choice. However, a primary reason is not feeling welcomed and appreciated. A welcome lunch or meeting can go a long way. 

One of the best ways to welcome a new hire and provide them with ongoing assistance is to connect them with a mentor or buddy. Partner your new hire with a seasoned employee who can meet them, show them around, answer their questions, etc. Ensure the mentor knows this is an integral part of their job. This way, the new hire has a go-to contact and feels supported. Over time, this also builds a welcoming culture, increasing employee engagement and retention. 

Continue to Support the New Hire 

It can take as long as a year for a new hire to thoroughly learn the ins and outs of their job. It will continue to be a learning experience. This means that they need ongoing training and support. 

Keep the mentor in place indefinitely so they can always get their questions answered. Check in with them regularly to ensure they feel comfortable in the position and get feedback. 

Regular one-on-ones help all employees, supporting ongoing improvement and allowing for two-way feedback. 

All of this can be supported by partnering with a PEO, who can help you with onboarding, training, compliance, and more! 

If you want to improve your onboarding processes, or your HR functions in general, contact PRO Resources to find out how we can help you. 

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