What is Onboarding?
In the world of hiring, the term “onboarding” has been used in various ways. It may refer to the time period between the acceptance of a job offer by a candidate and their official start date. At this time, employers typically do several things as part of the onboarding process:
- They collect formal paperwork that their candidates need to have on file such as resumes and other legal documents
- They conduct necessary background checks for security and compliance
- They provide the new hire with resources and training to help them acclimatize to and succeed in their new job environment
This period may also be during the first 3 or so months of a new hire’s tenure at the organization. In some markets, the process of onboarding is part of what is called the “probationary period”, before an employee is regularized at the company.
The onboarding process should help new hires understand how things work in the organization they are now a part of. At a glance, it’s easy to confine onboarding to mandatory steps like setting up of payroll accounts and completing standard workplace safety briefings. But done well - comprehensively yet seamlessly - effective employee onboarding is the first step in building loyalty and improving retention among employees.
Why onboarding matters to your company
Onboarding is a standard yet undervalued process. A systematic and well-thought out onboarding process actually benefits companies in significant ways, such as:
- It minimizes RISK
The onboarding process is the company’s opportunity to assess a new hire within the actual work environment. Prior to this, an organization will not have had any professional interaction with the new hire yet. This is the time to assess whether the new employee is able to perform their job and work with the team, as would be expected of them in the long-term. Conversely, it is the opportunity to detect any needs or issues they may have and provide support, or, make swift critical decisions if necessary to avert risk to the company.
- It ensures COMPLIANCE
Legal compliance steps are also part of onboarding. These steps help detect any potential legal issues early and resolve them before things can get out of hand.
Compliance steps include: signing the contract to make employment official; ensuring the new hire’s legal status and taxpayer registration; and providing orientations on workplace policies and safety standards in the company.
There are also specific steps that may be legally required in the market you are operating in. This may include health training, signing confidentiality agreements, and running background checks like Right to Work checks or Credit Checks, depending on the person’s role.
- It improves employee RETENTION and PRODUCTIVITY
Reports show that new hires who receive structured onboarding are more likely to stay in the company for more than three years. Giving new hires a positive and supportive experience at the beginning of their journey will show them the quality of employer you are, and inform the rest of their experience with you.
Effective onboarding also contributes to productivity. Companies with a standard onboarding process report having 54% greater new hire productivity.
Why onboarding matters to your NEW HIRES
For new hires, the onboarding process is just as important as it is to the company, if not more so. Given that their first experience of their new company will be during onboarding, it allows them to:
- Get to know the TEAM and CULTURE
Onboarding is when they will learn the ropes, meet the team, and experience the company’s ways of doing things. This allows them to assess whether they will thrive in the company, and request support if need be. This is an important period of expectation setting for both the new hire and the team they will be working with, to ensure a smooth working relationship in the long run.
- See their path to GROWTH
Onboarding will provide new hires with resources such as videos, manuals, roadmaps, and of course, people like mentors and trainers. All these should serve to not just teach the new hire the ropes, but more importantly, allow them to see their prospects for growth and improvement in the company. Does their role give them the chance to upskill? Do they have support systems in place in case they struggle? What senior roles can they take on in the future? The onboarding process and resources should communicate these opportunities.
Designing your New Employee Onboarding Process
Onboarding can be complex. It involves various departments and people throughout your organization, and needs everyone to do their part in order to be successful. It is a process that will be consistently practiced and tested throughout the years as you keep hiring new people and growing the company.
Your new hires will rely on you - the organization - to provide the onboarding steps that they will follow. This means everyone, including managers, the HR department, the IT department, and of course company leadership, should be familiar with the company onboarding process, and their role in it.
There are many ways to design your company’s onboarding process or checklist. At the end of the day, it will be up to you to decide what steps are included, and which people will be in charge of facilitating the process.
To assist employers, we’ve put together several sample checklists that you can review and use as a springboard for your own company.
However, to emphasize the opportunity to differentiate yourself as an employer, we suggest designing your onboarding process around the NEW HIRE EXPERIENCE. Instead of simply ticking boxes to ensure requirements are met, build your new hire’s progression into your onboarding.
A Comprehensive Onboarding Template for New Hires
To highlight the importance of creating a positive new hire experience during your onboarding process, we’ve put together a comprehensive yet concise template that focuses on the steps that your new hires must take, rather than what internal departments must do.
This is a great place to start when designing your onboarding process because it allows you to put yourself in your new hires’ shoes - what will they need to know during the first few days? What do they need to submit? What will they benefit from experiencing during their first few weeks and months?
From here, consider which departments and specific people must be involved in your company’s onboarding process, and create separate checklists for them as well.
NEW HIRE ONBOARDING PLAN
The onboarding process helps the company and the new hires understand what needs to be accomplished for a new hire’s transition into the organization. Effectively done, a structured onboarding process can improve not only employee retention but also new hire productivity. It is an opportunity to give new hires a great experience and something to look forward to in your organization.
One thing that can help with successful onboarding is to partner with a reliable specialist platform like Veremark. We conduct background checks - a key step in any onboarding process - in a way that can be easily integrated into your workflow, making your hiring and onboarding process more efficient and significantly improving compliance with relevant laws.
Our services are also flexible and scalable - you can partner with us for background checks on a small or large-scale basis. With Veremark, we can help ensure an effective and successful onboarding process.
Request a discovery session with one of our background screening experts today.