New Hire Orientation/Onboarding
I remember looking forward to moving to St. Louis and taking a new job! The offer had been made and my
employer had a policy requiring a one-month notice at the management level where I was. So, I was working
my notice, training my replacement and the phone rang. It was my new employer just checking in to see how
things were going and telling me that they were looking forward to my arrival! Wow, that was impressive! I
still remember it!
Onboarding is the term we use for the period of time between when the job offer is made to the candidate
and the new employee is fully up and running in their new role. It is a time when they are learning about the
company, their specific role in the company, what is the boss like to work with, what it like is to be a part of
the team, what is available in the way of benefits and getting the training they need to be successful in their
new job. That begins with the first contact! If you are the employer doing the hiring – be aware that the
applicant is making decisions about whether this is where they want to work or not. As the candidate, you
want to make sure you are in the right fit for you – so pay attention to all the details from the beginning.
First impressions are key – not only in customer service, but also when meeting an applicant. The applicant
will notice if you are prepared for them. They will notice how they are treated by you and the others they
meet. They will notice the professionalism in the environment, how clean and neat the area is and if they
customers and/or other employees they meet seem happy.
Every connection with the candidate should be planned and well organized. Provide the candidate with a job
description and make sure they have a realistic preview so they have no surprises. If not on the first
interview, at least with a second meeting, provide the applicant with the benefits offered.
By the time the candidate is offered a job, they should have a good idea of the culture of the company, what
the company expectations are in the job itself and what is will be like working with this new boss and team.
What to do once the applicant starts to work:
1. Be ready for them. Have them fill out the paperwork, provide them with the employee handbook
and sign up for benefits if they are available.
2. Make sure you have the tools and workspace ready so the new employee feels welcomed.
3. Assign a mentor – buy their lunch on the first day of work so they can connect on a more social
4. Set the expectations but – remember they are learning the job – so be patient.
5. Have a plan for how they will learn their new job.
6. If there is a problem, address it immediately.