The Importance of Employee Onboarding

In the HR field, much of the thrill of the chase comes from finding – and winning over – that one candidate who seems just perfect for the job. However, what is often overlooked is the process of onboarding, even though study after study shows that your ability to retain that star hire often is a direct reflection of the welcome and training you are able to provide.

Enter a new format called the talent center. HR Bartender describes the system as “dashboards where employees, managers, recruiting, and training can monitor and measure onboarding progress.” And how does this talent center measure all of this? Through checklists.

Yes, that old staple, that boring line-item memo, can make or break your onboarding. But HR Bartender implores you to hear her out, for the talent center makes the lowly checklist a system for the ages, one that is interactive and can truly help to measure progress towards training goals and create a transparent medium for managers and new hires to ensure accountability.

However, in order for this talent center to work, there are a few things that must be considered:

Employees and managers must know how to use it: A checklist generally seems straight forward. If you have a grasp of the concept or have received information on the topic, go ahead and put a check mark down. However, you need to decide what it means to have truly mastered a checklist item and convey that information to both managers and new hires alike so that it is used appropriately.

Survey employees on the line items: Checklists often fall out of favor because they can quickly become outdated or include line items that are of little relevance to a particular employee or even job function. These types of checklists are generally worthless and will almost certainly be misused. To prevent this issue, consider surveying managers and their employees about whether the onboarding checklist appropriately captures what is necessary to welcome new hires and get them set up for the tasks that they will encounter on a day-to-day basis.

Survey new hires: Within the first few weeks of a new hire, it makes sense to see whether the employee found the onboarding checklist helpful and – perhaps more importantly – relevant to their job. After all, they are the ones that are new to the job and may be able to identify simple items that would have been helpful to have or know in their first few weeks on the job.