Why Onboarding can be make or break for HR

by Bobby Hilliard | Dec 19, 2017

Human Resources is hard work. HR professionals have to mediate issues, but also try to remain a neutral party, despite their feelings on a situation – good or bad. The average HR person has to manage a cavalcade of personalities and do it with tact.

There’s leadership training, updating the staff on new changes to company policy, and then the patchwork of the daily grind.

One of HR’s biggest jobs is managing new hires and walking them through the onboarding process. Onboarding is critical when it comes to how new hires because it tips the hand of how their relationship with HR will go from here on out.

If the HR person seems open and emotionally available, that lets the new hire know that the door is open and if there’s an issue, it’s ok to stop by and talk. A good HR person is someone who sees the diversity of a whole lot of people’s attitudes from different angles and helps realize a solution long before an incident becomes a problem.

One of the reasons getting onboarding right is that it puts a human face first.

Onboarding new hires shouldn’t be rushed. Give new the new members of the team time to dive deep into the papers they’re signing and ask questions. A bold statement would be to give new hires two days of onboarding before being released into the company’s general population. It seems silly, but because a new hire was pushed through onboarding, something could be confused and have a ripple effect down the line.

HR Hell is constantly trying to fill recruiting holes and deal with a litany of paperwork every 12 months because someone wasn’t vetted properly, or at the very least wasn’t onboarded correctly. There’s the initial welcome, the introduction to the company, and then there’s the packets of documents, NDA’s, the insurance forms, benefit guides, direct deposit, etc. There’s a lot of paperwork when a new hire signs on.

After the paperwork, there’s ramp up, meeting new teammates, and finding out where the bathroom is. Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), states turnover can be as high as 50% after 18 months. Back in the day, people stayed on the job forever. Now? Companies have to compete with insane perks for top talent. The average person goes through ten to fifteen jobs before age forty. Just to replace someone costs the company 25% of that person’s salary.

Because of this circumstantial mix, onboarding should be a two-day process: one day for paperwork and a comfortable pace of company expectations. Day two should be meeting a variety of team members and getting to know the lay of the land. Some company’s even assign a “buddy” so that new hires have someone to latch onto as a means to adopt company culture.

The three most significant tentpoles of onboarding are:

  • Culture
  • People
  • Values

It’s important to give the correct representation of what the company stands for and why the dynamic works. The new hires need to understand and grasp what the company’s values are something like: We stand for these tenants because we believe these are the keys to our success. We value hard work and accept failures as a part of the learning process. Insert some other high spirited stuff that looks good hanging on a wall.

Knowing and understanding the place of values is critical. Getting the new hire deep within the team’s culture is also paramount. Culture is everything and ensuring the onboarding process makes it clear what the company is about is an important goal to hit. If the company is progressive and transparent with their workflow, everyone coming on board needs to get with the program of standups, agile workflows, etc.

The onboarding process can be grueling, especially if the company’s hiring is expanding fast. But because there are some fantastic HR folks out there, they’ll always find a way to make an otherwise mundane process awesome.

by Bobby Hilliard | Dec 19, 2017

by Bobby Hilliard | Dec 19, 2017

by Bobby Hilliard | Dec 19, 2017