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Healing Employment – HIRING & ONBOARDING: Preparing for Liftoff

Installments five and six in an eight-part series, “Employment is Broken”, by Kim Shepherd, CEO, and Jeff Bloch, CMO, Decision Toolbox

The fourth critical stage of engagement in the employment process is HIRING.  Once you’ve successfully attracted a quality applicant pool, suited and sifted your way through to select your top candidates, then connected personally and professionally with your finalist, you don’t want to inadvertently abort your mission in the offer stage!  Further, the manner in which you ONBOARD precious new hires sets the tone for their experience (and longevity) with your company.  Planning and ownership of the process will help ensure a successful launch…

Laggard & Co. vs. Best-In-Class, Inc.

In exploring hiring and onboarding, we found that, done right, these processes are really one fluid motion.  Below is a comparison of the hiring and onboarding experience at two difference companies.  John is the candidate of choice at Laggard & Co., and Mary is the finalist at Best-In-Class, Inc.  Who do you think will start his/her new job feeling the most valued, engaged, and eager to kick butt in their new position?

Laggard & Co. (John)

  • John receives a low-ball offer.  He feels negotiation is not an option (and it probably isn’t), so he accepts it.  He will likely continue to job hunt up to and after his start date.
  • There is no contact between Laggard and John before his start date 2 weeks after his acceptance – he will have lots of paperwork to contend with on his first day.
  • Day 1 – John’s computer and phone are not ready for him to use, induction is done by HR, and he is left alone most of the day to complete new hire paperwork.  John wonders if anyone else knows he’s there?
  • Week 1 – By Friday, John’s equipment is set up and ready to use.

Best-In-Class (Mary)

  • Mary receives a competitive offer and is asked how she feels about it, some negotiation may take place.
  • Mary’s onboarding process begins from the time she accepts the offer, she receives a welcome letter from the company CEO and a link to complete new hire paperwork online.
  • Day 1 – All equipment and passwords are issued, induction is done by the Hiring Manager, she is introduced to the team, taken to lunch, and a peer mentor is assigned as her “go-to guy” for questions.  Mary feels welcome.
  • Week 1 – Mary and her Hiring manager work on 30, 60 and 90-day goals and schedule follow-up meetings.

Recipe for Success

Research has revealed that the most valuable activities among Best-in-Class organizations to make new employees feel engaged are those that demonstrate the organization’s preparedness for the new employee’s arrival and show clarity and commitment to his/her professional development.

From our example above, John will surely come on board with the same lack of investment and enthusiasm that he was extended to by Laggard & Co.  He will likely continue to look for another opportunity and will be receptive to other opportunities that come his way.  Laggard displayed a clear lack of ownership of the hiring and onboarding process and poor understanding of its impact on retention.  In contrast, Mary will come on board feeling valued and invested with her new employer. Her focus will be on her work and her success will be reflected back to Best-In-Class, Inc… 3 – 2 – 1…we have LIFTOFF!

Stay tuned for the final installment in our series where we’ll explore the final critical stages of employment – RETENTION & DEVELOPMENT.

*Special thanks to Dawn Kohler, CEO, The Inside Coach, for her contributions to this post.

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