In today’s candidate-driven job market, it is becoming increasingly difficult to lure top talent. Which is why many companies are working on creating a more efficient recruitment process. But merely improving your recruitment process to attract the best candidates isn’t enough. In order to get the best out of your new recruits, it is equally important to deliver a positive candidate onboarding experience.
The candidate onboarding experience is a commonly ignored aspect of hiring. Companies often invest a lot of time, effort, and resources into enhancing their employee value proposition. However, that can only help you find the right candidates.
The hiring process shouldn’t end there. How you treat your new recruits after they join your company will determine whether or not they become faithful, long-term employees.
Before we discuss the importance of the candidate onboarding experience, let’s first take a close look at what it means.
Candidate Onboarding: A Closer Look
The reason why many employers fail to create a positive candidate onboarding experience is that they don’t have a clear understanding of the concept. Many organizations consider onboarding and training to be the same thing. However, it is crucial to understand that training is only a small part of your candidate onboarding process.
In simple terms, candidate onboarding refers to a set of practices that nurtures the initial stages of the relationship between your company and a new recruit. The main objective of your candidate onboarding process should be to help new employees settle into their new positions with your company. You can think of it as a series of steps that helps a candidate transition into a full-fledged employee in a smooth manner.
Developing a proper candidate onboarding process requires meticulous planning and foresight. You should be ready with your onboarding plan even before the recruitment process is over. Make the new recruit feel welcome on their first day by getting their desk and workstation ready even before they arrive. You should also give them a tour of your office and give them opportunities to interact with their colleagues and seniors.
For instance, Mastercard welcomes new employees by sending them an email that contains links to videos to help them learn about the company. The new recruits are also given access to a part of the website where they can fill out their payroll, tax, and benefits forms before their joining date. They can also upload a photograph for their official ID card. This ensures that the new employees aren’t burdened with unnecessary paperwork on the first day at their new job.
Candidate onboarding isn’t just about assigning tasks to a new employee and providing them with necessary training. It is equally important to forge a personal bond with them and help them get through the initial days at work.
Are you still wondering why you should devote time and resources to creating a positive candidate onboarding experience? Let’s take a look at its importance in greater detail.
The Importance of Candidate Onboarding Experience
Imagine a hypothetical scenario in which you quit your previous job to join a new company that promised better opportunities. On your first day at the new job, you arrive on time, filled with zeal and aspirations. However, as soon as you set foot into your new place of work, you notice that there is no one to welcome you. Worse, you don’t even have a designated place to sit.
This seemingly insignificant gesture immediately forces you to doubt your decision to join the company. It creates the impression that the employer made promises while recruiting you, but didn’t care about deliver on those promises.
As a result, you (the new recruit) disengage from the day-to-day activities at your new place of employment. You may even start seeking other job opportunities.
Starting a new job isn’t easy, regardless of the previous work experience someone has had. The fear of working in a new environment and working with strangers can be quite taxing.
The experiences that a new employee has on their first day at work dictate whether they will engage or disengage with their work environment. As an employer, it is your responsibility to make this process as easy as possible.
However, new employees aren’t the only ones who can benefit from a positive candidate onboarding experience. Proper candidate onboarding offers a number of advantages for employers as well.
Improve Employee Performance
New recruits have a lot of enthusiasm and passion on their first day at work. They also come with certain expectations that you have created through your employee value proposition.
It is your duty to help them retain this zeal as long as they are working at your company. If you don’t meet their expectations, they are likely to lose motivation, and ultimately, any interest in their work.
Efficient candidate onboarding ensures that employees receive proper hand holding during their initial days at work. This, in turn, keeps them motivated and inspired to deliver their best performance.
In addition, it also helps them acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to excel at their new job. As a result, their productivity increases which, in turn, has a positive impact on your company’s revenue.
Additionally, you can reduce the stress of paperwork by getting them to fill out the required documents before their joining date. This ensures that new employees aren’t subjected to any unnecessary pressure on the first day. Instead, they can spend their time getting to know their peers and adjusting to the new work environment. This can help enhance their efficiency.
As they begin to settle in, you should encourage new recruits to generate fresh ideas. In addition to making them feel valued, it also helps you get a new perspective on ongoing projects and tasks. You should also ensure that disengaged employees aren’t forced to hang around just for the sake of it. This can have a negative impact on the performance of your other employee.
Zappos, the acclaimed online clothing retailer, offers a payout of $4000 to new employees who want to leave the company during the training stage. It ensures that the new recruits don’t just stick around because of the fear of becoming unemployed and facing financial problems.
