Recruiting and keeping top job candidates is more competitive than ever before. Figuring out how to get them up to speed with your practices requires a bit of creativity. Every company has a different personality and onboarding experience practices that make it what it is. Much of what you do may have started in the early days and your current staff operates almost on autopilot.
Creating an amazing onboarding experience for newbies requires forgetting everything you know and looking at the world through fresh eyes. You’ll need a lot of feedback from those unfamiliar with your brand and tons of testing to get the onboarding experience just right.
How Do You Create an Exceptional Onboarding Experience?
In a survey of employers, Zippia discovered around 26% took a week to process new employees, 21% took a month and 11% utilized three or more months to bring new staff up to speed. While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to onboarding, ensure you give newbies ample time to learn the ins and outs of your company culture and policies.
Welcoming new employees helps them feel adept at their roles. People are less likely to leave for competitors if you pay them well, treat them like humans and ensure they are comfortable in their positions. Here are the ways to create an amazing onboarding experience for the new people in your employ.
1. Assess the Employee Lifecycle
Your onboarding experience must consider the entire lifespan of the employee at your company. The onboarding process for a seasonal worker will be condensed compared to one who will be with you for thirty years or more.
You can also stretch out the onboarding experience for staff who are permanent as you have plenty of time to share knowledge and practices.
2. Tell Them the Benefits
Some of the reasons workers have left their jobs during the Great Resignation include seeking better pay, improved company culture and extensive benefits. Experts predict a 20% voluntary turnover each year, so at any time people might think about leaving, even new hires. Share upfront what perks they get by working for your brand over another.
Do you offer volunteer time off (VTO)? Share what perks workers gain as the bigger companies in your area might not offer them. Talk about healthcare, retirement plans and the little perks such as weekly free lunches. While a free pizza doesn’t and shouldn’t replace a livable wage, it can be an added bonus on top of an already attractive hiring package.
3. Vary Activities
Some of the onboarding experience activities new employees must go through include filling out paperwork, reading through policies, learning their specific job roles and understanding company culture. However, spending hours upon hours filling out paperwork is boring for anyone. Instead, try to vary the different onboarding tasks.
You might have them watch a video for 1 hour, fill out paperwork for 15 minutes, complete some other key tasks and then switch back to videos. The key is to switch up activities so onboarding doesn’t seem so monotonous.
4. Show Progress
When an employee first begins the onboarding process, they may feel as though it’s never ending. Add in Journey Maps, checklist, and agendas so they can see what is left to do and what they’ve already completed.
Using such tools also ensures you don’t miss any crucial information, especially if you jump around to different topics and sections to personalize the process and keep things interesting.
5. Automate the Experience
Most jobs are either remote or hybrid-remote at this point. Your onboarding experience should also be automated so the person can complete tasks on their own time in the comfort of their home.
Experts at Ladders recently stated around 25% of all jobs in North America are remote, with a predicted increase in the future. People are so intent on continuing to work from home that some are leaving their jobs
6. Personalize the Experience
Employees arrive with different levels of knowledge. Perhaps they worked for you in the past or worked in a similar role for another company. Start by figuring out what they know. You can lose anything they might not need.
Talk to them about anything they don’t fully understand through the process. You can always add additional resources or move things around. Customize onboarding as much as possible so the person feels they are a vital part of the company and you want them involved in all aspects.
7. Appoint Mentors
One of the most difficult parts of going to work somewhere new is knowing who to go to with questions. Who can you rely on? In the first few weeks of a job, the person may have daily questions. They should feel welcome to ask anything so they fully understand their role.
Part of your onboarding process should be connecting newbies with experienced workers. Give the several people they can turn to and learn more about anything imaginable. By introducing them to several people, you avoid a situation where one person is interrupted by endless questions. Encourage long-time employees to reach out to newbies and invite them to lunch or after work activities as company policy allows.
Ask for Feedback
At the end of your onboarding process, ask for some straightforward feedback. Improve your onboarding experience with each new batch of newbies who come into your company. Learn from any mistakes, fix them and move on. Over time, your onboarding will rival any large corporation’s. The goal is to attract top candidates and build trust and loyalty that lasts for decades.
About The Author
Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dogs, Bear and Lucy.