Creating a great onboarding experience for your new hire

Hiring new talent requires considerable effort from everyone involved in the process. It is even more taxing for the hiring manager (HM). HM not only has to take responsibility for hire call, but also has to ensure the new team member is provided a clear path to ramp up in reasonable time.

Why is the ramp up so important?

There are multiple reasons why this is very important.

  • For the new hire – new team members who join an organisation have different expectations. But they all have the similar apprehensions related to their first few weeks at work. Unless these concerns are addressed in a structured way, new team member will find it extremely difficult to get past initial few weeks and may even result in immediate attrition.

Concerns and anxieties of a new hire

  • For the organisation – any typical company would want to get the new employee ramped up quickly so that they can start being productive and work on committed goals.
  • For the team – existing team members generally look forward for the new hire to join. They have many reasons to be excited. Hence it is equally important that the ramp up process is made as seamless as possible for both the new and existing team members.

Expectations from current team members

3 simple steps to make improve your new hire ramp up plan

Step #1 – Prior to onboarding – HMs should spend time with new hires even before they join. This helps in multiple ways. The future employee will get to know the role well, overall expectations set and will get all their queries addressed upfront. But the most important benefit is that a quick gap analysis of skills (technical and functional) can be done. New hire can then be provided with guidance on which areas to focus on, industry references, online learning courses, free tutorials etc. A bulk of skill gap related tasks can be addressed even before the employee joins. I found this to be very effective.

Step #2 – Onboarding experience – First two days of onboarding can be really strenuous for the new hire. Where to get the laptop from? How to configure my system? How does this security key work? Did I receive everything that I should have received? There will be an endless list of questions. Make sure you identify an onboarding buddy who can handhold the new employee. Even better will be if you, as the HM, can spend quality time with the employee during this initial setup process. It goes a long way in building confidence.

Step #3 – Ramp up plan – Perhaps the most important part of the entire process is to have a plan. A plan which clearly splits tasks across different weeks (typically a 4-week plan). Each week, add knowledge and skills incrementally. Identify the other team members who can help with specific tasks. Let the new hire update status of progress made. This is not with the intention of giving them some feedback, but just for the new hire to get confidence that they are moving in the right direction.

Below is a sample plan that I use. Plan comprises of a weekly grouping of tasks where new hires update their progress. You can also add separate sections for links to training courses and details of case studies to be done during ramp up.

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Remember, it is important to have a structure to what we do. You can either rely on the new hire ramp up tools your company provides or create a quick Excel sheet type plan yourself. This is a one time investment. Your team will own the plan and ensure it stays updated.

Hope you discovered some helpful information in this article. Please feel free to add comments or tweet me @ VijayIvaturi!

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