business-success-onboarding.pngThe hiring process can present a few challenges — screening a large amount of applications, locating the best candidates, making an offer enticing enough that they’ll accept.

It may feel like the hard part is over once you’ve officially hired a candidate. However, in many ways, the work has just begun

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Companies with onboarding programs that are more than a month long are more likely to retain hires than companies with shorter programs, according to Aberdeen Group research.

Clearly defined, methodically practiced employee onboarding programs are a crucial part of ensuring a candidate is properly informed about official policies and procedures; feels welcome and is up-to-speed enough to get to work.

Without one, you risk confusion, disengagement — and potentially losing the employee to another company, at some point in the future.

The following tips can help you improve your current employee onboarding process.

1. Provide a detailed description

Candidates should be fully aware by the end of the interview process exactly what the position will entail. Downplaying potentially unglamorous aspects of a job may land you a quick hire — but it can affect the chance that person will become a long-term employee.

Thirty-one percent of employees have quit a job within the first six months they’ve had it, according to BambooHR data; finding out the work they’d be doing was different than what they expected was one of the main reasons new hires left.

stock-photo-business-success-career-achi-1841321.png2. Onboard early, and onboard often

Best-in-class companies are 35 percent more likely to start onboarding before an employee’s official first day, according to the Aberdeen Group.
The practice can be profitable. Firms that use a preboarding process are 1.6 times more likely to have a lower cost per hire than ones that don’t.

3. Include examples

New hires rank on-the-job training as the most important employee onboarding process element; BambooHR’s 2014 survey found 76 percent want to undergo it at some point during their first week.

Providing a framework for the conduct and behavior companies encourage is also important; 73 percent would like a review of company policies to happen in their first week. The most popular choice to lead training and other employee onboarding efforts? Nearly 28 percent said they’d prefer HR professionals handle the task.

4. Allow ample time

onboarding.pngAlthough a fifth of companies’ onboarding programs take a week, 15 percent pack it all into just one day. To properly introduce new hires to other employees, provide information on the company’s norms and values, give them time to fill out forms and attend peer networking events — several of the onboarding process best practices identified by the organizations Aberdeen Group spoke with — you’ll likely need more than a workday.

Although technology can help you make initial contact with new hires before they start, you may want to consider blending digital and interpersonal onboarding endeavors.

Sixty-three percent of employers in 102 countries had an onboarding program that included arranged social networking events for new hires in 2015; 71 percent did in 2016, according to a report from the Top Employers Institute. Similarly, 66 percent of companies assigned a workplace buddy to a new employee — a 5 percent increase from 2015.

For more tips on where to find top talent, structuring the interview process, strengthening your employee value proposition to make the best offer and the potential advantages of hiring workers who have left your organization, check out some of our recent blog posts on the topics.