Posts Tagged ‘onboarding’

HR Metrics that Matter: Talent Acquisition

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

Unlike many other functions, human resources has not been able to develop and/or sustain universally accepted performance metrics.  As a result, HR metrics often vary widely from company to company and industry to industry. Additionally, the metrics that are most commonly used are not always the best indicators of HR performance or impact.  In fact, HR leaders often make the mistake of using metrics that relate specifically to how well HR is performing administrative tasks.

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The following measures are geared toward measuring HR’s actual impact on the business.

1. Quality of Hire

This metric can be calculated from a combination of a number of factors, including: performance review ratings, actual job results, 9-box ratings, and 6-month Quality of Hire Evaluation Form to obtain the hiring manager’s perspective. You could also review hires that turned over, hires on the promotable list, and hires on the performance improvement list to help determine quality of hire.

2. Time to Fill Key Roles

Not all job openings are equal. In fact, some mission-critical positions carry a lot more weight than a ‘rank-and-file’ opening. Recruiters and HR business partners should prioritize their job openings so that the key roles get the greatest attention. It doesn’t really matter if your overall time-to-fill metric is only 30 days, if it is taking 3 times that long as that to fill key roles.

3. Onboarding Effectiveness

There are basically two simple ways to determine if your onboarding process is effective. The first way is to conduct a post-onboarding survey with new hires on or about 90 days after being brought onboard.

The second way to ensure that the first 90 days are properly scripted into a series of events aimed at supporting the new hire, and ensuring they have been given exposure to the right people.

By asking for completed and signed-off copies of the checklist, with signatures of both the new hire and manager, you improve the likelihood that the onboarding process will be taken seriously.

4. New Hire Dropout Rate

One way to tell how effective the organization is in terms of selecting, hiring, onboarding, and training new hires is to review turnover data. If the turnover rates for new hires (say the first 180 days) or newly hired (first year) are significantly higher that the remaining employee population, you likely have real issues.

Start by asking these questions:

  1. Are we presenting a realistic job preview during the interview process?
  2. Do we have properly trained interviewers asking the right questions?
  3. Are we doing a good job of checking references?
  4. Do we have our act together in terms of a scripted onboarding progression?
  5. Are the hiring managers effectively setting clear expectations?
  6. Have we met the commitments we agreed to during the ‘courting’ stage?
  7. Are we selecting based upon cultural fit?
  8. Do we involve coworkers in the interviewing process?

CAI members have access to all forms, tools, and templates for talent acquisition / recruiting / onboarding online at myCAI. Not a member? CAI can help you build an engaged, well-managed and low-risk workplace, give us a call at 919-878-9222 or visit www.capital.org/membership to learn more.

Tom Sheehan brings 20+ years of extensive, broad-based strategic, tactical and practical HR experience to CAI’s Advice & Resolution team.  He advises HR and other business leaders on talent management, organizational effectiveness, employee engagement, M&A’s, and employee relations.

 

Don’t Lose Your New Star on the First Day

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

The first day on a new job – Excitement, anticipation, fear, for the new employee AND their family. An employee’s first day can make the difference between them staying and leaving, between them being motivated and engaged or just riding out their time until something better comes along.  I’m going to illustrate my point by tracking the first day experiences of two new star employees: Jane Regret and Tom Happy. Think about which story sounds like your company.

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Jane’s first day starts with her husband wishing her luck.   She arrives early, beaming with excitement.  Jane becomes concerned as she learns the receptionist wasn’t expecting her and didn’t know if her boss Joe Smith was even in.  After ten minutes of calls and pages the receptionist finally reaches Joe, who apparently forgot she was starting that day.  Jane is asked to go to HR to fill out paperwork and told that Joe will meet her later.   Jane spends the next two hours in HR signing forms, hearing about benefits, and watching an old company video.   HR takes Jane to her desk, which really isn’t her desk because they haven’t figured out yet where Jane will sit.    HR gives Jane the policy manual to read and sign now, a catalog to order supplies and is told her computer should arrive in a few days.  Joe Smith finally pops in between meetings for a quick hello, telling Jane he’ll see her at Fred’s going away party this afternoon.   After going out to lunch by herself Jane attends the party for Fred, who is moving on after only 5 years.  Joe actually missed the party so Jane will try to find him on Tuesday.  Jane gets home and tells her husband that she may have made a big mistake.

