When you think about onboarding, it’s likely you think of getting a new employee up and running in your organisation. But while you’re focusing on an efficient onboarding process in house, it’s important to remember that there is a person at the other end. It’s time to re-think and to take a look at onboarding from the onboardee’s point of view.

The long and lonely wait for your documentation

No one wants to wait days for a job offer to drop through their letterbox, and they’re not going to resign from their existing job until they’ve seen written details. So issuing the offer letter, contract and any supporting documents in a timely fashion is very important.

Many businesses encounter problems with this process. Webonboarding recently conducted some research and found that 69% of HR professionals said that issuing contracts and offer letters in a timely way had caused them problems. The most common cause was the accuracy or completeness of information for the offer.

From candidate to onboardee – first impressions count

Onboarding starts from the moment the role has been offered – that’s when a candidate becomes an onboardee. How your business portrays itself in the time between the verbal offer and their first day of employment is crucial.

People starting a new job with your organisation may be nervous, perhaps because it’s their first job, or they’ve resigned from another role. The impression your organisation makes needs to be a good one, not just at the interview stage, but right up to and into employment.

Melanie Guy, HR Manager of webexpenses talked about the experience of a candidate who had received a verbal offer, but whose written offer was delayed because it missed the last post. When they asked for it to be emailed, they received a very poor scanned copy of a file document.

Melanie says: “As the first piece of written correspondence that person had received from the hiring organisation, it wasn’t a good first impression. It sends a message that they aren’t thinking about the experience for the other person.”

Don’t overwhelm your onboardee

Sending a large package of documents can be daunting for an onboardee, particularly if it’s their first job, or English isn’t their first language.

Melanie advises organisations to “Consider if all the documents need to be issued with the contract, or can they wait until the start of employment, when the employee is taken through the documents and given individual attention? You’re also pushing the burden on the onboardee to return it. We send the documents electronically and make it clear they can return them in the same way.”

Keep communications open

When there’s a long period between the offer and start date, onboardees can sometimes feel forgotten by their hiring organisation.

Keeping communications with your onboardees open is crucial. It means they can ask you questions and helps you to prevent potential dropouts by addressing any concerns they may have.

A desk filled with branded goods

We’ve all seen images of desks filled with goodies for new starters, but have you ever wondered who organises it all?

Onboarding may involve a number of departments or people. Some roles don’t require any IT set up, but maybe a uniform needs to be ordered; security might need to issue an access pass etc. Clear internal communication helps to ensure a consistently good experience for each onboardee.

Bringing a new employee onboard is not just an administrative process. It’s a chance for your business to make a good impression, and to show you’re invested in getting your new recruit off to a good start. You should never forget the human touch when onboarding employees.

If you missed the latest webinar by webonboarding: onboarding from an onboardee’s view, you can re-watch it here.

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