Onboarding Checklist: How to successfully integrate a new hire?

Onboarding Checklist How to successfully integrate a new hire

You’ve found the right employee thanks to a well thought-out recruitment strategy. Better yet, they’ve accepted the offer. But don’t get too excited and claim victory prematurely: the recruitment process did not end with the signing of the contract.

While the arrival of a new employee marks the end of the recruitment campaign for HR teams, for the new employee the arrival in the company is a new beginning. Between the failed handover and gender confusion, onboarding too often goes overboard.

According to a Harvard Business Review study, 22% of companies have not even formalized their process. Recruiters give little importance to onboarding once the contract is signed.

This is certainly not the right decision, because this indifference to the onboarding process costs them later in terms of workload, they would have to start the recruitment process from scratch a few weeks after their conclusion, and a ruined employer brand. Not to mention the impact of HR onboarding on business performance.

According to Glassdoor:

  • New hire retention is improved to 82% due to a successful onboarding process.
  • Overall team productivity rises to 70%.

So there’s plenty of justification for involving teams in this process. If you want to know more about the onboarding process, we invite you to take a look at our article on the subject What is onboarding and why is it important.

If you have already done so, read on and get inspired by our tips for a successful integration process.

– The Onboarding checklist or How to successfully integrate new recruits?

1. Preparation is the key to success

Nothing can be improvised, everything has to be prepared, especially when it comes to the integration of a new employee.

According to a Brilliant Ink survey, 92% of respondents felt welcome. However, 43% said the first day was confusing and disorganized.

Preparation is critical to the success of this stage, as nothing should be left to chance, and the onboarding process starts long before the new employee arrives.

It is essential to review the responsibilities of the team members during this period with the managers. More generally, you need to think about how the onboarding will be structured and what it will accomplish.

Using recruitment software ensures that the objectives set for onboarding are in line with your company’s overall strategy.

On the other hand, the company needs to inform the existing staff in advance about the arrival of the new recruit. This is done by sending out a presentation via email or the company intranet that includes the name, position and role.

Finally, it is essential to keep in mind how crucial it is to plan for the logistics and practicalities of the workplace. These include creating an email address, providing a computer, phone and office supplies. By anticipating these details, no time will be wasted when the new employee is present.

2. Communicate regularly

When a talented candidate accepts a job offer, the company’s interest in them at the beginning of the application fades once they have consented. However, by cutting off communication, you run the risk of the person backing out and ultimately choosing to leave for a competitor.

Although it may seem unexpected, this circumstance is not unusual. According to a survey conducted by Cezanne HR, 63% of HR managers have seen new employees decide to leave the company before they have even joined.

This is why it is important to keep regular contact with the future employee via different channels: Emails, phone calls, the company’s social network, etc.

In order for the new employee to be able to project himself with peace of mind in this stage often experienced with a lot of stress and anxiety. You should get them up to speed from day one by sending them all the necessary information beforehand, especially the schedule for the first day.

To conclude, smooth communication reassures and gives confidence to new recruits. It also allows for a smooth start.

3. Make a good impression

You certainly know the expression that says “first impressions count”?

And yes, it counts more than you think… The first day is a very important event for the new employee.

That’s why HR teams must prepare themselves in advance by promptly dealing with the administrative specifics: signing the employment contract, checking the legal documents. Because these are often the source of concern.

Although it is a classic element of the human resources department, the company booklet is nonetheless indispensable. It includes all the information about the company. Moreover, it serves as a means of promoting the employer brand.

It is essential to show the new recruit the premises and introduce him or her to future colleagues. In this way, the employee becomes familiar with the company.

Finally, it is important to regularly give the employee the opportunity to express himself and ask questions.

Do not let the new employee eat lunch alone. It is best to schedule a lunch with the manager or other team members. This is the ideal time for informal exchanges that facilitate team cohesion.

