Congratulations! You’ve hired your new staff, signed the paperwork, set the start date and printed off their new training manual. You’re all set…or are you? It’s one thing to find top talent, and another to properly train and keep them. The onboarding process is an important step and one that too many employers don’t take seriously enough. Those first few weeks are critical to ensure your new staff are up and running successfully, leading to happier staff, clients, and customers, and increased staff retention.

We’ve outlined 5 top tips to help you round out your hiring process to include a more strategic onboarding plan so your new hires are set up for success from day one:

  • Get organized

Before your new staff starts their first day with your company, you need a plan of action. Begin with making sure they have a physical space, desk or workstation, and purchase any supplies, tools, equipment or uniforms they need. Set up their email account, payroll information, and phone if needed. Next, you’ll need to allocate existing staff to train them, while making sure the regular workflow won’t fall behind too drastically. Don’t forget to tell your new hire about those little details such as where to park, what to bring and how long they get for lunches, breaks, etc.

  • Explain everything

Be sure to spend quality time with your new hire in the first few days, or assign someone who can. Show them around, introduce them, and take time to talk about the company’s goals, values, policies, challenges, products, clients, and how your new employee fits into the big picture. Make sure they know who to go to for what, and give them a copy of the company’s organizational chart if you have more than a handful of staff. If you don’t already have a clear communication path, now is a good time to start. Your existing employees could benefit from a refresher too in many cases!

  • Make a good impression

Make sure your new hire feels comfortable and welcome. Talk about your company culture and make time for fun when possible. Don’t just park them at a desk or in the lunchroom on their first day and have them read your policy manual or employee handbook. They need to get to know your team, shadow others, and learn the ropes in an organized, methodical fashion. Allow them to dive right into their work as soon as they (and you) feel they are ready!

  • Check in

The first few days may be slow going for the new person; they may have to figure out new machinery, software, how to work the photocopier or fill out certain forms…and how to navigate their new roles and responsibilities in general. Let them know that they can and should ask lots of questions and that they have a go-to person available at all times. Discuss their progress or concerns regularly, and give them opportunities to offer suggestions for improvements on processes, how to manage a tricky client, or whatever else may benefit your business. Sometimes a fresh perspective is needed, and who better than your new hire who’s eagerly invested in your business?

  • Review and improve

Be sure to survey your new hire about their onboarding experience, and make improvements to the process as needed. The feedback from your new hires is important to your business and will help you to find and keep top talent on an ongoing basis. You can even assign an ‘onboarding task force’ or committee who can take on some of these responsibilities in a more strategic fashion.

With a little preparation, you can make your onboarding process more impactful. Your new hires will see the efforts you have taken to help them successfully start their journey with you, and they will reward you with hard work and commitment. If you’d like to learn more about hiring and onboarding new staff, be sure to connect with Focus Employment Services. We’re here to help our local employers from any industry — and without it costing you a dime! Call your nearest Focus Employment Services centre for more information. With offices in Angus (705-424-6335), Alliston (705- 435-9821), Beeton (705-435-9821) and Tottenham (705-435-9821), we truly are your local connection for better hiring!