3 Vertical Bridge consultants weigh in on the importance of onboarding employees

Recently three of our senior HR consultants weighed in on the value of “Onboarding” a new hire.  Each brings a different perspective on the subject and this month we’re sharing their insights with you.

Debbie Aarons
Senior HR & Leadership Consultant

I like to equate onboarding to gardening. Think about a time when you have chosen a new plant to brighten up your indoor or outdoor space. You have the best intentions to take care of your plant but you don’t take the time to prepare the soil, water, fertilize or provide enough sun. Instead of thriving, and bringing brightness to your environment, your plant barely survives. It’s the same outcome when we throw new talent into the deep end and expect them to thrive and add value to your business.

“I like to equate onboarding to gardening.”
– Debbie Aarons

Bringing in new talent requires the planning and investment and great leaders take responsibility for effective on boarding. They know that employees need to become immersed in the culture in order for them to flourish, maximize their strengths and perform at their best.  They provide direction, tools and the support needed to enable the new hire to get up-to-speed quickly.  They ensure that fresh talent adds value to the landscape instead of getting lost in the weeds!

Laurie Caldi
Senior HR Consultant

An organization may “tick all the boxes” but does it feel right when you walk inside?  Much like house hunting, a lot is riding on ‘the right feel’.  Creating a welcoming, comprehensive onboarding process can truly help a company’s chances of getting it right.  You want the employee to feel welcome and valued, to know you care about their success and development. You want to reinforce in the employee’s mind that they made the right choice (and nix any thoughts of buyers’ remorse).

“You want to reinforce in the employee’s mind that they made the right choice. ”
Laurie Caldi

Some HR groups make the mistake of taking on too much themselves and others dump it all on the hiring manager or pass the new hire a stack of manuals to “get oriented”.  What’s better, is to create an orientation schedule, listing all the various items to cover and assigning accountability for these steps to various team members.  This way, each person can make their area impactful and the new hire will have many contacts right away.  Imagine how much more inspiring it would be to have the CEO or another passionate team member review the company’s mission, vision, values, and history vs “phoning it in” or having the employee read dry words on a page.

Dawn Longshaw
HR Consultant & Recruitment Specialist

The hiring process isn’t over when the candidate signs the offer letter. It doesn’t end until the employee is functioning at full capacity in the new position, often weeks or months after the first day at work.  Even the best hire can be sabotaged by a poor onboarding process. After making an investment of time and resources in a hiring process, you want to protect that recruitment investment.

“A strong onboarding process can help companies compete for talent.”
– Dawn Longshaw

Consider integrating onboarding into the recruitment process. A strong onboarding process can help companies compete for talent.  Talking to a candidate about what their first 90 days will look like and the support they will be offered to succeed makes for a compelling offer and can help them make their decision to join your company more quickly.  Matching their motivation and aspirations to your expectations and what you can offer is an important element in making a good hire.