Getting employee onboarding right is crucial to your employee retention strategy. According to SHRM, new employees who go through a well-structured onboarding process are 69 percent more likely to remain with a company for at least three years. Considering the significant cost of acquiring new employees, keeping almost 70 percent of them onboard for the long term is simply a wise business decision.

How can you be sure that your onboarding process is up to par? What are some of the dos and don’ts of effective onboarding? Read on for the answers.

DO: Start out with the right candidate.

If your potential hire is not a good fit with your company culture, no amount of onboarding you do will be effective. Therefore, you must screen candidates for cultural fit. Behavioral interviewing and reference checks help ensure that the candidate you are considering has the values and behaviors that will fit with your organization like a glove.

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DON’T: Hire a candidate thinking that he or she will thrive despite a cultural misfit.

Even if your candidate has all the technical skills required, the education required, and the chops to do the job, if the cultural fit is not present, do not hire the candidate. As a hiring manager, you know that your retention rates are highly impacted by the satisfaction your employees feel in their positions. A misalignment between company culture and employee values will inevitably lead to dissatisfaction and employee turnover.

DO: Be prepared before day one for the new hire.

Almost one-fifth of employee turnovers happen in the first 45 days. This means that the responsibility for starting your new hire out on the right foot rests solely in your hands. The best way to head off employee turnover before it happens is to make a great first impression with your new hire.

Have a clearly outlined plan in place to welcome a new hire. This includes having his or her work space ready, having any paperwork prepared ahead of time, and ensuring that there is a designated employee to greet the new hire and work him or her through first-day activities.

DON’T: Allow the first day to be an unplanned, haphazard affair.

There are few things more dispiriting to a new employee than the sense that no one was prepared for his or her arrival. Do not leave any part of first day activities to chance. Set up a checklist of items for completion on the first day, and send an itinerary out to your new employee of first day (or first week) activities to help the employee begin work with confidence.

DO: Schedule periods of downtime in the first week or so.

A new hire’s first few days can be a whirlwind of activity as you immerse him or her into your company culture. In addition to meetings, orientation programs, and job shadowing with a mentor, include scheduled times for the employee to read and learn alone. This gives your new employee time to actually absorb the inevitable mountain of information that must be handled in the first few weeks.

DON’T: Overwhelm your new employee with too much information.

While it is your goal to help the employee become productive as soon as possible, avoid the trap of subjecting your new hire to information overload. Remember your long-term goal of employee retention. By allowing your new employee to ease into the workload as he or she learns the ropes, you increase the likelihood that the employee will feel comfortable and satisfied in his or her new position, thus ultimately increasing your employee retention rates as well.

DO: Remember that onboarding is a lengthy process.

Effective onboarding generally takes several months. Remember to schedule times throughout the first ninety days to check in frequently with your employee. Invite feedback from your employee, and provide feedback to the employee as needed. Set concrete goals for your employee and check progress along the way.

DON’T: Have a set-it-and-forget-it attitude toward employee onboarding.

As your employee settles into his or her job, it can be tempting to leave well enough alone. Resist that urge by plotting a solid onboarding course with regular check-ins, an open door policy, and consistent feedback for at least the first year of employment.

The Takeaway

Effective onboarding leads to happy, successful employees who stay with your organization for the long-term. Hiring the right candidate and nurturing that candidate through appropriate onboarding practices is the key to maintaining a solid core of talent for your organization.

Thrive TRM is designed to help you attract and retain top talent. From candidate outreach to onboarding, Thrive TRM is an end-to-end talent management solution. Contact us to schedule a demo today!