The Most Important Step in Smart Hiring is Often Overlooked

Congratulations! Your top-rated candidate has accepted the offer and he or she is set to report to work in two weeks. As you draft your new-hire report, you look back at your hiring process in pride: you advertised the position, you sourced multiple recruiting channels, and you optimized a smart recruiting solution that utilizes artificial intelligence to sift through applying candidates in no time (bonus: if you are not using a smart hiring solution, the future of recruiting is passing you by! Click here to learn more). Chances are, once your candidate accepts the offer, you check this hiring assignment off your list and move to the next one without realizing that the most important step in smart hiring takes place after your candidate accepts the offer. This step is called On-boarding.  Intrigued? Carry on!

Often times, companies invest the time and energy to make a hire but they don’t necessarily invest an equivalent amount of time in making this hire a successful one. Most companies lack a clear and a structured on-boarding process. Such process, if implemented right, serves two equally important purposes for both the employer and the employee: One; it allows the new hire to smoothly and comfortably settle in his or her new role by limiting and prioritizing the flow and transfer of information to avoid overwhelming and further by slowly meeting the involved stakeholders (co-workers, senior management, clients, suppliers, etc.) and getting to know who does what. Two; it allows the employer to quickly assess the potential of a new hire and how likely –and quickly- are they to able to adapt to the company’s culture and working environment.  But how do you design and implement a successful onboarding process? It all starts with a clear induction plan that is communicated to the new hire before his or her first day and with clear and tailored milestones to reach within a defined timeline. Such milestones could vary depending on the position and include, but are not limited to, familiarizing oneself with company’s product or service offerings, familiarizing oneself with the company’s manual, meeting the senior management team, meeting clients, signing all legal paperwork, etc. The goal here is to first set goals for your new hire and then help them achieve those goals on a regular basis until they are able –or not- to position themselves in a leadership role. This will boost their self-confidence which will better allow them to integrate their personal and technical skills and perform their job duties to the best of their abilities.

An induction plan is the first step. The second step to ensuring a successful on-boarding process is to assign a mentor who is willing to supports a new hire leverage their skills and navigate the learning curve inherent in any new role. Trusted mentors are an integral part of your on-boarding process and pave the way for your new hire to quickly assimilate and be an effective part of your company. A mentor can help a new hire quickly learn what they need to know to succeed in their job. A mentor can point a new hire in the right direction when he or she has a specific question or concern. From a past experience, a mentor can further advise a new hire on what skills they need to develop to excel in their role.

Now comes the best part: once your new hire is fully integrated, you should seek their feedback on the on-boarding process that you as an employer have implemented to see what worked and what didn’t. What was the most helpful to them and what was the least helpful. As you collect feedback on one hire after another, you can make the necessary tweaks and adjustments to your on-boarding process to make it more engaging, effective, and fun. Yes fun. After all, your human capital is your company’s greatest asset and such investment will pay dividends in the future.