You did it! You finally found the best candidate for your open position. Now you can sit back and look forward to their first day…not so fast. Onboarding (the process in which new hires adjust to the job quickly and smoothly) needs to happen.

At ICLabs, we’ve done a lot of researching and tinkering when it comes to this and in this post, we outline our tips to ensure your employees gets the best first week month experience possible. Employees are a company’s biggest asset and turnover is expensive – therefore, it’s extremely important for PR agencies especially to invest in the onboarding process. Here’s what you can consider:

Before an employee starts

  • Everyone remembers their first day, right? – this goes without saying but make sure your office is ready for your new team members. We’ve heard stories about companies without a first day plan in place, or worse, didn’t know a new employee would be starting that day – don’t be that company! The first day will require prep work from a few different individuals and it needs to happen ahead of time. Start by envisioning the ideal first day and creating a checklist of what needs to happen ahead of time — everything from having a computer/workstation ready to knowing who will be the first person to greet the new employee.
  • Don’t hide your excitement – whether it’s a tweet to announce your new team member or a casual happy hour in their honor, find a way to welcome your new team member that is unique to your company. The feeling is mutual, plus, we’ve found that these little gestures go a long way and make a lasting impression.

The first week

  • Find the right balance of training and work – the first week is crucial for training and getting to know the role, but try to incorporate real work. You’d be surprised to know how many new hires are anxious to show you what they can do. It’s best if you can incorporate work that relates to recent trainings. If not, figure out a set of tasks that can be done with little to no formal trainings and can still offer value to your team.
  • Do you know who you’re working with? – Get to know your co-workers. This doesn’t have to be a formal meeting but make sure the new hire spends some time with the people he/she is working with regularly. People are great about doing this on their own and we’ve found that this is a great way to learn more about the history, brand or culture of the company.

After the first month

  • Keep it going – onboarding sets the foundation but it doesn’t end after the first week. Our team makes onboarding a focus for at least a quarter. This ensures that an employee (and the company) isn’t completely overwhelmed during the first week. Plus, it allows us to tailor specific trainings to an employee’s need.
  • Feedback – ask the new hire what they thought of the onboarding process. See what they liked and didn’t like and make tweaks to your onboarding process as necessary. Other than performance, having the new hire complete a questionnaire or meet with HR/hiring manager is the best way to determine if your approach was effective.

We’re constantly looking at new approaches and strategies, so let us know what you think on our Facebook page.