This morning we headed to Browns Court Rooms in Covent Garden to join The Recruitment Events Co for their first breakfast meeting of 2019. The hot topic; onboarding.
It's a topic that has become, what some might refer to, as a buzzword, but onboarding is actually a thing! Onboarding is often the chosen term, but doesn’t it actually act as the umbrella above all manner of things? Attraction, welcome, L&D, induction, probation, off-boarding; where does onboarding start and where does it end?
That's just one of the questions we discussed during this morning’s session, and what became evident is that everyone has a different view on what onboarding should be and what it should look like.
It's different by individual and very different by company. From personal touches, like chocolate treats and welcome packs, pre-employment drinks and high-tea, to more practical and perhaps more obvious steps, like having hardware ready, IT clearance and security access prepped. There’s also the consideration to include things like pre-day one learning, pre-start show arounds and buddying up. We heard it all, even the Conga! Yep, you can ‘Do the Conga’ in the office on day one and do you know what, it’s 90% positive and effective for that particular organisation! What works for one company may differ to another, but the key and very clear message; it’s all about balance.
Practically everyone we spoke to has a similar story to tell; “we’ve got some kind-of process”, “it’s very manual”, “our line managers/CFO/other departments don’t understand the importance of it, “people aren’t onboard with the idea of onboarding”. Yet, most would argue that it’s the most crucial part of the recruitment process. After all, not only does onboarding assist with the initial engagement of an employee, it also supports the retention of that employee. 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experience a great onboarding experience*. In addition, some stated that new starters had left after day one, simply because they realised the job wasn’t actually what they thought it would be. That’s ultimately an attraction issue, (realistic job profiling on a careers website anyone?) but is it also an over-sell? Has the hype been so great whilst they were being onboarded, that it didn’t live up to expectations? We go back to balance.
From the attendees today, not one reported measuring the effectiveness of their onboarding. So, from the time they’d hired an individual, to the time they’d started in role, those companies do not know how much money they were losing from a poor or non-existent onboarding experience. Our ROI calculator quickly makes the cost savings stack up https://www.day-one.com/roi.html and provides a solid argument for an onboarding business case.
The remaining questions we discussed were around why onboarding is only being spoken about more now? Is it because it’s less of a HR responsibility and more a recruitment process? It was for a lot of the organisations we spoke to. Or, is it because companies are switching on to retaining their staff rather than recruiting new ones? This was also the case for a number of the people.
Finally, and sometimes the biggest hurdle – who is responsible for onboarding? I think the room was in total agreement. We all are. Every individual in an organisation is somewhat responsible for ensuring a new hire is engaged, empowered, effective, ready to join, and ready to remain a part of the company. From finance, marketing, recruitment, HR, L&D, operations, IT, security, line managers, colleagues, CFO’s and CEO’s, everyone has a touch point somewhere, no matter how big or small.
Everyone needs to buy in and get onboard with onboarding. It makes for better engagement, retention, morale, effectiveness, and it saves the company a few quid at the same time.
Thank you to everyone who came along today, the guys from TREC and the people at Browns for hosting us. It really was a great morning and I hope everyone took a little something away that they can apply moving forward.