We know we don’t need to go into it. We’ll just say – COVID. It completely changed the way we work, how we interact, what we did, where we went and how we did business. It also completely transformed the way we build teams, how we communicate with our people, how we build a successful culture and, most importantly, how we welcome people into our professional world and the onboarding process.

How has COVID impacted resourcing?

Previously, almost the entire process of resourcing was done in person. You’d probably start the onboarding process by having a brief telephone conversation, perhaps even a video call, but the outcome of this initial contact has always been the same. Visiting the offices to meet your interviewer in person.

Then, when it came to actually welcoming a new person onto the team, they would again come back into the office. They’d be introduced to everyone they would be working alongside, they would be shown around the premises and they’d be given all the relevant equipment and logins. Of course, once that’s out of the way, they’d be left to do some orientation, e-learning and start being briefed on their role moving forwards.

It sounds like a fairly standard process. Also – pretty overwhelming.

81% of new hires say they feel overwhelmed with information during the onboarding process (source: Exploding Topics).

Did COVID inadvertently provide a solution?

In some ways, yes it did.

Without the requirement for office based working, candidates were no longer shortlisted by their proximity. In the months and years that followed, teams were made up of professionals who had only ever communicated via online messaging and video conferencing. But what challenges did new starters encounter?

  • Struggling to adapt to company culture
  • Difficulties “gelling” with the rest of the team
  • Feelings of isolation and disconnect
  • Lack of motivation

These additional challenges would impact the feelings of overwhelm that a new starter would ordinarily experience when starting a new role.

Whether you opt for an in-person, virtual or hybrid approach to your onboarding process…

Here’s what I would ask you to consider.

  1. Establish clear communication from day one – However you decide to welcome a new member of the team, make sure they have clear channels of communication, a designated point of contact and a regular check in to give them opportunity to discuss any questions, thoughts or struggles.
  2. Create a sense of belonging – Everyone wants to be a part of the team (even if they prefer to work alone). Consider ways of encouraging better collaboration, create opportunities for non-work related bonding and take time when installing the company values and culture, so they can get a real sense of where they fit.
  3. Make sure that activities or exercises are meaningful – If you’re asking someone to leave their home and travel, or you’re asking them to give up their free time to join a virtual meeting, be considerate that this is their time, and they’ll want to get the most out of it. Make sure that the content is relevant, meaningful and something you can track. By having transparency with their learning journey, you can understand where they may require additional support.
  4. Ask for feedback – You want this process to be efficient and suitable for anyone joining your organisation, so make sure it’s a process that works. When you receive feedback, take time to analyse it and work out how best to implement it moving forward.

Building a clear, easy to replicate onboarding process can really save you time and resources in the long run. Working with a recruitment agency that also takes a careful, thoughtful approach to resourcing will enhance the experience for your new starters.

At ACJ Search, we also include support from a careers coach as part of our service, to help improve the quality of the onboarding process, for both employer and individual. Our thorough attitude towards making your next hire successful is why so many organisations choose to work with us. If you’d like to know more, give us a call on 0121 396 1181 or fill in our online contact form.