In the final part of our series on how to hire to the best people we take a look at how to onboard and retain top talent. So far, we have looked at how to attract top talent and what your recruitment process says about you. Part 3 will focus on the final stage of recruitment and how you can onboard and retain staff to get the most out of your new hires.
- Onboarding plays a key role in engaging staff with your company
- A good onboarding experience can help employees perform better and reduce turnover
- There are a number of steps you can take to help retain your top talent for longer
Hopefully you have a process in place to attract the best candidates for your role and a hiring procedure that allows you to select the best applicant. The final stage in the process is to successfully onboard the person and hopefully have a successful future together.
Why Onboarding Is Important
Onboarding plays an important role in an organisation as it sets the scene for the relationship between employee and employer. A good onboarding can get your employee engaged and working towards clear goals. A bad onboarding can lead to disengaged staff and poor performance.
33% of employees knew whether they would stay with their company long term after the first week. This highlights the importance of making a good first impression. If you have gone through all that hard to work to find the right candidate, the last thing you want is for the employee to already be questioning their decision within the first few weeks. Research from BambooHR also found that companies with an effective onboarding experience are 29 times more likely to feel satisfied at work. Clearly there are numerous benefits associated with a strong onboarding plan so what steps can you take to improve your onboarding process?
How To Successfully Onboard Employees
Once you have made an offer of employment, your onboarding process is already underway. Here are a number of ways you can help to improve your onboarding.
Keep Them Engaged
Engage early and often. Make your new hire feel welcome and keep lines of communication open. Give them opportunity to provide feedback and make sure you are checking in with them regularly so they know what they are doing and to help them feel welcome.
It is vital that you set a realistic expectation of what the onboarding process will look like to reduce anxiety and limit any surprises. If the candidate expects one thing and experiences another this could cause some early problems and even lead to them jumping ship.
Along with setting expectations for the employee you should make it clear what is expected from them. Explain how you will be measuring success and the specific goals they should be aiming for. This will help them buy into the overall company goals and give them a clearer idea of what they should be focusing on.
Create Positive Experiences
Having a clear process in place will help staff onboard but you can go beyond this by offering moments of magic. This could be something as simple as providing them with a welcome hamper or taking the time to get to know them and their life outside of work. These small gestures just help create a positive atmosphere in these early stages.
Create a Sense of Belonging
When you hire a new employee, it is like bringing someone into your family. Make them feel welcome and help them understand the values and purpose of your company. The more they engage with your brand and believe in your company, the more likely they are to have a positive onboarding experience and stick with you.
How To Onboard Remotely
Most of the examples given so far would be relevant whether onboarding in house or digitally but there are some specific ways you can improve you onboarding process for new remote employees.
The last thing you want is for your employees to be sat thinking ‘what should I be doing now?’. Remote onboarding requires you to provide more clear explanation and set expectations of what should be done and when. Rather than dictating every aspect though, you could consider more of a self-onboarding process which gives more autonomy to the employee. This means you could outline what your expectations of the first couple of months looks like, provide relevant training and support and then allow the employee to dictate more of the day to day activities.
Joining a new company remotely can be a daunting experience and not having colleagues around you to ask questions or get to know can make it a lonely experience. Keep regular communication and ensure the employee knows what channels are available and who to go to with any questions. Look at introducing a buddy system that will give them a specific colleague to support them throughout the early stages of their role.
Everyone will have a different set up at home and might not feel comfortable asking for equipment when they have just joined a company. Provide your employees with a checklist of recommended equipment and provide them with anything they might be missing. Helping them get set up and get into a routine will help them settle in the company more easily.
How To Retain Top Talent
Onboarding is one thing but retaining and engaging that employee over the long term is a whole different proposition. Here are some of the top ways you can keep your new hires engaged.
The world of work has changed over the last few years and employee expectations have shifted. The typical 9-5 office life is no longer the case for many people so it is vital that you show flexibility. Global Talent Trends found that 51% of employees wish their company offered a more flexible work option. If you are not showing flexibility, then you risk employees looking elsewhere at a company that does.
Allowing your staff to choose the time, location and way they work that aligns with your company goals can lead to increased productivity, lower absenteeism and improvement in the employee’s well-being.
Offer Benefits That Matter
A survey from Glassdoor found that 60% of people reported that perks and benefits are essential when deciding whether to accept a job offer. Offering health and wellbeing perks, generous holiday allowance and other perks will help keep your top talent with you long term.
Build a Culture
Focus on building a company culture so amazing that no-one would want to leave it and people would want to be a part of it. This might be focusing on team building activities to get your employees socially engaged or ensuring you have a healthy company culture. A toxic work environment can be a major cause of staff turnover so building a positive, inclusive environment can help you hold on to staff for longer.
Top talent usually are looking for career progression and that is not just about earning more money. Encouraging staff to learn and evolve can not only help them improve their performance but can reduce turnover as they feel more engaged. If you can create internal opportunities for employees then that can be a great way to help them grow but this could also be learning new skills and giving them additional responsibilities.
From your job description, all the way to the first few weeks in the job, every stage is important to getting the best quality talent in your organisation and keeping them engaged for the long term.
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