5 Steps for Onboarding Your New Hire

6 Steps for Onboarding Your New Hire

Hiring new people into your organisation can be a costly process – both in terms of finance and time. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that your new hires experience an organised, professional and positive introduction to your business through a structured onboarding plan that gets the relationship off to the best possible start.

We’ve put together a six-step onboarding process that you can implement to ensure your new employees feel informed, valued and welcomed from day one.

1. Maintain Communication

Once the contract has been signed and a commencement date agreed, the real work starts. Although your new recruit may be busy working their notice, this is still a vital time for building your future working relationship.

Check in with your new starter on a regular basis throughout this period, either by phone or email, to keep them engaged and pave the way for a smooth transition. You can offer to share important updates on the projects they’ll be working on where appropriate, or simply invite them to a social event such as a team lunch.

This will help them to feel part of the team before they join and can alleviate any first-day anxiety or nerves. It will also help them hit the ground running, equipped with some background knowledge of the team and their work.

2. Remove Logistical Barriers

When your new employee walks through the door on their first day, there should be no confusion about where they go or who they meet.

Some of the key details to organise might sound obvious, but are often overlooked, include a desk with a working computer, passwords, company email address and a copy of their job description. Their security tags should be ready to go if needed, as well as any other important equipment they need to get started.

Company protocols and policies should also be provided on the first day, or even sent through via email in advance. This can cover information such as start and finish times, breaks, rules for internet use and specific emergency procedures.

3. Introduce New Faces

As a manager, it’s your job to create a stress-free working environment where your new starter feels welcome. Start by having a meeting with the entire team well before your new employee starts to give them some background on their new colleague. On “day one” organise a team meeting or morning tea to formally introduce them to their colleagues.

If the new hire is at a managerial level, you may wish to inform other senior staff or board members of the appointment and share details of their work history in the form of a brief bio. And don’t forget external stakeholders including clients and suppliers.

Remember, your new employee may feel overwhelmed by so many new names and faces, so also providing them with an Org chart would be helpful. This will make the process of learning names and titles easier, and it is something they can do in their own time. Plan out in advance who they should meet with on their first few days or weeks, and make diary dates in their calendar so that your new hire knows exactly where they need to be. It can also be a good idea to introduce them to a mentor so that they can direct their questions to someone specifically during the transition period.

4. Share the Bigger Picture

Regardless of skill, level or other relevant previous experience, all new employees should go through an orientation process in their first week. This is an important step for the employee to understand where they fit into the broader organisation and establish them firmly in the company’s unique culture.

The orientation should focus on the company’s purpose and vision, providing a better understanding of the organisation and how their role will be contributing to the bigger picture. Make sure they know the key people leading the organisation, such as the CEO or Board members.

Remember that a new employee’s first week can be daunting and often an information-overload, so help them prioritise what they need to focus on first. Encourage them to come to you with questions and queries as they arise.

5. Check-In Regularly and Set Goals

It is very important to be actively involved with your new employee during their first week. Scheduling daily catch ups will give you an indication of how they are transitioning into their new role and team. Whether you take them out for a coffee or have a quick chat at the start of the day, these frequent meetings will ensure any red flags, doubts or queries are addressed promptly.

This is also a great opportunity to set some goals for your employee in their new role. Find out what their ambitions are and think about the support you can offer to help realise them. This is a natural step on from the interview process where you would have discussed their motivations for applying for the position. Now you can plan how you will fulfil those career goals within your company, and help them envision a long-term future with the organisation.

6. Considerations for Remote Onboarding

Remote working is nothing new but in 2020 it became a necessity that’s going to leave a lasting legacy. Many organisations saw for the first time that remote processes could be scaled successfully without impacting productivity. With this in mind, any forward-thinking onboarding strategy must be adaptable for remote workers. Here are the key considerations when devising a remote onboarding process: 

  • Prepare thoroughly in advance. Have the usual welcome collateral as well as any technology permissions or hardware made sent to the candidate in the week prior to the start date.
  • Keep it manageable. Day one is the start of a new journey for both employer and employee, with that energy and eagerness to get started, there can be a temptation to pack the schedule from the get-go, getting those introductory presentions ticked off. Information overload can occur very easily within a remote context, limit your day-one video sessions to the essentials and plan regular breaks. 
  • As much face-time with colleagues as possible. When a new employee enters the office, apart from the scheduled introductory meetings that take place, there are also all of those ad-hoc encounters with other colleagues. When onboarding remotely, these spontaneous meet and greets don’t happen which can lead to new employees feeling siloed and slightly removed from the wider company social-ecosystem. The solution is simple, set up as many of these smaller meetings as possible via Zoom, Google Hangout or MS Teams to make sure your new hire feels fully acquainted. 

In Summary

A new employee will typically make a judgement call during their first week whether they made the right choice to take the new job. Not putting enough time into your onboarding processes may cost you a new and valuable employee. Create a checklist using our onboarding steps above and ensure there is absolutely no doubt from any new hire that they made the right decision in joining your company.

For more advice on onboarding best practice or help with recruiting top IT talent, contact our specialist technology recruitment teams in either Brisbane and Canberra.