Tom Happy’s wife Linda was surprised to find a rather large package from Tom’s new employer on the porch, especially since he hadn’t even started working there yet.  As Linda opens the box she calls to Tom, “Wow, it’s all kinds of company merchandise, shirts, hats, sweatshirts, etc.  There is also a copy of the company handbook for you to read.  And look there are tickets to the local baseball game – how did they know we love baseball?  And a note from your boss Jack Smith – Welcome aboard, can’t wait to start hitting home runs together.  See you in a month!”

happyTom leaves home on day one and Linda kisses him goodbye and wishes him well.  He arrives early and as he approaches the receptionist he sees his picture on the large TV in the lobby that reads “Today is Tom Happy day! Welcome Tom.”  The receptionist tells Tom they are glad to see him and that Jack will be right here.    Jack greets Tom, “I am so glad you are here, look we need you to sign some paperwork but first, let’s meet your teammates.”  As they approach Tom’s work area he sees streamers, balloons, and a gathering of people.

Tom’s teammates have gathered for coffee and bagels to welcome him.  They talk baseball, kids, share funny stories, etc. When Tom enters his office everything is there – supplies, computer, business cards, etc. After a quick visit to HR, Tom and Jack meet for several hours to review Tom’s 90 day plan and success factors. Several co-workers take Tom to lunch and share company history, why they came here, how important Tom’s role is to the team, and answer his questions about what it is really like to work here. Tom arrives home beaming and tells Linda how she won’t believe the day he had. Replies Linda, “I have an idea – look what Jack sent us – a bottle of wine with this note – Welcome aboard Tom and Linda, let’s raise a toast to a great new relationship.   We’re so glad you two have joined our family.”

These stories, while extreme, do teach us some valuable lessons about how we start our new employees. Think about Tom and Jane.  Which one is more motivated?  Which one is already questioning their decision?  Which one is susceptible to being recruited away? What will each person tell their family, their friends?  What might they post on Facebook or glassdoor.com?

Now, think about which story most resembles your company.  Most organizations I’m afraid resemble Jane’s experience.  Everyone’s doing more with less so few have time to go that extra mile for new employees.  At other companies “only the strong survive,” so they intentionally do not pamper newbies.

Feeling unwelcome, having a boss that doesn’t have time, an unclear job plan all increase the odds that you’ll lose that new star.  And once word gets out about your culture you’ll have a harder time attracting new stars.   You’ll also lose the training costs you’ve sunk into new employees as they leave. Depending on the level of position it can take anywhere from 8 to 28 weeks for a new employee to reach full productivity.

With this backdrop, here are some components of the best on-boarding plans.  Notice that these activities don’t require a large budget, just time and attention.

  • Activities that make a new employee feel welcome.  First impressions that people form about your company are extremely hard to overcome. Instead of just throwing parties for people who are leaving, celebrate your new stars.
  • One-on-one time with supervisor and other leadership. Don’t rush someone onto the payroll if you don’t have time to spend with them. Consider having new employee start on a day other than Monday if that’s your busiest.
  • Introduction into the formal and informal culture. Consider activities such as CEO meetings with newhires, “skip level” lunches, lunch-n-learns, and a buddy system to help new employees understand expected behaviors.
  • A carefully chosen mentor or buddy to help them navigate through your culture, processes and operation. A safe place to learn how things really operate.
  • Just-in-time resources that provide answers for the new employee.  Company acronym dictionaries, process diagrams, auto-enrolled into appropriate listserves and forums, phone lists, community information for relocations, etc.
  • Feedback and guidance on job performance.  Make sure your new hires are working a clear 90 day plan versus walking around aimlessly, with regrets.

A successful on-boarding process should cover the entire first year for the new hire and include all activities through which new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors to become effective.  When done right, on-boarding can lead to higher job satisfaction, better job performance, greater organizational commitment, and reduction in stress and intent to quit.

So start them off right and watch them soar.  Or, start them off wrong and watch them fly away.  Your choice.

p.s.  And when you lose a long term star from your team, odds are they’ll find themselves in a bad first day questioning their move.  Call them that first day and just tell them you’re thinking about them and hoping they are having a great first day!

Learn more about how our Advice & Resolution team can help you design a great onboarding program for your organization.

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Doug Blizzard, MBA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP serves as CAI’s Vice President of Membership, and has been with CAI for more than 15 years. Doug is well-versed in the world of HR from compliance issues to workforce management to aligning business objectives with HR. He strives to constantly improve the member experience and provide employers with the confidence needed to turn fears and opportunities into practical actions and results. If your HR team could benefit from some guidance, you’ll want to learn more about CAI.

 

Transform Your Business With These 5 New Year’s Resolutions

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

In today’s post, CAI’s HR Business Partner Tom Sheehan shares the important resolutions HR professionals should be aiming to tackle in the New Year.

