When sourcing potential new-hires, you look for the best of the best. Your screening process weeds out unqualified candidates and targets those who possess the skill-set best suited to your organization’s needs. You have designed a multi-layered and thorough interview process, and you make hiring decisions with the utmost confidence. The offer is extended and happily accepted. The transformation process from candidate to employee now begins.
This transformation is known as employee onboarding. This is the period when departments such as Human Resources and Payroll perform the administrative tasks required to make your new-hire a legal and official employee. Paperwork will be filled out. Tax forms, insurance documentation, and direct-deposit authorizations all must be signed, verified, and filed with the appropriate agencies. A background investigation will almost certainly be conducted; possibly to review your new-hire’s credit history, and probably their criminal history. And your new-hire may be required to submit to a drug screening as a condition of employment.
Though employee onboarding is the essential obligation of any legitimate company, the process can be both lengthy, and cumbersome. And for the new-hire, this period can feel like a never-ending wait for their first day of work. The onboarding process may last as long as four weeks or more. All the while funds are being invested into an employee who has yet to generate any return on that investment.
Consequences of a lengthy employee onboarding period
There are an infinite amount of negatives associated with a long onboarding process. However the most impactful is the loss of revenue. Although your new-hire may have yet to draw a paycheck, other employees are paid to perform the duties required prior to the start-date. In addition to lost revenue, your new-hire may begin to feel as though you have abandoned them. It is very possible that they are being pursued by other potential employers. The longer they remain idle, the better the odds become that they may have a change of heart, thereby eliminating any chance for a return on your investment.
It’s also important to remember that this is the first real opportunity your new-hire will have to evaluate your company’s administrative efficiency. A disorganized, or extremely-long onboarding process sets a poor precedent and establishes the acceptability of minimal effort.
Benefits of a shortened employee onboarding period
The benefits of a more expedient onboarding process are numerous and substantial. The faster your new-hire begins officially training for their new position, the faster they can actually begin performing the job you hired (and are paying) them to perform. On the other hand, an onboarding software can positively impact productivity, profitability, employee morale and retention, and overall stability of your organization. The old adage “time is money” remains true to this day. Every moment wasted is a missed opportunity to earn additional revenue.
Starting off on a positive note helps to strengthen the employee-employer relationship. If your new-hire believes you are moving through the process as quickly and accurately as possible, they will feel respected and valued and will become more engaged as an employee. Additionally, onboarding made faster and easier for your new hires can also ensure quicker returns on your investment. A loyal and dedicated workforce is the key to success for any company, and the foundation of those qualities is built during the onboarding period.
How to make employee onboarding faster and easier
The best way to ensure a smooth and timely employee onboarding process is through communication. Remain in continuous contact with your new hire, and keep them apprised of their status throughout the process. Many companies have begun using videos, and other online resources to make certain required actions and instructions regarding how to complete the process more accessible to the new-hire. This keeps them more involved in the process and helps them to acclimate to the culture and structure of your organization. It also helps develop familiarity with specific individuals, and the operational-methods utilized by specific administrative departments.
Many companies have adopted a system of pre-boarding for new-hires immediately upon their acceptance of the offered position. A successful pre-boarding program incorporates many of the steps covered above, while typically adding a dedicated People Operations team to ensure continuous engagement between the new-hire, and the company. They act as guide throughout the entire onboarding period, all the way until the official first day of employment.
Start fast…finish strong
The hiring manager undoubtedly took their time selecting the perfect candidate for your team. That process should not be rushed. Hasty hiring decisions will generally lead to lackluster employees. As stated earlier, a strong selection process must be thorough and multi-layered. However, once that decision is made, the transition should begin immediately. Once again…time is money. Wasting either is bad for business.