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So you had a job opening at your company, you created a hiring plan, followed it, and in the end you found that star employee you were looking for.  You are done right?  Well first, this would be an extremely short blog post if you were done.  So the answer to that question is not really.

You are done the recruitment and selection process but now begins the retention part of this thing in HR we call the Employee Life Cycle.  So now that you have hired employee(s) it’s your job to keep them or retain them and the first part of retention is New Hire Onboarding.

When does it start?  Well it started from the second you posted your job, contacted candidates and started bringing them through your recruitment process.  This is why MKS HR recommends following the hiring plan we have laid out for you in this hiring series.

Now that you have found your new hire is where the rubber hits the road in the retention of this employee.  How long is the onboarding process?  Well that can depend on the size of your company.  For smaller and medium sized companies it could last for the first 3 months of employment and for the larger companies it can be as long as the employee’s first year.   What you need to remember is that from the moment your new hire has said yes to your offer, that is when the relationship between them and you begins.

In a 2012 study done by Strategy (formerly Booz & Company) 15% of all new hires contemplate quitting after their first day. This is true if a company doesn’t have a formal onboarding program that begins Day 1.  Yes I know that statistic sounds a little ridiculous but think back to your first day on a job.  Was it one that you remembered for the right reasons…or one you remembered for the wrong reason?  Was your Manager running late and not even able to meet you personally when you first walked through the office door?  Did the receptionist even know where your desk was located?

So what should a good onboarding program have? What are its goals?

  • Reduce Time to Productivity-here you want your onboarding program to give your new hire all the information, skills, and equipment needed to perform their job at a productive level.  If you onboard your new hire(s) well they will get up to speed more quickly so they are not considered the “newbies” anymore
  • Reduces Stress-if new hires know what they need to know before they need to know it, then they can focus on their jobs rather than focusing on how they are coming into the job not knowing anything
  • Reduces Turnover-if your onboarding program is strong it assures your new hire that they are valued and have all the necessary tools to succeed.  It’s shows the new hire that the company truly cares about its employees and makes it a lot less likely they will be looking for another job
  • Develops Job Knowledge-a solid onboarding program teaches your new hire about your company’s mission, vision, values, and company culture.  More importantly they understand their role and how it relates back to your company’s big picture operations.  They learn what’s expected of them, how to deliver and when they will be evaluated

So when should the onboarding plan begin?  Ideally it begins once your new hire has accepted your offer, signed the offer letter and sent it back to you.  There are some items to have set up and ready to go their first day and then the onboarding plan continues on from Day 1, and can go as long as it really needs to.  As mentioned before that can be for 3 months for some companies and for others it can mean 6 or even 12 months.

So what should your new hire onboarding plan look like because you might be thinking that you don’t even know where to begin?  Well as always MKS HR wants to make you work smarter, not harder.    We have created for you a New Hire Onboarding Guide that will take you through Pre-Day 1 (so what to do before their first day) to those first few weeks.

Click here to access your New Hire Onboarding plan!

Still have questions about this or hiring employees for your business?  Click here to book a free 45 minute consultation call with MKS HR.

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