How To Create an Effective Onboarding Process

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 29 September 2021

The culmination of the recruiting process is bringing a new hire on board. The experience of the newest employee during this process can help shape their attitude towards their work, their team and the brand itself. By designing a process for onboarding that helps make the candidate feel welcome and included, HR professionals can create better team cohesion and reduce turnover. In this article, we discuss what steps you can take to build a successful onboarding process that delights the candidate and inspires loyalty in the company.

How to create a successful onboarding process

The onboarding process helps prepare the new hire to become a productive and successful member of the team. This process is more than just an introduction to the office or the job. In many ways, the onboarding experience helps solidify your company's brand within the new employee. Their experiences while going through this process can help shape their understanding of how the company sees itself and its values. Follow these steps to create an effective process for onboarding:

1. Start with the recruitment phase

Effective recruiters and HR professionals see the entire recruitment as a journey. This journey lasts from applying for the job to receiving your first salary payment through ongoing training and engagement. It's the beginning of the journey that may have a disproportionate impact on the candidate's experience. When conducting the initial hiring steps of screening and selecting suitable candidates, an HR professional can create moments of positive surprise by showing:

  • a strong sense of the brand values

  • moments of unexpected convenience

  • opportunities for genuine curiosity

  • experience of trust

By creating natural moments of delight, you can shape the new employee's level of loyalty to the company. Remembering a personal detail from your conversation, asking relevant questions or simply providing an extra bit of support in the process can make the candidate feel cared for. The hiring and onboarding process can be a challenge to a candidate on an emotional level. By providing transparent, reassuring and personalised follow-up, you can make sure that the candidate feels good about the process regardless of the selection decision.

Related: 6 Stages of an Effective Recruitment Process

2. Communicate frequently

The job search and interview process can make candidates feel vulnerable as you test them and examined for their level of professional skills and culture fit with the employer. Once the candidate has passed the selection hurdles, the communication from HR guides them towards a sense of excitement to be joining the team. At this stage of the process, frequent communication with the candidate provides:

  • a way to orient themselves in the new job

  • understanding of work priorities

  • a clear vision of the team reporting structure

  • understanding of internal processes and procedures

This stage is easier for the new hire if you provide clear expectations about the process. By letting the new employee know exactly what to expect, you can help them see how they are meaningfully progressing towards being ready to not only start work but succeed in their new role. One effective approach to setting precise expectations and milestones for the new hire. By telling them what they are likely to accomplish, know or be able to do after the first day, first week and first month, you're helping the new hire feel more secure.

Related**: [4 Types of Communication (With Examples)** ](https://uk.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/types-of-communication)

3. Find knowledge gaps

It's likely that the onboarding activities created by the hiring manager miss some moments about working at the company. By asking recent hires and long-serving staff about their experience, an HR department can help fill in missing pieces. If you treat every new hire as another opportunity to re-examine your onboarding user experience, you can continuously improve your recruitment process. Consider doing a user feedback session throughout the onboarding process to understand what the new hire feels and experience going through this process. You may gain valuable insights about critical information that you can communicate better.

4. Ask for insight from long-time workers

Along with asking new hires for their impressions about the onboarding insights, consider drawing on the experience of the senior leaders and long-time workers. Asking these more experienced workers about understanding and information gaps they see in newcomers helps you refine your process and reset priorities in communication. By understanding what the immediate leaders of new hires with their new workers knew, you can help identify missing pieces in your onboarding approach.

Related: How To Build a Successful Team: a Step-By-Step Guide

5. Help delegate tasks

Every community finds ways to make their jobs easier. One of the ways this happens is through natural specialisation among the various team members. As the team works together, some workers emerge as particularly skilled or proficient in a specialised set of tasks. By helping your new hire understand these informal specialisations within the team, you can help them become more efficient in their work. Giving this kind of information to new hires can also help them integrate into the team faster.

This kind of team knowledge can also include effective approaches to solving some tasks more efficiently by:

  • helping the new hire learn these tricks of the trade quickly

  • promote the sense of team's shared knowledge

  • mapping out useful resources such as vendors and internal resources

  • navigating internal procedures more efficiently

  • avoiding common mistakes and pitfalls

  • creating a sense of institutional knowledge within a team

6. Create a sense of inclusion

Entering a new community can pose challenges for those who are not naturally extroverted. Showing the diversity of your workplace and fostering a sense of inclusion can help those who are less outgoing to feel comfortable and included. Making sure that the new employee is aware of any diversity inclusion programmes can help the new hire find their own comfort zone within the new social environment.

You can help create a sense of inclusion by offering informal introductions to the new hires. By connecting them to the social and cultural activities that are popular in the organisation, you can also help the new hires navigate the new social environment and find a niche that resonates with their passions and personalities. It helps to keep up with the social developments within your office, especially if you're part of a large organisation. Helping the employees connect through common causes, interests or hobbies may help develop a vibrant internal culture within your organisation.

Related**: [Job Search Guide: Finding Companies That Value Diversity & Inclusion**](https://uk.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/finding-a-diverse-and-inclusive-workplace)

7. Help the employee maximise their benefits

An important aspect of feeling a sense of belonging is having access to the knowledge of the group. This kind of specialised knowledge serves as a marker for those who are a part of the team. One frequently overlooked version of this knowledge is how to get the maximum benefit from your employment perks. Whether it's navigating the holiday policy or knowing to reserve time off for a specific season in advance, helping a new hire feel well-informed on these matters may increase their trust towards the employer.

8. Create a sense of caring for the whole person

Providing the new employee with meaningful advice about making full use of all the employee benefits, you're helping reinforce a sense of trust and genuine goodwill between an employee and the company. By taking the time to understand the individual needs and interests of your new hires, you can also glean valuable insight into the design of your benefits packages.

Solicit feedback and advice from new hires regarding their experience with the company benefits package to understand which communities you can serve better through adjustments to the standard benefits package.

9. Practice continuous team-building

An HR professional's job is not over once the new hire is fully prepared to get to work. Regular check-ins and assessments can help you keep yourself aware of the employee's job satisfaction and performance. The frequency of checking in with the staff may decline after the initial onboarding phase. A regular programme of checking up on the feelings and attitudes of the employees can help alert HR staff of shifts in the employees' attitudes. Proactively responding to these shifts can help prevent future problems and help employees feel cared about by their employer.

Related: Team Building Skills: Definition and Examples

10. Find informal ways to give feedback

While many companies engage in regular performance reviews, it's often helpful to encourage more frequent communication between the human resources function and the workforce. By encouraging the managers to provide informal review sessions with their employees, a company can encourage a faster cycle of response to employee concerns. By being proactive and responsive, the company can earn workers' trust and build a stronger sense of loyalty.

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