If you’ve been in the HR game for a while, you know that human resources folks love nothing more than a new buzz word. The latest one? “New joiner experience.”
This term basically captures everything that your employee faces when they come on board with your company. From the very first interview to making their first sale, the experience of your newbies is important because it is directly linked to their performance on the job and even how long they stay with your company.
With this in mind, you need to look critically at your own onboarding process as an outsider and think critically about the changes that you can make to improve the experience for all future hires. Below, we have outlined a few of the questions you need to ask yourself to really understand what it’s like for the new hire.
It Starts with An Ad
To gauge your ability to get folks in the door, you need to first look at your help wanted ads. Are they targeting the right types of people? Are they being posted to the right types of job search sites? Is the job description used in the ad accurate in terms of what the job entails? Is the job advertised on your own website? Is it searchable for anyone doing just a casual google search based on their own skill sets?
What is a prospective candidate going to learn about your company? What does your online reputation look like? Review sites like Glassdoor can provide insight, but since reviews can be good or bad, they can be challenging. This is a time to make sure your online reputation is up to snuff.
Scoring an Interview
Once you’ve reviewed all the resumes, what do the next steps look like? If you do a phone interview first, do you get meaningful responses that help you to determine whether they deserve a second round? How many rounds of interviews do you typically perform? What prolongs your interview process – and do you find that you lose folks if it runs too long?
Making the offer
When you have the often-uncomfortable compensation negotiation, how does that conversation typically look? Do you feel confident that the package that you are offering is competitive in your geographical market and compared to your competitors? How often do you get push back from candidates about your offerings? What have folks suggested you should add to your offerings?
Doing the paperwork
Hiring a new person often entails a ton of paperwork and it can prove to be a seriously cumbersome, yet absolutely crucial, part of the onboarding process. With this in mind, do you have a comprehensive new-hire packet that includes all of the relevant paperwork and a copy of the employee handbook? Do you have a point-person that new employees can turn to with answer questions about said paperwork? Do you have a person designated to do all the filing? Do you have a system for tracking down what’s been done and what’s outstanding?
When your new hire steps in the door, what does their first day look like? In most businesses, the first day, week, or even month includes at least some semblance of an orientation. What does that orientation look like? Who leads the orientation? What information does it cover – do you do a broad introduction to the company or do you drill down on the job? Do they get to meet other members of their teams, which studies show makes a big difference to future retention, and learn about how everyone functions together?
Proper onboarding and training drive employee engagement and retention.
Although it would be wonderful if every candidate came onboard knowing exactly what they should be doing in their new role, the reality is that just about everyone requires at least some modicum of training. Whether it is training about what the job entails, how a specific product works, how to use a particular system/software or pretty much anything in between, you need to consider the best way to convey this information AND determine whether this is something that you can do in-house or will need to hire out.
Sharing the Culture
Countless studies have suggested that the culture of your company – and how it is conveyed to your workers – is crucial to your bottom line (and your employees’ overall happiness in their role). With that in mind, conveying your company’s value system is not something that you can phone in. So how do you share your vision? Do you rely on your handbook to do the heavy lifting? Do you have someone lead a session (or a series of sessions) on the various aspects of your culture? How do you gauge whether employees grasp the concepts? What do you do if they don’t?
It might seem strange to talk about evaluating performance when an employee has only just gotten their foot in the door, but experts suggest it behooves you to do a review before the workers’ probationary period is up. To round out the employee experience, you should use this review time to provide feedback on progress towards goals, clarify expectations, and just generally help foster a strong employee-manager bond which again, studies have found is crucial to employee success. Are you conducting these types of check-ins? Do you have a plan in place for employees that are struggling? What about those who you need to let go?
While we certainly love the idea of looking from the outside in, another key source of data when you want to see how you’re doing with your onboarding is to go ahead and ask them. You could do this during a survey – or even during that 90-day performance check in – but request honest feedback about what was helpful, as well as what could be improved upon, and then actually make the changes.