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Employee onboarding – How to make the best first impression
To make the best first impression make sure to focus on both the candidate experience and employee onboarding and ensure that the two integrate seamlessly!
When it comes to the onboarding process and making the best first impression on new employees – the sooner you start the better! If you’re waiting until you’ve already offered a job to a candidate to invest in their experience then you’re leaving it far too late. A candidate’s experience during their recruitment journey will already have gone a long way to forming their opinion of your company and it can then be very difficult to change these initial impressions.
The affinity and feeling of connectedness that a candidate feels begins during the hiring process. Make sure you have candidate experience at the forefront of your mind when building your recruitment journey and try to ensure that it integrates seamlessly into your onboarding.
Provide clarity and structure
Starting a new job can be a lot like your first day at school – exciting but also slightly scary and stressful at the same time. By conveying to candidates what it’s really like to work at your company during the recruitment process, you’ll not only help them determine if you’re a good fit for them, but also put them at ease if they do join. For example, having a ‘meet the team’ element during your interview stages where candidates have the opportunity to have a more informal chat with the team can be a great way for them to begin integrating and boost their confidence.
Similarly, providing clarity at every stage (both during the recruitment process and onboarding) on what can be expected next will make for a much more relaxed experience. Before an employee’s start date, send them an email to get them excited – ‘Can’t wait for you to join us!’. Give them some useful information on the company, but be careful not to overload them with too much detail. Try and get them involved in your company culture from the get-go; if you know that you’ve got a company social the week before they technically start then invite them along!
Giving new hires a road map to their first week is also a great idea and can help them feel less anxious. Outlining the structure and detailing what they’re going to be doing – what teams they’re going to meet, which introductory sessions they’re going to have and what systems they’re going to use – can make the whole onboarding process a lot less daunting.
Tailor the experience
Remember that everyone is different and that people may appreciate being communicated with in different ways. In which case, don’t be afraid to ask! Ask candidates how they would prefer to connect. Ask new employees how they like to learn and receive new training and tailor their experience accordingly.
Likewise, you may want to create different onboarding journeys depending on the job role. For example, a new developer might start off with your general company onboarding and then proceed to a more specific introduction to the types of code they’ll be writing and the tools they’ll be using. Making the onboarding process as relevant and tailored as possible will ensure that new employees are fully engaged and have all the information they need to hit the ground running!
Make it fun
Don’t forget about the social aspect of onboarding! A fantastic way to introduce a new employee to your company is sending them a little welcome pack before they join. Make it as specific to your company as you can – we love sending a Teamtailor t-shirt and some pink goodies – sweets always go down a treat as well.
Equally, assigning a ‘buddy’ to new starters can be a great way for them to learn the ropes and gives them a go-to person in their first few weeks (to answer important questions like where the best lunch spots are). Try and assign a buddy outside of the new starter’s team so they have the opportunity to mingle more with other employees in the business.
With flexible and remote working still in place for many companies at the moment it’s especially important to make new remote employees feel welcome and incorporated into company culture. Setting up virtual coffee breaks and lunches with different teams can provide a great opportunity for everyone to get to know each other better and to feel that sense of community.
Essentially, the main thing to remember when developing your onboarding process (and recruitment process generally) is to make it specific to your company and to try and make the best first impression you can. It should really reflect your culture and values and make new employees feel as welcome as possible in their first few weeks (and beyond!).