The Best Onboarding Schedule for Retaining Talent

October 6, 2021 by Verified First

Back to School Blog Series The Best Onboarding Schedule for Retaining Talent

In June 2021 alone, 3.9 million workers quit their jobs in search of new positions. With the war for talent raging strong, companies are competing to attract talent. It’s no longer enough to stop talent management efforts after an employee has accepted a position. Onboarding is an important aspect of the new hire process and requires as much care as your recruitment strategy.

According to a study done by Gallup, a whopping 88% of employees said they had a negative onboarding experience when starting a new position. With only 12% of businesses doing onboarding “right,” it’s not a guarantee that the majority of companies will successfully retain all of their new hires. With the odds stacked against today’s employers, how can your business ensure success in the war for talent? 

The most effective way to satisfy new hires is through adopting a modern and engaging onboarding process that begins the moment a new hire accepts the position. To help you understand how to implement a successful onboarding plan into practice, we’re exploring the best onboarding schedule for retaining talent. 

Before a New Hire’s First Day:

What most companies fail to realize is that the onboarding process starts before a new employee walks through the door. An employer’s onboarding work efforts must begin prior to their start date in order to foster a winning onboarding process.

  • Documentation 

The dreaded documentation and paperwork phase of onboarding can seem endless. However, working on the documentation before a new hire starts is an easy way to devote more time to personal care once they walk in the door. It’s important to identify and organize a completion process. Know who in the company is responsible for which forms and let them know the proper timeline. The last thing you want is for a simple paperwork mistake made by the company to set back a new hire's start date. 

  • Designated Contact

Ensuring that a new hire has a set point of contact will encourage a smooth and positive onboarding process. As they’re tasked with filling out forms and providing official documentation to establish their employment, they may have time-sensitive questions. By providing them with a set contact, you’re building confidence in your new hire that their needs will be met.

  • Company IDs

If your company utilizes business emails for all employees or custom badges, begin creating them ahead of time. By creating their accounts or ID tags prior to their start date, you’re showing them that you’re prepared for their arrival. This will also allow for more time in the onboarding process for job-specific questions and training.

On the New Hire’s First Day:

Like children on the first day of school, many adults experience new job first day jitters. You want them to feel welcomed the moment they arrive at the company. Team building exercises or group activities is a great way to introduce the new hire to their teammates. Their perception of their first day will follow them far past the onboarding process. In an effort to retain talent, consider adding some personal touches. 

  • Establish a Designated Space

Much like a cubby in a classroom, establish a designated space for them to claim. Whether it’s a cubicle or employee locker, providing a safe spot for them to leave their belongings and/or work from will help them establish their new work identity in the space. If they’re a remote worker, consider adding a virtual hangout space through Google Hangouts or Zoom for the new employee to work alongside the rest of the team.

  • Give Them a Routine

While their first few weeks in their new positions will most likely not look like the position’s typical day-to-day, you want them to have a sense of routine. Have a manager create a timeline for what each day of onboarding will entail. That way the new employee can keep track of their progress and prepare for the next day’s events. 

  • Organize Set Breaks

The first day can be all gas and no breaks when it comes to providing information. While the information is common knowledge to you, it’s not for someone just starting. Don’t overwhelm them with all the information they’ll need for their job at once. Set aside time for them to process the information they’ve been provided or get to know other coworkers on their team. 

At the End of the First Week of Onboarding:

By the end of the first week, they should have a good understanding of what their new role entails. They’re most likely more familiar with their responsibilities and the general flow of the business. As they begin to develop a work identity, let them have a hand in their work goals. Giving an employee input on their work goals allows them to take ownership of their future growth and start to develop a career roadmap for their role in the company.

Just because they’re getting comfortable after the first week doesn’t mean they’re ready to go off on their own. In an onboarding survey conducted by BambooHR, 23% percent of respondents who left their role in the weeks prior to their start date stated that a lack of clear communication and resources was the reason for their departure

Schedule a time before the end of the week to let them ask questions. Go over the information previously provided to them and be transparent. Chances are that if they have a question they know has been previously answered, they won’t feel comfortable asking again. By letting them know that there’s open communication, you’re giving them time to gain confidence in their understanding of their role.

At the End of the First Month of Onboarding:

Congratulations! Your new employee is not so new anymore. They’ve been at their role for a month and (hopefully) have a solid understanding of their responsibilities. It’s easy to think that their onboarding process is coming to a close. 

According to SHRM, staffing and HR experts expect the onboarding process to successfully conclude after one year. That’s far past the first four weeks! The reason for such a long implementation according to the same study is that nearly 90% of employees decide to stay or go within the first six months, so the first month is still a crucial time in the onboarding process.

About Verified First
Verified First is known for delivering streamlined background screening backed by the best client support, and for developing the easiest, fastest HR system integrations, for free. Our client support team is U.S.-based, answers calls in seconds, resulting in hundreds of positive testimonials and a 96% customer satisfaction. Verified First's patent-pending, award-winning integrations include over 100 applicant tracking systems, and provide clients a turn-key experience.

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