Onboarding: what is it?
The term “onboarding” refers to the process of introducing new staff into a company, referring to one of the fundamental best practices for an optimal reception in the company.
A correct onboarding strategy must sum up a correct mix between traditional training and personal opportunities in order to be able to provide the newcomer with all the necessary tools to face his or her work path in the best possible way.
Integrating new recruits in a constructive way in the organization of a company of any kind is a problem of considerable importance. It seems a paradox if related to the great difficulties that new graduates are forced to face in the search for a job, but the problems of integration represent a reality as much underestimated as relevant. A correct onboarding strategy must therefore summarize a right mix between traditional training and personal opportunities in order to be able to provide the newcomer with all the necessary tools to better face his or her career path.
What is the role of managers in the onboarding phase?
In the early stages of integration, the most significant role is that of the relationship between the newly hired and their manager, the most incisive and influential reference figure on the continuation of the contract. According to some observers: “You enter the company for the brand and leave for the boss”.
In fact, the entry into a working reality should not be considered as a process of homologation, but of integration between an individual and his peers. In this sense, the figure of the manager assumes a fundamental importance, because only if there is a mutual empathy, becomes feasible the best expression of professional potential, through the right know-how necessary to start the relationship.
Within many companies, a new reference figure for newly hired workers is spreading: the “buddy”, a mentor who is placed side by side with the newly hired in the first weeks of work in order to facilitate their insertion.
What is this for?
Onboarding carries out the important task of welcoming new recruits in the best way possible within a working reality, with a view to a lasting and satisfactory professional relationship. In the implementation of this strategy, it is necessary to invest time and human resources in order to pass on to new recruits all the useful skills and at the same time ensure that they are properly integrated into the operational management, guaranteeing the establishment of interpersonal relationships that make them feel an integral part of a team. An optimal placement ensures an incentive to productivity and therefore to company profits.
In order to set up a valid strategy, it is necessary to set some starting points, which are:
- Organize the commitments scrupulously so as not to leave any downtime to the new recruiter;
- involve the employee as much as possible from the first weeks of employment;
- granting full access to all the information and resources that the company offers;
- offer extended timeframes without haste in order to achieve the gradualness that is indispensable for the professional start-up process;
- involve colleagues and management during the various stages of the onboarding phase to create an optimal network among all employees;
- constantly monitor the results obtained to modify the operational strategies if they are not effective.
Usually it is necessary to estimate a time of at least three months to carry out onboarding that leads to tangible results, while still today several companies dedicate a few days to this process. By investing more time in managing staff recruitment, it is possible to create specific pathways that, taking into account the personal characteristics of new recruits, offer preferential ways towards better business productivity.
How does this work?
“Onboarding Strategy”, the strategy aimed at the correct integration of personnel into company management, is carried out according to successive stages:
- Preparatory phase (the reception managers must prepare all the necessary documentation for the new employee before the first meeting takes place);
- reception phase (it is necessary to customize the reception according to the character of the individuals and also to their past experiences);
- socialisation phase (on the occasion of each new placement it is essential to encourage socialisation between colleagues and newcomers, usually by organising convivial occasions between members of the same team);
- proactive phase (human resources managers have the task of following the new hired person’s career path, proposing regular meetings to monitor the evolution of the operational situation).
It is a system that aims to increase the effectiveness of the insertion process by shortening the time required and boosting productivity. Many companies have taken this approach to improve their business by taking advantage of the following advantages:
- Reduced staff training costs;
- increased operational performance;
- reduced employee turnover;
- centralisation of resources and information;
- increased productivity;
- general improvement in performance.
According to numerous statistics, employees who have followed a well-structured onboarding program are almost 70% more likely to stay in the company for at least three years than those who have not completed such training. A suitably designed path therefore offers companies the opportunity to include new hires in their managerial staff, encouraging individual professional potential, with consequent advantages for both the employee and the company itself.
In the face of an initial economic investment, it is therefore possible to anticipate an advantageous return in economic terms, which usually takes place within a rather short time frame.