How to Successfully Onboard New Employees

It’s a challenge to find the right fit when hiring new employees, but the challenge doesn’t end there. Take stock of onboarding strategies before new hires show up. Prepare them for success with these steps.

By Sony Hocklander | Photo courtesy Chase Banta

Nov 2016

Chase Banta, founder and president of Embark Staffing, has years of recruiting experience. Although his company is focused on recruiting within the technology industry, Banta’s tips for a smooth onboarding apply to any business.

Clearly define the position and expectations.

When recruits are hired, management’s approach is sometimes to figure it out on the fly. But people get busy, and new hires get left behind. Do yourself a favor and set expectations for the role before they start.

Don’t forget the little stuff.

Quickly provide the tools that employees need to do their job. Help them get emails, passwords, programs and phones set up. 

Establish a consistent training procedure. 

This includes modules to help hires understand company culture and history and learn tasks like filing expense reports. “I’ve found it to be more successful if those training modules are interactive,” Banta says.

Consider creating a mentoring program.

A shadowing program, whether the mentor is a manager or co-worker, provides a contact for your recruit to observe. Choose wisely, Banta says. “Make sure the mentor is willing to do it,” he says. “If not, that mentor is not going to be fully invested in your [new employee’s] success.”

Get them involved.

“Relationships are key to any successful organization,” Banta says. Take hires out to lunch. “Get to know who they are,” he says. “Understand what their goals and interests are so you can understand what their motivating factors are.” Do this early so they feel like part of the team.

Create open communication channels.

“Communication is key,” Banta says. “I always say over-communicate.” Encourage new hires to share concerns to avoid bigger problems. Also determine a one-on-one review date a month out or more. “Touching base and seeing how they are doing goes a long way,” Banta says.

Let them test the waters.

Make sure your new employee is ready to do the job before throwing them in the fire, Banta says. “Some people catch on more quickly than others,” he says. Understand where they are in the process. “Watch what they do,” he says. “If they fail, take a step back and take that as a coaching opportunity.”