The New Year is here, and I imagine many of you will have already set goals you hope to achieve by the end of 2016.  As HR professionals, odds are attracting and retaining talent will be some of your top priorities for the year.  To meet these goals, I would like to call your attention to five resolutions that if followed will be instrumental in creating success for your business this year.

  1. Narrow the Front Door to Close the Back Door
    Commit to improve the screening and selection processes to ensure that poor fit candidates don’t join the organization. In particular, use structured interview questions to assess for cultural fit, and incorporate realistic job previews. In short, by acting as the ‘gatekeeper of talent’ and narrowing the front door, you will reduce the unnecessary turnover of employees leaving via the backdoor.
  2. Hire for Attitude, Train for Skill
    Winston Churchill famously said that ‘Attitude is a little thing that makes a BIG DIFFERENCE.’ It is much easier to train a new hire on a set of work skills than to correct issues with their attitude. If you want to know about their attitude, check their references thoroughly.
  3. Onboard New Hires with Real Purpose
    Make certain that the new hire process utilizes a formal, scripted plan for the first 90 days. Include check-in points for an HR representative to make sure things are still on track. Hold the hiring manager accountable for ensuring that the process unfolds according to plan.
  4. Dump the ‘once a year’ Performance Review
    Resolve to make the performance management process something more than a ‘check-the-box’ exercise. Train managers on how to give performance feedback on a regular basis. Encourage managers to have weekly one-on-ones with their staffs. At a minimum, there should be a formal mid-year check-in between the employee and the manager.
  5. Do Less Better
    In our zeal to please (and support) our internal customers, HR has traditionally had a hard time saying ‘No’. As a result, we are often overextended and inefficient. Endeavor to prioritize your HR initiatives and select fewer projects to start. In doing so, you will improve execution and results.

Follow these resolutions and you will likely find a positive impact across your organization. Not only can it help transform your business for the better, but it also will improve the credibility and faith in HR and establish a reputation and culture for doing things the right way.

For further questions about how to achieve your HR resolutions in the New Year, please contact our Advice & Resolution team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

The Best Option for Onboarding Your New Employees

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

In today’s video blog, CAI’s Vice President of Membership, Doug Blizzard, asks you to recall the onboarding stories of Jane Regret and Tom Happy. He then explains that whether a new hire decides to stay with your company depends on the rest of your procedures for onboarding.

Doug suggests designing a complete onboarding process for your new employees to experience. During the process, new hires should acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and behavior to become effective organizational members.

When implemented effectively, Doug says a strong onboarding process can lead to higher job satisfaction, better job performance, faster production time, greater commitment and less stress.  He believes the best onboarding practices are written and include the following items:

  • Welcome activities
  • One-on-one time with supervisors and company leaders
  • Explanation of company culture
  • A mentor or buddy
  • Accessible resources
  • Customized training and professional development
  • Clear feedback and guidance

If you would like additional information for executing a sound onboarding program, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

 

Your Onboarding Program Can Determine Whether a New Hire Stays Long Term

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

A new hire’s first day can spur a number of emotions. Excitement, fear, anxiety and happiness are just a few. In today’s video post, CAI’s Director of Membership, Doug Blizzard, takes you through two examples of a new hire’s first day on the job. Which experience sounds like your company’s onboarding process?

Story A

In the first senario, Doug introduces us to Jane Regret. Jane arrives early on her first day. The receptionist asks Jane if she has an appointment, not realizing she’s the company’s new hire. She rings Jane’s supervisor. The receptionist says she hasn’t seen her manager, Joe Smith, today, but she tracks him down. Joe is in a meeting but wants Jane to fill out paperwork in HR, and he assures Jane they’ll speak later.

Jane spends time learning about benefits and filling out documents. Then HR takes her to her temporary office. They’ll  find a permanent home for her soon. Jane then receives the policy manual and a catalog to order supplies. She doesn’t have a computer but is told one should arrive in the next few days. Her manager finally pops in but encourages her to get settled.

After going to lunch by herself, Jane attends the party for her coworker who’s leaving the company after five years and she never gets a chance to connect with her manager. When she gets home, she tells her husband, “I think I made a big mistake.”

Story B

Before arriving t0 his first day of work, Tom Happy’s wife finds a package from her husband’s new employer. The two are surprised and interested to see what‘s inside. Tom opens the package to find company gear and two tickets to a baseball game with a note from his boss: Welcome Aboard! Can’t wait to start hitting homeruns together. See you in a month.

Tom arrives at his first day of work and notices his picture in the lobby with a message that read: Welcome, Tom! The receptionist tells Tom they’re glad to see him and his boss will be right there. