How to Improve Your Onboarding Process

By Guest Author | ONBOARDING | March 24, 2021

Hiring new employees can be a difficult task to manage. Not only do you have the pressure of hiring the right people for the job, but you also have to ensure they get off to the right start or risk wasting everyone’s time.


That’s why using the tips in this article for creating a streamlined, thorough onboarding process is a must.

1. Describe the Job Accurately

A lot of time gets wasted during the application and hiring process because a job description was too vague. For instance, a sales operations job description could leave out that the sales personnel are also expected to handle customer service. Someone applying for the job may not have customer service experience, and goes in to apply without understanding the full skills needed for the job.

Being thorough and accurate when describing the job opening will help narrow down your applicants and makes it more likely that they’ll show up for an interview prepared for what they might be asked about. It’ll also save you from being surprised when the new accountant you hired has no idea how to use Excel and has to be taught before they can begin work.

2. Begin Onboarding Before Day 1

If your onboarding process has been determined, make sure a chunk of it can be done prior to the employee starting on day one. You can do this by sending them an email with a packet of information about basic office policies, as well as info about when to show up, when to leave, and who to contact for any needs they might have.

Within the office, make sure the new hire has a mentor to check in with them throughout their first days, and have a first assignment set up for them. Having something relatively simple and easy to accomplish on their first day will help them feel settled in more quickly, and will prevent them from feeling discouraged by being unable to handle tough assignments. It’s also a good idea to communicate the office culture to the new hire, by telling them about things like unwritten rules and traditions around the office.

3. Onboard For Retention

Onboarding a new hire for the purpose of retention can be tricky. You don’t want to overwhelm or scare them off by bombarding them with new information, but it’s equally important to be thorough and honest. It’s important to remember that onboarding is not the same thing as training. Training can take place after onboarding has been completed, so make sure the onboarding process only includes the information they’ll need to settle in.

Office tours, introductions, familiarization with equipment and technology, and understanding of best practices should be included in onboarding. Any information about how to do their individual tasks can be left for training. This means your new hire will be comfortable with the office and will be much better prepared to begin their training and succeed at their first tasks.

4. Take the Full Year

A lot of companies make the mistake of taking a couple of weeks for onboarding before they release a new employee into their job, with no intention of checking in at a later date. For purposes of retention, it should be your intention to make that onboarding process last the new hire’s first full year on the job. Have milestones for checking in, such as 90 days completed, and have a basic checklist to see how the hire’s progress is going.

Check in with their assigned mentor, as well, to see if the job is really a good fit and if the new employee needs further support. Your new hire will feel increasingly comfortable communicating honestly about their progress, and will learn more quickly as a result.

Having an onboarding process will ensure that your employees become independent more quickly and stay with your company longer. Investing in the process now will profit you exponentially down the road.