Turn Your Onboarding Process Into a Competitive Advantage

By Chris Cosper

dateTue, Nov 13, 2012 @ 10:53 AM

So, you take Jim Collins’ First Who, Then What principle seriously.  You invest a tremendous amount of time sourcing and selecting the right candidates using Topgrading methods.  Now that you’ve handed out golden tickets to get the right people on the bus, how seriously are you taking their initiation into your organization? You’ve sold them on your company’s culture and invited them to join the family, but are you intentional about the very first impressions you make on them as they begin this new journey with you? It’s quite possible to have an overwhelmingly positive, thriving, high-performing culture that isn’t instinctively welcoming to newcomers. And as the competition for talent increases, and the investment you’re making in the recruiting and selection process grows, it’s probably worth it to make sure you give these A-players every opportunity to get off on the right foot.

Onboarding actually starts the day someone accepts your offer, so it makes sense to consider what you can do to make them feel good about their decision, even before they start. And you will definitely want to give some thought to what their first day should be like. Put yourself in their shoes.

  • What basic tools will they be using? 
  • What information will they need?
  • Who do they need to meet?onboarding
  • Have their business cards ready for them.
  • Have a special lunch planned for the first day.

Then, don’t forget about them after the first day. A-players are certainly self-directed and don’t need to be closely monitored, but they also don’t usually appreciate working in isolation. Plan a calendar of events and milestones for the first week, month and quarter that will give this new team member a picture of what to expect over time. Create opportunities for regular check-ins. With each new hire, you have the opportunity to learn something about your onboarding process and improve it for the next new hire. And, gaining a new perspective on your internal work processes can lead to breakthroughs in efficiencies. Ask your new hires to share their observations. What doesn’t make sense to them? Where do they perceive waste? What impresses them most?

Just like growing your business, growing your people is a path of progress. And if you’re intentional about the way you approach every step in the employment cycle (recruiting, selecting, onboarding, developing and retaining), you’re sure to develop a high performing team of A-players, which truly is a competitive advantage. What creative ideas have you implemented or will you implement to welcome your new employees?

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Chris Cosper


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