This post was updated in February 2020
It’s easy as the years go by to forget that nervous, excited, somewhat anxious feeling almost everyone has when they get a new job. When you stay in one place too long, you forget what it’s like to walk into the great unknown that is a first day on the job. That’s why it’s important to consider the perspective of your new hires when refining your hiring process. At the ripe age of 25, I have had a total of 10 different jobs, mostly two or even three at a time. This means I’ve gone through the arduous task of filling out new hire paperwork 10 times over the last decade. While the terminology within these documents has become familiar and I’ve learned how many dependants to claim, that hasn’t made it particularly enjoyable. However, by following these 4 steps we can evaluate our experiences as new hires in order to get a good insight into how we can ease this transition and make for a smoother onboarding process.
1. Offer Assistance with New Hire Paperwork
The first thing you have to consider is whether your new hires are generally new to the workforce, or if they’ve had a fair amount of experience when applying to work for you. As I mentioned before, I’ve had more than a few jobs and can manage to get through my I-9s and W-4s fairly easily now. However, that wasn’t always the case. The first few times I started a new job I had plenty of questions, and typically had to have somebody walk me through the various paperwork. It was intimidating to admit to my supervisor that I didn’t know how to fill out my new hire documents on the first day of work.
If you work in an industry where your new hires are typically unfamiliar with the process of starting a new job, it’s important that you make sure they have resources readily available to assist them. Your Human Resources team is perfect for addressing any questions or concerns your new employee might have. You also have to consider that they might not want to admit outright that they don’t know what they’re doing, so providing additional documents that give them more details on what exactly they’re filling out can be a good way to help them feel comfortable in their new environment and ease the transition for them. For example, Dominion’s Onboarding feature has a ‘withholding assistant’ that compiles your new hire’s information and offers a suggestion on how many exemptions they should claim. Resources such as these provide for a better hiring experience for your new employee and can be a big asset to decreasing your turnover rate.
2. Reevaluate and Refine your Training Process
If you’re still unsure about whether training and Onboarding are terribly important, consider this statistic:
According to a 2017 study by SHRM, 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for 3 years if they experienced great onboarding.
Near the end of my college career, I took on a second job at a nearby coffee shop to help pay the bills. The training method they had for me had no structure, and I had to learn on the fly while dealing with actual customers. This “trial and error” method did not ease my transition into the new job, particularly as I was entering into my final semester at college and juggling multiple jobs and my studies. Having a structured training process is the best way to introduce new hires into a new position. In addition to this, you should provide them with a variety of training videos and resources for them to access should they need further instruction.
It’s also vital that you make sure your new employee knows that you are available in case they need anything. This doesn’t mean you should simply say “let me know if you need anything” and walk away, however; You have to show them. Introduce them to others around the office, and tell them who they should go to if you’re on the phone or in a meeting when they have a question or concern. They will likely not have lunch plans for the first few days in the office, and nothing is more embarrassing than sitting alone in the breakroom or cafeteria when you don’t know anybody. Encourage a group food-run or pizza delivery, or else invite them to sit with you during lunch. At the bare minimum, you want to make sure your new employee doesn’t spend their first day feeling awkward and uncomfortable as much as possible.
3. Invest in an Innovative Onboarding Software
One of the best ways to streamline your hiring process is to have a reliable onboarding software. With Dominion, our Onboarding feature allows you and your new hire to complete all the necessary documents electronically. This will not only save time and resources but also allow you to easily transfer the employee information into your payroll.
With most Onboarding features, you can automate direct deposit set up, implement all your training material, create custom task lists, and upload personalized documents such as non-compete forms, key card release forms, etc. This will save you time and put your new hire in control. They can fill out all their paperwork electronically from anywhere, at any time, so they don’t have you standing over their shoulder while they google what a dependent is and how many they should claim. They’ll also be able to refer back to those training documents you provided, which will save them the anxiety of feeling like they ask too many questions, and save you from being interrupted every so often.
4. Be Thorough and Diligent
Hiring and training new employees can end up costing you a lot of time and money, and it might be tempting to cut corners and trust that they’ll figure it out on their own. Let me tell you, from personal experience, this will not be beneficial for you in the long run. My experience at the coffee shop did not leave me with a good impression of the company. And while I struggled through it and stayed for a while, many others quit within the first few days, forcing the management to start the hiring process all over again. (Remember that statistic you read above?) That is why you have to do it right the first time around. In the end, it will save you more time and money to adequately train somebody off the bat and trust that they will be worth it. For more information on this topic, check out our blog Why Training and Onboarding are Vital to New Hire Success.
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