On Boarding Starts Before You Start.

Despite the abundant evidence to the contrary, On Boarding is not about getting a semi-viral share of a new desk adorned with company swag and a nice new Macbook positioned perfectly like an alloy supermodel…

It’s become quite prevalent in the last year or two on LinkedIn, seeing desks neatly arranged with company swag and the obligatory insta-filter photo demonstrating just how valued employees are to this brave and brash new company doing things differently and upsetting the squares and just how well deserved their moniker of ‘disruptor’ actually is.

This isn’t on boarding – this is marketing. While there’s certainly a place for this kind of thing – despite the now cliché level – it’s not really at the core of the ideal on boarding experience. On boarding is about inducting a new employee into your way of doing things so they dovetail as seamlessly as possible with your current staff. This begins before you even go to market for a new position to make sure that the on boarding process isn’t invented on the fly, or re-invented each time thereafter.

From market intelligence, it’s abundantly clear that the cornerstone of optimal on boarding is understanding and parametres. Having the processes and education in place to allow them to get up-to-speed quickly allows them to contribute, gain alignment with the organisation and other employees, and be engaged and productive. The steps taken to arrive at this place are usually covered, but stumbled through rather than drilled and systemised, and certainly not optimally. It’s a fundamental piece in hiring, and retention, and must be given the diligence it deserves. Taking the time to be able to execute the steps efficiently, effectively, and with authenticity is of paramount import to both the candidate and your company’s success.

A good on boarding program starts at the JD. A well-defined and unmuddied explanation of the job purpose and duties paints a picture of a company that embraces clarity and precision – a common factor sought by top-performers. In recent years the pendulum has swung too far the other way and job ads are now seen as marketing opportunities to talk about the company and how awesome they are – nobody gives a shit about your foosball table. Honestly. Write the real requirements of the role, that is, what needs to get done by this employee, and in what manner. Be sincere about what you are trying to do as a company.

Mediocre hires care about perks, company-makers care about purpose and environment. As Jacob Morgan refers to it ‘the experiential employer’ is about providing the right ecosystem for high-performance; flexible working, the right tools that help your people do their jobs (not just helping the company), smart and fit-for-purpose apps, and clarity of purpose. If you’re doing these things right, sites like glassdoor.com will do the selling for you.

Stay tuned for the next installment of our On Boarding series…

If you’re ready to act now: