Filling in a vacancy takes time and energy so you’ll want your new employee to stay for the long-term. An Allied Workforce Mobility Survey, however, reveals organisations lose 25% of new hires within the first year. Research also shows 43% of workers look for a new job in the next 12 months.
It’s obvious that retention is more important than ever, and onboarding is a prime opportunity to win the hearts of new staff. Sadly, hiring managers often see it as an afterthought so newbies are made to just fill out paperwork, review policies and watch videos then get to work.
Though the process may be comprehensive, it doesn’t feel welcoming. The new worker doesn’t get a chance to connect with colleagues or align with the vision so they may not feel any attachment to their role and leave. Replacing them is going to cost you around 21% of their annual salary.
As a business leader, you must convince your employees to stick around, especially if your company is just starting out. Achieving this means you must ensure their first experience at your organisation is a positive one.
Best Practices for Effective Onboarding
(1) Be who you said you were
Honesty is the best policy so never make claims that aren’t true. If your hours are bad, don’t tell them that they’re good. If you don’t offer travel opportunities, don’t say that you do. Downplaying your flaws is fine but it must be done right.
You might say, “Our hours may be bad but we do offer higher rates when you work during certain hours” if this is really the case. Not only will you avoid over-promising but candidates will also make more informed decisions when accepting your offer.
(2) Provide what they need
It’s hard to set up their desk when your team works remotely. If you can afford it and if it’s part of the agreement, offer to pay for a computer or peripherals. Maybe you can send the money through wire transfer or order the items online and have them delivered to their doorstep.
In addition to electronic devices, it’s crucial to provide all the necessary software too. Sign them up for online tools and systems then give them the login details beforehand. Some companies also pay for the internet services of their staff and you may do the same.
(3) Give out some freebies
Nothing adds a more personal touch than a free shirt or baseball cap with your logo or brand on it. For home-based staff, you’ll have to mail them the goods but they’ll be grateful to you for it. They may even be excited enough to post about it on social media.
Their family or friends may be just as pumped up about their new role so why not provide them with freebies as well? Being thoughtful towards the people who matter to them will show that you really care about them. It’s the perfect way to express your desire to keep them on for the long-term.
(4) Get the team involved
Think about who you want them to spend their working hours with, at least for the first week. Set up meetings with superiors or top performers so they’ll receive training from the cream of the crop. Explain who these individuals are and why it’s vital to meet them.
Talk to those who play a similar role as them and encourage them to connect with each other. Some virtual professionals are shy about reaching out and are happy to hide behind the computer screen. They’ll need the other party to take the initiative to establish a good working relationship.
(5) Be constantly available
In the first several weeks, expect them to be highly reliant on you as their manager or boss. Answer anything urgent as soon as you’re able. However, tell them to list down questions that aren’t a top priority so these will be addressed during weekly meetings.
Consider starting a shared Google Sheet where the employee can write down all of their queries or concerns. Check the document often so you know what’s running through their mind. This allows you to correct any mistakes quickly while teaching to be more effective.
(6) Set milestones for them
Plan beyond their first week by establishing objectives they need to accomplish after a certain period. It may be that you want them to be able to make a detailed SEO roadmap within 90 days. It might be that you want them to write 10 long-form articles after a month.
This prevents them from always asking you for tasks since they already have things lined up. You’ll also be able to determine if they’re a perfect fit for the position earlier rather than later. You’ll want to know if you have a dud within 3 months and not after 2 years, after all.
(7) Plan their first day
Have them start a later than their colleagues e.g. 10 am instead of 8 am. With this, you have a chance to check that all your preparations are in place and address any urgent concerns brought up by the rest of your team. You’ll be able to give them your full attention and introduce them properly too.
Be the one to welcome them rather than pass them to someone else whom they might not be comfortable with yet. Also, keep the first day light rather than having them dive in to work. Inform them of any running inside jokes or slang words as well to minimise awkward explanations later.
Ready to Onboard New Hires?
Being a startup, you have plenty of competition for top talents. High turnover rates don’t make your life any easier either. The onboarding best practices we’ve shared will help you to keep those exceptional candidates that you finally managed to sign on.
To make your onboarding process even less exhausting, it’s a smart move to outsource your recruitment to us at Remote Workmate. Allow us to take care of crafting a job description, sourcing talent, and screening all candidates. We’ll then endorse you the best ones.
Schedule a call with us. Let’s chat about the type of worker you’re looking for.