Onboarding process: what is it and why is it so important?


On of the key phases in recruitment processes comes after finding your ideal candidate. The employee onboarding process is crucial for companies, and, many times, also a forgotten or overlooked one.

Having employees that quickly feel comfortable and happy in their jobs depends mostly on how you take care of them. Especially in the beginning, when everything is new. Achieving this impacts your brand directly and indirectly. Do you want to know how to develop an efficient employee onboarding process?

What does onboarding mean?

Onboarding is the set of actions that a Company carries out from the moment they decide to hire an employee until he or she is completely committed and integrated in their job.

Motivation and loyalty are two feelings you want to create among your employees. But how do you do it? Well, creating positive experiences for your new workers is one of the best weapons to keep talent within your business. Normally, your Human Resources team will be in charge of these tasks; nevertheless, for these welcoming moments to be effective, everybody from management to the coworkers must be involved.

A good onboarding process will make your employees feel committed and integrated in your Company faster

Planning and preparing an efficient onboarding process

A good onboarding process for your employees must be well thought and prepared in every phase. That means that before the start date and the signing of the contract, you have to already be working on the correct adaptation of the employee to the Company.

After that, it will depend on the personal conditions of the employee -also on their experience and abilities- how fast the onboarding process will finish. Nonetheless, as a general rule, we can distinguish four different phases within our plan when hiring new employees.

  • Before the incorporation. Once the recruiting process finishes, you will know a new employee is going to be part of your Company. That is the moment when you should get started. Prepare all the previous information that might be necessary for the worker, so you can facilitate the first steps for him or her. A welcome package, active communication to solve doubts through email or Linkedin… or maybe other useful indications for them so they can have a nice first day, are a good way to start.
  • Initial contact. The first days are the most important ones. You want for the employees to involve themselves in an agile, natural way in the Company. If you can’t do it personally, you should think of someone, within HR or not, that might become a sort of guide in the beginning for the ‘newbies’. We all appreciate, when we begin a new professional adventure, to have someone care for us and show us where we have to work, who our colleagues are going to be or what can we do in the first days. Exploit this opportunity to communicate your employee what is the philosophy and the way of working of your brand.
  • First weeks. It’s time to make teamwork happen. Progressively, your employee must be comfortable with the team and working with others. Thus, tasks that involve a few members of your teams become a great chance to do so. The new employee can learn from those with more experience, and also gain confidence and develop a professional relationship with his or her colleagues. Promoting leisure activities or some volunteering outside of work can also help that integration occur faster.
  • Follow-up. Once we are sure that the employees feel good, and are a part of the Company, it’s important not to let go of the active listening. You have to always be interested in the wellbeing of your workers. Feedback is still crucial, because it makes your employees feel they have a voice. Also, it offers you diverse points of view, which can help you make better decisions.

How much time does an onboarding process take?

There is no standard time for this ‘welcome phase’. It can last three months, maybe six… Sometimes even a year. Nonetheless, it’s an effort worth taking for everybody. Did you know a study by H.E.R. determined that 3 out of every 4 workers in Spain don´t have pleasant memories of their incorporation? Thus, taking care of details will make a difference.

A satisfactory incorporation favors the productivity of employees. They will identify themselves with the philosophy and interests of your Company, and thus, they will want to contribute to their achievement. It will also be easier that they become ambassadors of your brand. A satisfied worker will always speak well about the Company.

Moreover, the good environment that emerges in a motivated, cohesive team is another point that will improve -even more- the performance and happiness of your workers.

Also, the costs and time of hiring after an employee either leaves or doesn’t integrate well to your company disappear. What you will have are prepared workers who can keep on training and developing their talent in your Company. Considering these benefits, the time you take in onboarding processes is always worth it.

What happens after the employee onboarding process?

Apart from the follow-up, it’s very important to take care of other factors when the adaptation period of your employee finishes.

For example, the possibilities of training and professional development that you offer to your workers. Independently of the time they have been a part of your business.

Feeling that they can keep evolving, learning and setting challenges for themselves, will favor that initial good impression to stay longer. And you will count on the best professionals available. Those who don’t stop improving and using their knowledge to help your business grow.

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