Organisations put a lot of time, resources and effort into finding and hiring the right candidate. However, according to Monster.com’s recent reports, at least 30% of new employee turnover in the first one or two years after employment.

The SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) states that these turnovers can be as high as 50% within the first 12 to 24 months of hiring. If you want to maintain your employees beyond the first twelve months and see them performing optimally, you need to create a strategic onboarding process.

What is an onboarding process?

To put it simply, this is the process of assimilating new employees into the organisation and giving them all the necessary information, tools, and introductions they need to succeed in their new jobs. A robust onboarding process should convey your organisational brand, principles, expound on your staff and professional values, align the organisation's outlooks and provide the tools and resources that the employee needs to successfully integrate into their new role with a faster inclination to efficiency. A well thought out onboarding process can provide significant retention of employees.

Is onboarding necessary?

Bringing new people into an existing organisational structure is not an easy process, and that's why it is important for companies to build a tactical onboarding process. This process should have well-defined roles for the new employees, managers, human resources, and mentors.

Organizations with a standard onboarding process are 69% more likely to retain their employees up to three years and experience 50% greater new hire productivity.

The onboarding process:

This process varies from company to company. However, there are key requirements that are crucial to creating an efficient employee onboarding process.

Step 1: Recruitment

An efficient onboarding process begins the day the job ad is put up. The employer should be able to communicate the truth about their role and the company efficiently. They should be in line with what the candidate expects after they begin working in the organisation. The company
could invite the applicants to visit the company office and spend time with key team members or use online professional networks like LinkedIn to offer insight into the company culture.

Stage 2: Outline the roles and responsibilities

Set out the key objectives of the employee and work together with them to create KPIs (key performance indicator) and milestones. Make sure that the employee's expectations are in line with the organisation's expectations. Encourage their supervisors and managers to meet with the new employees after every few months to see how they are progressing and to also check whether there is a need for additional training or mentoring.

Step 3: Keep the entire onboarding process planned and structured

Think about all the things a new employee will need to know to ensure they are up and running in the shortest time possible. You can create a checklist that is particular to an employee's onboarding process and break it out by the first day, four weeks, three months, half year, and one year. This will give the employee realistic expectations of deadlines, and help to avoid future stress and uncertainty over what is expected of them.

Step 4: Offer more than just technical training and resources

Every organisation knows they need to provide their new employees with basic professional training for various business systems and applications. This training should not end there as you can use it with various other resources to speed up the employee's acquaintance and incorporation into the company's culture. For instance, you may provide videos on the company’s visions, goals, ethics strengths and weaknesses. You can also make available resources in the specific language, acronyms, company terminology and slang to get the new employees fully informed on nuances that are often grasped after several weeks into the role.

Step 5: Assess the onboarding plan

When implementing the onboarding process, be consistent and ensure you have supportive channels throughout the entire process. Getting feedback from the new employee is key to understanding whether the onboarding strategy is effective. Evaluate the employees after the first week, month, three months and so forth to understand whether their prospects were met and how involved they are with the company. Find out whether they had access to technology, information, training and tools to perform their jobs. Also, let them give you their feedback as it gives them a sense of autonomy

How long does the onboarding process run?

An effective onboarding process runs for 1-2 years. During this period, there needs to be constant communication, performance measurement and feedback, which are key to employee retainment and loyalty.