Hiring and onboarding take time and cost money, but they are crucial steps to building a productive workforce. They are two important processes that impact employee engagement, retention, and your employer brand. A high-quality hiring process enhances your employer brand and improves your recruiting process by attracting candidates to your organization, as well as better enables you to hire the right people when you need them. For a process that’s so important to workforce development and business success, onboarding quality doesn’t always get the care and attention required for a great candidate experience.
You may think the work of recruiting and hiring is over when an offer is accepted, but that is just the middle part of a process that begins long before the candidate even comes in to interview. With so many steps in the recruitment process, and often a limit to recruiting resources, it can be easy for hiring managers to just breathe a sigh of relief when a new person is hired. But that’s when it’s most important to pay attention to how the candidate comes into the company and how they experience your hiring process.
To really understand your onboarding process from the candidate’s point of view to be able to improve it, you need to conduct onboarding surveys. There are some very good reasons that you should care about how candidates experience onboarding when they are hired.
Hiring Doesn’t End with the Offer
The hiring process isn’t over when the candidate signs the offer letter. It doesn’t end until the employee is functioning at full capacity in the new position, often weeks or months after the first day at work. Your new hire process should have a way to evaluate onboarding and give new employees a way to give valid feedback about their own onboarding experience and make suggestions for improvements. This highlights problems or gaps in the process that can guide you to changes and improvements that will positively affect retention and engagement. You may find, as revealed in a recent BambooHR survey of employees who quit after six months, that there are parts of your onboarding that frustrate employees. Bamboo’s survey revealed that employees want more training and mentorship in the onboarding process when they start a new job.
Gain Insight Into Candidate Expectations
Conducting onboarding surveys gives you the opportunity to understand what the candidates’ expected of their hiring and onboarding experience with your company. Given the opportunity, new employees can let you see what makes them feel comfortable or uncomfortable, what makes them feel welcome and involved or the opposite, and where the process may have failed with inappropriate or boring content or activities. This information is important in improvement efforts and has the added benefit of making new employees feel you are listening to and valuing them.
Expert Recommendations for Onboarding Improvement Include Surveys
Business performance research firm The Aberdeen Group recommends new hire engagement surveys as part of a comprehensive extended onboarding process. Their 2014 data shows that companies focus on compliance and paperwork during onboarding but need to be demonstrating more care and commitment toward new employees.
Aberdeen recommends that companies provide hiring managers the resources to engage new employees, integrate training and coaching/mentoring into onboarding, and emphasize the company’s core values and missions for onboarding success that values and retains employees. When new hires feel valued and able to contribute right away, they are more highly engaged and less likely to leave within the first year.
How do you want your new employees to feel about the way they were brought onboard? The way to find out is with onboarding surveys.