onboarding best practices

First impressions matter — even when it comes to bringing on new hires. Half of the hourly workers and that many senior outside hires leave their new jobs within four or 18 months, respectively, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Of course, job dissatisfaction cannot be blamed entirely on first impressions, but these onboarding best practices could help both business and employee get off to a great start.


#1 Start Early

The new hire onboarding process can start before the official start date. Consider reaching out to new hires before they even begin to co-create a personalized onboarding plan for that individual. Alternatively, have the new hiring manager make a phone call to touch base. At the very least, send an email outlining what to expect on the first day.


#2 Start Strong

Employees get about 90 days to prove themselves in a new job. Effective onboarding lets new hires feel welcome and prepares them for success, which helps them get up-to-speed and make a positive impact on business objectives more quickly.

Do the work necessary on your end to make sure everything is ready for the new hire’s day one. Ensure workstations are already up and running and you have positioned them to do real work on their first day.


#3 Actively Onboard

Make your new hire onboarding process intentional and consistent. Formalize it so that all new employees are:

  • Welcomed
  • Introduced around and encouraged to make connections
  • Taught about their roles and related expectations
  • Given a sense of organizational norms
  • Informed of legal and policy-related rules and regulations
  • Provided with the building blocks to feel confident that they can do their jobs well

Zappos, for instance, takes onboarding very seriously. New hires all participate in a five-week training course. During this time, they are offered $2,000 to quit if they feel they are not a good fit for the company.


#4 Jumpstart Relationships

According to BambooHR 56 percent of new hires say having a buddy or mentor is important to them when starting a new job. Connect the employee to someone who can answer questions and offer support. Similarly, help the individual integrate socially by planning to take a small group to coffee or lunch.


#5 Invite Feedback

Soliciting input from new hires about their onboarding experience can have several benefits:

  • Gain insight into how to improve the process in the future
  • Establish that your company values open communication
  • Give employees, regardless of seniority, the feeling that their input matters.

Effective onboarding leads to higher job satisfaction and organizational commitment as well as improved performance levels and career effectiveness. It can also lower stress levels; it’s worth the effort up front.

You can count on new hires to quickly adapt and make a positive impact when you partner with an onsite outsourcing company. Quality onsite outsourcing companies even provide career progression paths and accountability, which encourages growth, performance, and engagement among onsite outsourced employees.