Intentional Onboarding

Intentional Onboarding

By Staci Hegarty, M.Ed., COO

Starting a new job brings a range of emotions, from joy to apprehension to anxiety. The first day of a new job sets the tone for what an employee can expect from the organization. Many times, the onboarding process has been in place for years, with additions being made as needed. During the early days of the pandemic in 2020, companies were forced to quickly change the way they worked, including how new employees were brought in. Technology can be very useful as a support tool for onboarding, but it should not be the main character in the onboarding process. Even remote employees need some human interaction, especially during the onboarding process. 

Onboarding begins where hiring ends. The offer letter is the first step in the onboarding experience. It should be provided in a timely fashion and include all the relevant information, such as start date, salary, work location, and Next Steps. Most people will not resign from their current job until they have the offer letter, any delay not only causes a delay in starting the new role, but it may also cause stress for the new employee before they have even started!

When possible, have the new employee complete most paperwork before the first day. Even if it is not 100% complete, it will allow everyone to focus on connecting with each other instead of filling out forms. Your company may have protocols for badges, logins, keys, and parking passes that are contingent upon new hire paperwork. Doing this early will mean that the new employee has everything they need on Day One. This is especially helpful if you are onboarding multiple people on the same day.

Provide an agenda for the first day, or first few days. Some things never really change, the first day of school was stressful for most of us as children. The first day of a new job is stressful for the same reasons. Will I get lost? Will I know enough? Will I be alone at lunch? An agenda that introduces the new employee to their new boss, new colleagues, other departments, and organizational leaders will help alleviate some nervousness. Conduct a tour of the facility early the first day to help employees build a mental picture of what their environment will be like. The sooner a new employee has the basics, the sooner they can start focusing on the role-based tasks.

Onboarding does not end after the first few days of employment. It takes time for people to learn their role, how they fit in with the big picture, and what the culture of the organization demands from people. Keeping new employees close for the initial 90 days will help build confidence, help managers to assess training needs, and allows new employees to fail in a way that will not be catastrophic. Even people with experience in the role need to time to adapt and adjust to a new company, with different systems and different expectations. 

For some people, asking questions and speaking up comes easily. For others, it can be difficult to seek answers without feeling exposed or insecure. A thorough onboarding process that continues beyond the first week will allow new employees, regardless of confidence or disposition, the opportunity to learn while also becoming integrated into the culture of the organization. When surveyed, 94% of respondents indicated that a feeling of belonging is critical to their opinion of their employer. Don’t make new employees work too hard to belong, build a process that fosters belonging and inclusion from the beginning.

Contact Envision RISE for more information about how we can assist in building and maintaining efficient and ethical hiring practices and processes.

Our evolutionary platform helps companies create a powerful integration and understanding of the relationship between the organization and the workforce. Envision RISE empowers your people to drive continual change and innovation through effective strategy and transformation.


Ethical Hiring Practices

Ethical Hiring Practices: Building a Robust Workforce in the Modern Employment Era

By Staci Hegarty, M.Ed., COO

The job vacancy rate in the US is currently 5.4%, higher than the average of 3.55%. Unemployment is at a nearly 50 year low, at 3.7%, By 2030, all Baby Boomers will have reached the traditional retirement age of 65, leaving more job vacancies. Organizations are struggling to fill existing vacancies, especially in healthcare and technology https://www.bls.gov/ooh/most-new-jobs.htm. To fill critical roles, it may be tempting to rush through the hiring process or even cut corners to ensure adequate staffing levels.

Ethical hiring practices not only lead to increased job performance, but also to greater employee satisfaction and retention. Every company wants to believe that they are honest and transparent when hiring and onboarding a new employee, yet some employees feel that they were not provided with all the information they needed to make a good decision about accepting an offer.

Transparency

It starts with transparency. Over time, job descriptions and the actual job function may become very different. It is necessary to update job descriptions regularly, with a thorough evaluation prior to posting the job vacancy. If the role has been filled by a long-term employee, it is entirely possible that the former employee was doing a lot of tasks that are not outlined in the job description. Sometimes companies may determine that the role should now be split into two separate jobs, rather than trying to find someone new with a broader skill set. Letting a potential applicant know all the expectations will save time and frustration for everyone. Resist the urge to let the sentence “Miscellaneous duties as assigned” do too much heavy lifting in your job descriptions.

Recognize who is “missing from the table.” There is a lot of discussion now about “hiring quotas for diversity.” This is not the same thing as mindful hiring. Recognizing that certain voices are missing from your organization should not result in a quota mindset, but it may encourage your company to expand or change current recruiting practices to increase the diversity of the candidate pool.

Candidate Sourcing

Be proactive in your sourcing of candidates. It is tempting to let technology do the initial screening, and many organizations assume that AI will filter out any human biases. Research shows that because AI uses human input, those biases can remain. Decide at what point in the process humans will be involved in reviewing resumes. If you are looking for greater diversity, it may take a more hands-on effort that requires humans to be involved from the beginning.

Determine the urgency of each hire. Some roles play a more integral part in the day-to-day operations than others. Replacing a salesperson on a team of 50 may not have the same urgency as replacing a staff account on a team of three. This will help your talent acquisition department know where to focus their energies or even bring in an outside recruiting agency.

The Interview Process

Formalize your interview process. Use a standard set of questions for every candidate. Consider forming an interview panel that consists of people from different departments and roles. Make the panel as diverse as possible, not just in race, gender, and age, but also in time with company. Each person will bring their own lived experience to the interview, which will lead to greater insights for both the company and the candidate.

Share your timeline and keep the candidate updated on their status. Whether you are looking to hire in the next month or the next three months, it’s important to let the candidate know what to expect. Even if your projected start date is a few months out, that does not necessarily mean you will lose the candidate if you keep them updated on their status. If you tell the candidate you will be making a decision quickly, give them a date to expect a decision. Do not “ghost” a candidate if you do not plan to proceed with them! Most people would prefer an honest answer so that they can move on with other options. Honesty says a lot about your organization, even if the candidate is disappointed in the outcome of the interview.

Your company’s reputation is more than your marketing campaign. Your hiring process tells potential future employees, and possibly future customers, a lot about your organization. Honesty, transparency, and consistent communication are markers of integrity. A candidate may not get the job, but they will still tell people about the good experience they had during the process. Word of mouth can go a long way in building a reputation outside of your branding.

Contact Envision RISE for more information about how we can assist in building and maintaining efficient and ethical hiring practices and processes.

Our evolutionary platform helps companies create a powerful integration and understanding of the relationship between the organization and the workforce. Envision RISE empowers your people to drive continual change and innovation through effective strategy and transformation.