Finally, it is essential to regularly give employees the opportunity to express themselves and ask questions. In this way, they will feel listened to and valued.

4. Assign a mentor

In the first few weeks after joining the company, the new employee has a lot of information to absorb. Not only do they have to familiarize themselves with their work environment, remember the names and functions of their new colleagues, but they also have to learn the new protocols and rules of the organization. The best way to ease this transition is through mentoring.

The employee volunteer mentor, also known as a tutor or sponsor, may or may not be part of the same team. He or she helps the new employee become familiar with the work environment.

The presence of a mentor greatly improves the onboarding process. It encourages the newcomer to find out more without fear of upsetting team members. In addition, the mentor contributes to developing a sense of belonging because his or her role is also to transmit the components of the company’s culture. Finally, the mentor facilitates interactions between the new recruit and the other employees already on the team.

5. Define and train the new employee on the work objectives

Even if the human aspect of onboarding is crucial, keep in mind that the integration must also be operational.

From the very first days of the new employee’s presence, it is crucial to set clear, measurable and realistic (SMART) objectives to ensure an effective adaptation to the job.

By reaching a consensus, both parties avoid misunderstandings that could lead to disappointment.

According to a Jobvite study, 30% of workers leave their jobs within the first 90 days of employment. 43% of them stated that their job did not meet their expectations.

A training program is needed to ensure goals are met. Tools, processes, and any other areas where the person needs to gain skills need to be addressed.

6. Follow up on the onboarding process regularly

The onboarding process is a laborious and time-consuming process. It is therefore advisable to schedule regular follow-up meetings to ensure the successful integration of the new hire until the end of the probation period.

These meetings are useful for monitoring the progress of predetermined business objectives. They are also a valuable tool in determining the degree of integration within the group and the company. In addition, they provide real opportunities to identify potential problems and implement appropriate actions to resolve them.

Indeed, these exchanges and discussions open the door to a healthy collaboration. By solving problems quickly and anticipating possible difficulties, premature departure is minimized. The commitment and satisfaction of the employee is also strengthened.

The arrival of the new recruit is the key step in the recruitment process that should not be ignored. Its effectiveness directly affects the commitment and productivity of the new employee, which is why it is so important to prepare for it.

Thus, it considerably reduces the risk of premature departures of new recruits, so difficult to recruit.

The Onboarding checklist

Step 1: Preparing the action plan

  • Review what is already in place for welcoming and onboarding new employees into the company.
  • Engage the team leader(s) and HR division to establish onboarding goals.
  • Describe the position and role of each stakeholder in the onboarding process.
  • Create an appropriate onboarding strategy, such as a checklist.
  • Establish a training program to help the new employee build skills.
  • Establish a mentoring program and specify its objectives.
  • Offer a volunteer with teaching and listening skills the position of mentor.
  • Use hiring software, which is excellent for storing data and ensuring effective follow-up.

Step 2: Preparing the logistical and practical aspects

  • Draft the employment contract and prepare the administrative paperwork for the new hire (health insurance documents, etc.).
  • Set up the workstation with at least office supplies, a computer and a telephone.
  • Prepare and create login credentials for computer software and hardware.
  • Set up the email address.
  • Give the new employee all the extras needed for the job, such as a badge, business cards, company car, etc.

Step 3: Communication with the future employee

  • Call or email the new employee frequently to check in.
  • Send the first day’s schedule and any other relevant details, such as dress code.
  • Make a list of documents to bring for the administrative part (ID, bank details, proof of address, etc.)
  • Involve the prospective employee by finding out what they find most appealing. For example, does he/she prefer to have lunch with the whole team or alone with the manager on the first day of work? Is he/she available and willing to attend an afterwork?
  • Make a contact request on professional social networks.

Step 4: Announcing the new hire to internal teams

  • Gather the team involved in the hiring to announce the arrival of the new employee, give a brief overview of his or her background and present the objectives of the position he or she will hold in the future.
  • Inform other teams of the new hire’s arrival, via email, newsletter, or company intranet.

