Some Simple Ideas on Successful On-Boarding

The ideal candidate has now become a new employee.  Weeks (or maybe months) have been spent wining and dining this individual.  He possesses all the attributes that you are looking for:  exemplary background, knowledge, and a seemingly great demeanor that should mesh perfectly with your company culture.

As the HR (or talent acquisition) contact, you are heavily invested in ensuring that this new employee is properly on-boarded to the company.  In fact, on-boarding started the moment that the individual reached out to your company, either by contacting your company directly (via phone call or on-line application) or by you actively recruiting them (LinkedIn perhaps?).  Assiduously doing follow ups to keep this individual updated every step of the way, arranging and re-arranging managers’ schedules to get the interviews completed, and then finally extending the offer, you have done everything possible so this candidate says “yes, I’ll take the job” and “this will be an awesome company to work for.”  How, then, does it go wrong?

You’ve stopped your on-boarding experience.  You’ve handed the new employee to the new manager.  You clap your hands for your success and move on.  This is where it can all go wrong.

On-boarding is a process that continues well beyond the signing of a new employee.  It continues well beyond the first day or even the first month.

Here are some on-boarding recommendations:

  1. Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish. If the new employee is moving across the country for the job and you’ve offered relocation, then offer relocation assistance.  Yes, a lump sum is nice but a lump sum with a trusted relocation partner is even nicer.  Show the employee that you are invested in them and they will continue to be a cheerleader for the company.  Better yet, offer them a full relocation benefit.  Would YOU move under your relocation benefit?
  2. Give the employee as much information as possible prior to the first day of work. Have a packet of information that the employee can review at home without the stress of being in a new desk.  How often is payday?  What documents do you need to have with you that first day of work?
  3. Have a plan. Not a “sit with this person” or “shadow that person” but a real plan.  Will the new employee be on a “learning” rotation to get a feel for the entire company?
  4. Set up lunch buddies. Sounds like grade school?    How awkward is it for the new employee not to have lunch plans and then they go off by themselves?  Start the team building immediately.  Lunch is a great icebreaker.  First days are awkward enough.  How many of us have gotten a new position and then started to double-think whether or not we made the right decision?
  5. Follow up with the employee for a solid 90 days. Stay in touch.  Make sure the reality of the job is in line with what was sold to the candidate.  If there is a disconnect, were you as talent acquisition given a bad job description?

On-boarding starts from the moment a candidate thinks about working for your company.  It continues for months after they have started the job.  Look at your on-boarding process as part of your marketing plan.  Word of mouth will “sell” your company to successful candidates.


For more information on relocation on-boarding, please contact Laura Henneberry, SCRP, SGMS-T at or 630.942.6893.