4 onboarding strategies you should include in your hiring process

Here are four onboarding strategies to set up your new hires for success.

Allie Decker

February 11, 2022

A lot of time and money is spent attracting the best talent, and many companies have ineffective hiring strategies. So your hiring process must include effective onboarding strategies to find the best people without breaking the bank.

If you utilize these four onboarding strategies, your recruits will be better prepared, more engaged, and perform better. Also, they are less likely to decline the job offer, saving the company money on hiring costs. 

1. Make learning a part of the process

Ideally, you want recruits to work optimally from day one, as time spent familiarizing recruits with your company's processes and procedures hurts productivity. But according to Gallup, only 29% of new hires say they feel fully prepared and supported to excel in their role even after their onboarding experience.

So, making learning part of the hiring process is essential. Recruits will be more familiar with the company’s operations before they begin, meaning they can work optimally right away. Good learning tools to include are:

  • Software tutorials
  • Videos on company values & procedures 
  • Brief one-on-one sessions with a manager 
Screenshot of a learning management system
Source: iSpring

But remember, the learning materials need to be high-quality and engaging to get results. 

 2. Use mentorship programs

According to Sage, 93% of small/medium-sized businesses believe mentorship programs will help them succeed, but only 28% of those businesses use a mentorship program. So get ahead of the competition by using mentorship programs to increase retention rates, boost employee performance, and make employees feel like they belong. 

But how should I structure the mentorship program? There are a few approaches; you can use traditional one-on-one mentoring or group mentoring. One-on-mentoring is tailored to the individual and gets the best results, but group mentoring can be effective, too.

Once you’ve decided on the mentoring style, you need to establish a goal. What are you trying to achieve using the mentorship program? The goal of the mentoring will influence the next step: mentor pairing.

Pairing your recruit with the right mentor is crucial. The mentor needs to have the right skills and experience, similar career background, and a compatible communication style (and shared interests if possible). 

After a good match is found, the mentor and mentee need to draw up an employee development plan. The plan should include logistics (when and where the meetings will take place), expectations, and desired outcomes. 

It’s also important to periodically check in with participants. How are they finding the program? What’s working and what isn’t? Periodically checking in with participants means that you can resolve any issues and make improvements wherever needed.

3. Start the onboarding process before

Starting the onboarding process before hiring has many advantages. The first significant advantage is the retention of the recruit; sometimes, a recruit will get cold feet and decline the job offer before the start date. Starting the onboarding process can help alleviate the anxiety that can cause an employee to decline the position. 

Starting the onboarding process early also helps initiate the recruits so they can begin working effectively right away. The recruits are also less likely to experience negative culture shock when they join, making them more likely to engage positively with their role. Early onboarding also applies to hiring freelance writers and other freelance professionals; some steps are different, but the guiding principle is the same. 

Let’s look at how early onboarding helps. A case study of an education tech company's hiring problems found an early, intuitive onboarding process was the solution. The company expanded its workforce from 250 employees to 550 in 2020. But their onboarding process was found to be ‘disjointed’ and lacking in pre-onboarding material.

The solution was to incorporate all onboarding elements into one seamless platform so recruits could be onboarded hassle-free. Degreed also found onboarding early had many benefits. 

After implementing the solution, the company found it was easy to scale its hiring process. The quality of the hiring process improved. Instead of being ‘disjointed,’ 97% of recruits found the process was favourable. Also, the back-office hiring process was reduced from four hours to about thirty minutes. Overall, streamlining the hiring process and pre-onboarding recruits increased productivity and bottom-line success. 

4. Create an effective orientation program 

If you have an effective orientation program in place, it shows your recruit the company is engaged with the transition. A recruit is more likely to transition successfully into the role if they feel taken care of. 

An onboarding form on a mobile phone
Source: Avature 

A good orientation program includes preparing a workspace and assigning a mentor to the recruit. 

But before they arrive, they should have access to orientation material and necessary documentation through a web portal. Accessing orientation material and documentation before starting means they can familiarize themselves with the company and fill in paperwork comfortably at home. Don’t make it difficult for them to do this.

You should also provide the recruits with a work schedule. That’s so the recruits are aware of their shifts before they start.

In Closing 

In closing, having effective onboarding strategies within your hiring process is essential. The right onboarding strategies will prepare your recruits, improve their performances, and improve retention rates. So include these four onboarding strategies in your hiring process to start seeing results! 

Begin by including learning as part of the process, as starting the onboarding process before the start date is key. Learning materials can include software tutorials, videos on company values and procedures, and brief one-on-one sessions with a manager. Providing learning materials means your recruits will be more prepared and confident before they assume their role. 

The next strategy you should include is mentorship programs. A good mentorship program will help integrate the recruit into the company, improve their performance, and foster loyalty. You also need to make sure you have an effective orientation program, so your recruit feels welcome and prepared. 

With the right onboarding strategies, you will keep the best talent and fully prepare them for the role. The recruit will be more confident and ready to jump straight into their position. 

Allie Decker is the Head of Content at Omniscient, a marketing agency that works with SaaS brands. Before working with Omniscient, she spent 5 years as a freelance writer and then joined the content team at HubSpot, where she worked for nearly 3 years. She has contributed to more than 100 high-converting articles for HubSpot and collaborated with the folks at Entrepreneur, Hotjar, and Foundr. Her words are bookmarked by entrepreneurs, small business owners, and digital marketers worldwide.

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