Step 5: Welcoming the new employee

  • Give new hires a welcome kit containing the necessary documents, such as the welcome booklet, the ethics charter, a FAQ, etc. It is a good idea to include a few goodies with the company’s logo to make the welcome kit more attractive and fun: pen, notepad, USB key, etc.
  • Finalize the administrative tasks in collaboration with the human resources department: signature of the employment contract, verification of identity documents, presentation of the company’s internal regulations, health insurance documents, etc.
  • Indicate where the workspace is located.

Step 6: Helping the new employee discover the company

  • Take a tour of the company to show the new employee around, making sure to mention the safety instructions.
  • Introduce the new employee in person to the various teams.
  • Schedule a working lunch with the team leader or manager.
  • To support the employer brand, introduce and describe the company’s values and culture.
  • Guide the start of the job, with an explanation of how the IT tools work, for example.
  • Increase the frequency of social gatherings, including team building exercises, to foster harmony between the new hire and other employees.
  • Involve the new recruit in internal meetings so that he or she can learn how the company works, decipher its codes, understand who its customers are, etc.
  • Take breaks, as the first few days are often stressful.

Step 7: Setting Objectives and Starting the Training Period

  • Review the position and the range of responsibilities that comprise it.
  • Establish a roadmap outlining initial assignments, performance goals and completion dates.
  • For the duration of the probationary period, establish a training program based on the objectives to be achieved and the development of the required skills.

Step 8: Introducing the mentor/sponsor

  • Describe the goals of the mentoring system and how it works.
  • Formally introduce the mentor.
  • Allow time for the mentor and new employee to get to know each other, perhaps over lunch or coffee.
  • Allow for formal and informal interactions and meetings between the mentor and the new employee

Step 9: Regular follow-up

  • Check in regularly with the new employee to give him or her the opportunity to express themselves, ask questions and give feedback on the previous period.
  • Pay close attention and note any problems you encounter so you can take corrective action.
  • Allow time at the end of the probationary period to get feedback from the new employee.

– The Mistakes to Avoid

In order to have a successful onboarding, it is important to avoid certain mistakes that are too often made:

  • Lack of a clear agenda: For a newcomer, there is nothing worse than not knowing what to expect or who to talk to.
  • Not giving the new employee a point of contact: It can be difficult to adjust to a new workplace without having someone to turn to with questions or uncertainties.
  • Lack of preparation and/or support from managers: It is essential that managers establish a rapport with the new employee.
  • Neglecting content: The content of the onboarding reflects the personality of the company. It is therefore essential to talk about the company’s culture and tools. Stakeholders must be prepared. In addition, you need to modify your speech to reflect current events if you want to be perceived as a modern company.
  • Poor management would mean not being late and planning in advance for breaks and questions. It also means having a backup plan in case of technical difficulties. Every computer program has weaknesses.
  • Forgetting that onboarding is the first task of onboarding: interventions should not be lectures and should leave room for social interactions and enjoyable experiences.
  • Stick to what you know: to provide engaging and enjoyable content, you need to be able to update it from time to time to make room for a little novelty. The best option is to be constantly on the lookout for new things.

– The benefits of Onboarding

A smooth onboarding process saves time, increases productivity, boosts engagement and increases ROI. Here are a few benefits to keep in mind:

  • Reduce the stress of the new employee upon arrival.
  • Shorten the learning curve.
  • Encourage open communication and bonding with the new employee.
  • Promote commitment to organizational goals.
  • Good understanding among employees.
  • Improve job satisfaction and retention.
  • Decrease turnover and retain partner talent.
  • Improved business results
  • Improve your employer brand
  • Allows for better internal mobility

A successful and efficient onboarding process benefits the company, the staff and the new employee. If you want to retain your talent and enjoy all the benefits. It is crucial not to skip some key steps in onboarding.

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