Getting your onboarding process right

Written by
Changeboard Team

13 Sep 2010

13 Sep 2010 • by Changeboard Team

Ensuring a positive experience for job applicants

With the recession hopefully behind us and with signs that hiring's on the up, organisations are now once again concentrating their efforts on attracting talent. However onboarding, or hiring new people, is not just about adding numbers to your team; it's also crucial to deliver a top quality service to these candidates.

In order to welcome new people ‘on board’ it’s vital to first encourage the best talent to want to work for your organisation. It's particularly important to understand that the journey into a new company starts when the jobseeker applies for a position or is approached for the role. From then on, every time the candidate comes into contact with the organisation, there is a chance for you to provide a level of service which Results in a positive experience for them.

The importance of engaging with generation Y

More and more jobseekers looking for new opportunities are generation Y and technology savvy, which is why a company’s website will be one of the first places they will visit. It's essential to have a website which projects a strong brand and illustrates why your organisation is a great one to be a part of.

A simple ‘join us’ page with little information on the company and culture will not do a lot to convince visitors to come and join you. This issue can be addressed fairly easily by creating more of a careers area - incorporate videos of your team and the office and have areas for interaction where people can chat and really find out about the organisation.

It's also an idea to have some of the most creative members of your team work alongside your IT provider to ensure the site reflects the people who will be visiting. Most importantly, make it an encounter worth having, with really clear information about the opportunities available within your organisation and lots of pictures so people can visualise what it is really like.

Once you have a great career site, link it with your other online channels, for example Twitter, blog and Facebook fan page. This will allow candidates to find the information wherever they look and by connecting all the channels you will have more exposure.

Examine your company vision

Another key element of engaging talent is your company’s vision - are you clear on your current direction? Have you visited your 'visions plan' following the downturn? It was easy to put these things on hold during the recession when there were far more pressing issues to deal with, but now it's an area that should be addressed.

It’s important that the purpose, mission and values of the business are no relevant and realistic for both current employees and future team members. Those considering joining your organisation will be looking at these things and trying to find a company that they can align with - they can only choose the right fit for them, if they know what direction the company is going in and where it wants to be further down the line.

Make this information readily available; it should of course feature on your website, but think about your existing team and your external customers. What they say about your company will help paint a compelling picture of what you are aspiring to become and help you attract the right people.

Ensure your company stands out from the crowd

The next part of the onboarding process comes once the candidate has chosen your organisation as the one to work for. This is where first impressions really count; the candidate will be looking for reassurance that your company is right for them. And although first impressions are created at the initial point of contact, they are reinforced every time the candidate interacts with your team. Whether this communication is via email, phone, letter, or face to face, your company is sending a message to that individual about who you are and how you value them. 

When candidates are going through the recruitment process they are continuously weighing up the arguments ‘for and against’ coming on board with you - and the very best talent will be doing this with several companies at a time. They will be benchmarking all the companies they are considering against their ideal one. It doesn’t matter how good your induction process is, if you lose people at this early stage of the process, they will never experience it anyway.

Strive for high standards throughout the process

Little things can become big gestures during the first impressions stage, for example picking up the phone to talk to a potential employee, as well as sending them an email. Offer candidates as much information as you can about the role, your team, the company, your vision and the opportunity as readily as possible.

I heard of one company that sent their offer letter hand delivered in a box of champagne. Don’t forget to look after the people who aren’t successful too, those who aren’t quite right for your team - they will be for someone else and they are out there right now, telling their network how you treated them. Remember that your company’s reputation and brand is on the line, so make the effort to make a great impression. If you set the highest standards around your onboarding process, you’ll be able to both engage and hire the top talent for your business.