Debbie Kemp shares the keys to a successful onboarding processâand why it matters.
By Debbie Bolla
As a global human resources and operations leader,Â Debbie Kemp understands the impact a strategicÂ onboarding process can have on the bottom line.Â Simply put: It takes time and money to hire the rightÂ talent so itâs critical that organizations take a few stepsÂ not to lose them, she says. Here, the member of theÂ CHRO Today Executive Network (C-TEN) explains who ownsÂ onboarding, effective approaches, and their impact onÂ retaining talent.
HRO Today: How can HR be successful in findingÂ and retaining talent in a tight labor market?
Debbie Kemp: Organizations need to ensure theyÂ have a solid employment brand message. This can beÂ developed on the principles of who they are, how theyÂ differentiate themselves from others, their culture,Â and their community support. As individuals enter theÂ workforce, they are looking for a broader companyÂ message around how they are impacting the businessÂ and the community. This employment brand messageÂ can be communicated on the company website andÂ social media channels like Built in NYC and its other cityÂ affiliates.
Understanding the specifics about the open position isÂ also important. A good place to start is by sitting downÂ with the hiring manager and discussing a walk-through:Â a day in the life of that role. This will help craft a jobÂ description thatâs based on skills and responsibilitiesÂ while also bringing it alive with details that are oftenÂ forgotten. This will enable HR to identify and hire theÂ right talent for the organization at the right time byÂ having a more impactful applicant pool.
HROT: Why is onboarding key to this success?
Kemp: It takes time and money to hire the rightÂ talent so organizations donât want to lose them.Â Therefore, thereâs a short window to get new hiresÂ engaged and involved in the company. New hiresÂ need to feel connected right away.Â I think organizations need to make this a priorityÂ and part of the talent acquisition process. EveryoneÂ owns onboarding, including human capital and talentÂ acquisition executives, hiring managers, and seniorÂ leadership. You want to create a road map thatÂ includes defining roles and responsibilities to ensureÂ the new hire understands their role and is empoweredÂ during onboarding. Connecting new hires to theirÂ workflow networks is also important.
HROT: What can organizations do to elevate theirÂ onboarding processes to connect and engageÂ with new hires in order to retain them?
Kemp: I have implemented scalable onboardingÂ processes in the past, and have found that this had aÂ positive impact on both the new hire experience andÂ business objectives. There are definitely technologyÂ solutions to assist in the process, and utilizing theseÂ solutions makes it much more scalable and engaging.
These are simple yet effective steps that can beÂ incorporated into an onboarding process:
- The hiring manager and others involved in theÂ interview process send notes of congratulations to theÂ new hire.
- A welcome message is delivered from a businessÂ leader or the CEO about the company.
- During pre-onboarding, the new hire can begin toÂ complete all the hiring paperwork, including benefitÂ information.
- The new hire can put together a personal infoÂ sheet that can be shared with employees within theÂ business or the entire company so that when the newÂ hire starts, others know who they are and introduceÂ themselves. Everyone wants to feel like a part of theÂ company they just joined.
- Assigning the new hire a buddy can help relieve some ofÂ the pressure of first day. A tenured employee can walk theÂ new employee around the floor and building, providingÂ insight into simple things like where to grab lunch or someÂ of the company traditions. They can also be responsible forÂ sharing more about the culture, values, and networking.
- During the first week, the hiring manager should beÂ spending time with their new hire and reviewing theÂ positionâs objectives and what success will look like for thisÂ role. The hiring manager should also make introductionsÂ to the team. Above all, the hiring manager needs to get toÂ know their new hire and this can include taking them toÂ lunch that first week.
- Within the first 30 days, the hiring manager should walkÂ the new hire through a career/development plan.