Are we there yet? The art of onboarding.
So you’ve made the hire, done the deal, the offer has been sent and accepted. Now you just have to wait until they’re finished in their current gig to join. Job done.
Or is it?
That period between offer and commencement might be a chance to get on with things for you as a line manager or recruiter. But what about the candidate? What is going on for them and how can you possibly help them during that interval?
As a candidate you’ve been through the competition, you’ve landed the prize, you’ve won. You’ve the sense of elation, the satisfaction, the excitement. And now the wait…
It is a funny period of time psychologically, you’re neither one place or another. You have hopes for the future that you can’t fulfil and attachments to the past that are slowly separating. It is the ultimate transition.
First of all, don’t forget communication. Stay in touch by text, by email, with a call. Especially when the notice period is long, maintaining contact can maintain the positive bond that has been made during the recruitment period.
Think about the sorts of materials or information that you can send in advance – are there business reports, structure charts, handbooks or brochures that go beyond the offer pack that would be helpful?
How can you prepare them for day one? What practical and helpful information can you make available to them? Where will they be, what will they do, what should they wear, where can they get lunch, what do they need to bring?
How can you maintain engagement beyond your personal relationship? Think about the opportunities to meet other people, to attend company events, to have a coffee or a breakfast or a glass of wine. Start creating the supportive network before day one.
Onboarding is more than paperwork, it is about the psychological transition from one organisation to another, from one state to another. Done well, it can not only enhance your employer brand, but also increase the speed at which your new hire starts to be productive and at ease in both the organisation and their role.