New employees can utilize the three week training period to decide whether they want to continue with the job. This, in turn, helps the company identify those who are truly motivated to work with them.
Enhance Employee Retention
A candidate-driven job market has left job seekers spoiled with many choices. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more vacancies than there are people to fill open positions.
So if a person isn’t fully satisfied with their new job, they are likely to seek better opportunities. This, in turn, will require that you invest more resources into finding a replacement.
The best way to prevent this issue is by delivering a positive candidate onboarding experience.
As an employer, you are likely to raise the expectations of candidates during the recruitment stage. In order to guarantee job satisfaction for your recruits, it is crucial that you act on those promises and meet their expectations.
It helps them transition from skeptical candidates into faithful employees. This, in turn, minimizes employee turnover and reduces recruitment costs significantly.
Most new recruits seek career advancement in their new job. So it’s important that you have a lengthy onboarding process that constantly monitors employee performance and focuses on their professional growth.
Asking your new recruits why they quit their previous jobs will also give you useful insights. These can help you further improve your candidate onboarding experience.
You can also give new hires the freedom to choose their projects and assignments based on their skills and strengths. This will help them to excel at their work and further enhance their job satisfaction.
Facebook, for example, allows new recruits to choose the team they’d like to join once they have completed the onboarding process.
Boost Employee Engagement Even Before Joining
You can’t expect new recruits to report for duty the day after you hire them. They may be required to serve a notice period for their present employer. Most employers make the mistake of maintaining zero to minimal communication with their new hires during this period.
This is a suitable time for familiarizing new recruits with your work culture, company mission, office space, and other employees. You can use software like Candidate Rewards to send your candidates a personalized offer letter.
Image via Candidate Rewards
In this offer letter, the complete value of their job offer can be displayed through charts. They can also see the monetary values of all of their benefits to get an idea of the value that the job offer brings.
The offer letter also includes videos of your senior management and employees which can be seen by the candidates. This can help them understand the work culture better and get familiar with your organization beforehand.
You can also get real-time analytics about candidate interactions with the offer letter. This can give you insights into which part of the offer letter is valued the most by candidates. Your recruitment process can be optimized even further through the analytics.
You can also utilize this time to get all of the paperwork done and give some preliminary training to new employees. This can help make them feel more confident during their initial days at their new job.
You can also have their supervisor get in touch with them a day before their joining date to inform them about the reporting time and place. This can help make new recruits feel less out of place. It also positions you as an employer who truly cares about your employees, which can help improve the employee engagement.
Revamp Your Recruitment Process
A crucial aspect of candidate onboarding is to seek feedback about your recruitment process from new employees. Identify the factors that caused them to choose your company over others. You can also ask them to pinpoint the challenges they had to face while applying for the job.
For your employees, this creates the impression of a company that values your employees and their opinions. However, as an employer, this information can help you fine-tune your recruitment process to make it more efficient. Their input will give you an outsider’s perspective on your recruitment process. This, in turn, will help you identify any issues and rectify them to deliver a better candidate experience.
Strengthen Your Employer Brand
As the number of job opportunities continues to increase, companies need to devise new ways to woo top talent. In fact, 92% of employers expect an increase in completion for talent. Which means that you need to stand out from your competition and strengthen your employer brand.
When a person starts a new job, they are likely to talk to their friends, family, and ex-coworkers about it. They are curious to find out what it is like to work at your company.
A positive candidate onboarding experience can convert new recruits into loyal advocates of employer brand. In this way, they can become an integral part of your marketing campaigns by promoting your employer brand to their social circles.
New recruits are also likely to keep in touch with some of the top employees at their previous company. If you keep your new recruits happy, they might encourage those employees to apply for other job opportunities at your company.
This a simple yet effective way of connecting with potential employees through word-of-mouth marketing. This, in turn, can minimize recruiting costs and help improve your recruitment process even further.
A structured candidate onboarding process is crucial for the survival of new recruits. It isn’t just the process of giving them adequate training for the job. It is all about helping them adjust to their new environment and working with a team of strangers.
As an employer, you should focus on making them feel comfortable and welcome during their initial days in your company.
A positive candidate onboarding experience offers a number of lucrative benefits for your company as well. It ensures job satisfaction, thereby enhancing employee productivity. Additionally, it minimizes recruitment costs by improving employee retention.
Candidate onboarding also plays a critical role in reinforcing your employer brand. And you can utilize it to improve your recruitment process. Successful onboarding positions you as an employer that delivers on the promises made in your employee value proposition. This, in turn, can encourage more people to work for you.
It’s high time more companies start prioritizing candidate onboarding experience. Do you agree? Share your views in the comments section below.