It’s a new year and there are likely plenty of things that you would like to tackle to improve your human resources processes. Rather then being overwhelmed with options or procrastinating about where to start, consider focussing your effort on one area of the recruitment process that is often overlooked – onboarding.

Onboarding is more than just the necessary compliance paperwork that new hires need to complete when joining your organisation. It goes deeper than that. More correctly termed as ‘integration’, it’s about doing whatever it takes to transition from a new employee to a fully functioning member of your team – particularly when we’re talking about senior executive level recruitment in strategically significant roles, where the stakes are much higher.

Research suggests that this process can actually take upwards of one year. When you think in terms of why you hired someone – those skills, competencies and experiences that could deliver value to your business – why wouldn’t you put the effort in to ensure that you capitalise on that value?

Here are a few tips on what to focus on.

It’s an end-to-end recruitment process

Integration actually starts during the hiring process. It’s about making expectations clear and being transparent with candidates about aspects like workplace culture and strategic direction. Google take the recruitment process one step further by including a range of existing employees in the interview process – including those above and below the potential employee. It also means that there’s a larger group of people ‘onboard’ with the new employee from day one.

Foster informal interactions

Regardless of the seniority of the role, aligning leaders and teams is crucial to ongoing achievement of strategic objectives. Setting a new hire up for success means actively fostering these interactions from the outset. Whether it’s orientation within the organisation or organising initial meet and greets with external stakeholders, there is a lot to be done in terms of bringing executives up to speed with the cultural and political climate of an organisation.

Think in terms of customer experience

When you’re talking about employee experience, apply similar principals from your customer experience programme to your integration process. What’s the employee journey, for example break it down into pre-boarding, onboarding and ongoing development etc. Then look at what you need to do at each stage, to deliver the desired outcomes to the organisation in terms of performance and commitment? Depending on the role for example, a year long mentor (at a governance level) may be an appropriate guide for the new hire.

As a new hire, take control

Commit to your own onboarding or integration process and take the lead in cultivating your own connections. The best place to start is identifying those informal influencers in an organisation – sometimes challenging depending on the seniority of your role. The key is to listen and identify those issues/challenges they see in the business. As well as giving insight into the culture of an organisation, it also gives you the ‘gold’ to make quick wins – it could be something seemingly small that is actually really important to your team. The biggest issue for a new leader is building trust – clear and transparent communication as well as honesty, it always the best course of action.

Need help?

If you are looking for assistance on your integration process, or you’re a leader joining an organisation and are looking for direction on how to engage with your team, get in touch with us.

The Decipher Team

To stay on top of current recruitment trends and technologies follow Decipher Group on LinkedIn.

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