Onboarding: Hiring Manager's Playbook

September 28, 2016


Do the hiring managers in your organization have a 'Playbook' for onboarding and enculturating new hires into the organization?  Sure, hiring managers are involved in the hiring process and certainly select the candidate for the role they’re hiring.  Once the selection is made, what is the hiring manager’s playbook for engaging prospective new hires between selection and Day 1; and then over the first 90-180 days?   With such awareness around employee engagement ratings, its important for hiring managers to understand how their involvement in onboarding a new hire drives the new hire's engagement, and ultimately prospects for performance and retention.


Most research on employee engagement shows there are so many variables that impact engagement, but the strongest factors impacting engagement are the direct manager and the onboarding experience.  There is so much focus on the new hire, but not all hiring managers know the ropes when it comes to onboarding their new hire.  It seems to be expected that hiring managers know what to do, but I’d be willing to place a wager that across any size organization, hiring managers would value a ‘tool kit’ with best practices of how to onboard their new hires.  Ultimately, the hiring manager has the most to gain from having a highly productive and successful new hire – employee.


For federal agencies, the reality is that the protracted time between when the hiring need was identified and the new hire first day can range from 60 days to 300+ days.  The hiring organization wants the new hire to have a positive onboarding experience, but over time, the excitement about adding new talent turns to frustration about security process or delays prior to Day 1 on the job.  For the new hire, the anticipation of the role and possibilities for career development fade over time while waiting for updates about when the role will start.  The new hires’ level of engagement begins to diminish before becoming an employee!


There is more data showing the link between the new hire onboarding experience and employee engagement.  With a drawn-out period of time from recruiting to Day 1 on the job, why not leverage that period to engage the recruit-candidate-new hire with valuable information about the culture of your organization.  Research by the Aberdeen Group shows that 62 percent of companies  that have a solidified onboarding program experience faster time-to-productivity with 54 percent claiming to have better employee engagement.


Back to the idea of a Hiring Manager Playbook for onboarding new hires.  I’ve searched online looking for ‘Hiring Manager Toolkit’ to see what resources are available, but didn’t find much available.  But through my network I learned about a candidate/new hire engagement tool called Enboarder (will work with your ATS and Onboarding system) that really captures Millennials and works in their comfort zone.  After seeing a couple of demo’s, admittedly I was smitten.  A series of bitly links launch rich media branded messages, videos and any other content desired, are sent via text or email to the new hire and hiring manager.  When it comes to a playbook for hiring managers, this is a home run!  A ‘virtual coach’ for the hiring manager provides guidance and suggestions throughout the onboarding process to hiring managers, making them look great in the eyes of the new hire.  The coaching action is also facilitated by Enboarder to enable the hiring manager to press a button and the virtual coach guidance has been implemented!  It’s also incredibly powerful to use in the recruitment process to keep candidates, especially Millennials, engaged rather than drop out due to lack of communication.


The Enboarder team, including the founder Brent Pearson, is making a whirlwind tour through Chicago, New York, Washington DC and San Francisco in October.  They encouraged me to share the invitation to the free Breakfast Learn session in DC appropriately called:  Rethink Employee Engagement and Onboarding by Leveraging Scientific Research and Technology.  They'll demo Enboarder with the HRworx Onboarding system.  If you're based in DC, I encourage you to attend this event and build the business case you need to rethink your onboarding process!  Just click here to see the invite and register.


Think for a moment about your first day on the job (current role or past role), and what that first day was like and even the whole week.  Was it everything you thought it would be?  How involved was your hiring manager in that experience?   As times have changed and new technologies have emerged, it seems that some things never change.  Relationships and connections to people really count!


Till next time ...

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