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The “On-Boarding Experience”

Posted By Administration, Monday, November 5, 2018
Updated: Saturday, October 27, 2018


When the alarm went off at 6 AM for my first day at my new job, I was already lying there, awake and SO excited and anxious to get to my new digs!

My outfit was all laid out, I got ready, and hopped in my car – ready for my new adventure for what seemed like the BEST CAREER EVER!

When I got there, I was semi-greeted by the receptionist, who told me it would be a minute until “someone” would come and get me.

After waiting 15 minutes as a few other new hires filed in and sat beside me, we were finally ushered into a training room with a man who went over compliance issues, helped set up our computers (they weren’t set up already), and gave a brief history of the company.

Two hours later, we were sent to our designated seats, and it was time to learn!

Only one problem – I didn’t have a trainer, or anyone to show me the ropes.

It was just me. Red flags went up immediately, and I just sat back, stunned that I was duped by what seemed like a really great place to work.

After only 2 months of trying to navigate the organization without being given the tools to be successful, I resigned and left for (much) greener pastures. Pastures that understood that, while the candidate experience DOES end, it then becomes the EMPLOYEE experience. And my goodness, is it EVER important.


Orientation is not Onboarding

Orientation “should” last about 2 weeks where the employee can learn all about their new organization for which they excitedly woke up before their alarm. They should be met by their direct supervisor and/or recruiter with whom they’ve already built relationships and have their work space set up for them with some cool swag that tells the employee “Welcome! We are SO glad you’re here!” They should be assigned a mentor or a trainer and introduced to their team members and have a picture painted for them regarding how their role drives the organization forward and why THEY are so vital to its success.

Onboarding, however, should last 6 months (a year, if possible) to allow the employee to be fully assimilated into the organization and to engage them at every possible chance. The new hire should be given a survey on not only their candidate experience, but their onboarding experience: this will help keep new hires engaged while also allowing them to give feedback on how the company can improve its process.

Let the employees be your organizations brand ambassadors and cheerleaders, and they will refer other great candidates to your company – or at the very least, send others a positive image of your organization. This is the most powerful way to build great employer branding – word of mouth by your own employees!


Feedback Please!

New hires, and even veteran employees, want to hear what they are doing well, as well as what areas may need improvement. Managers must give feedback often and have an open line of communication as well as setting realistic “SMART” objectives up front; this way, the new hire is aware of what must be done to be successful and they are able to speak with their leader if something seems like it may be unattainable.


Your Best Talent is Always Being Contacted – Give Them a Reason to STAY

I was a headhunter once, and I could spot top talent a mile away. 95% of folks are open to a discussion about a new opportunity IF it is truly better than where they are now. I will tell you right now – if you are not investing in your employees by providing them with an amazing onboarding experience, they are going to leave – quickly. Other staffing firms and corporate recruiters WILL be and ARE currently calling them. What will you do to ensure they stay?

Let’s set up our people for big wins, so that our organizations can then, in turn, be successful. Don’t waste everyone’s time (and your company’s money) by not being accountable for ensuring your employees’ success.

Otherwise, they’ll wake up after their alarm, sluggishly and reluctantly get ready, and then drive to work – where they will not perform their best…and headhunters like I used to be will gladly call them and pluck them right out of your firm.


Destiny Quinn, SHRM-CP, STA

Written by Destiny Quinn, SHRM-CP, STA, Talent Acquisition Manager and PlanSource. 



"All data and information provided on this blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or HR advice (which should be obtained through formal retention of a lawyer or HR professional, respectively).  Nothing contained in this blog reflects the opinions of GOSHRM or any of its directors or members. GOSHRM makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this blog and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis."

Tags:  employee engagement 

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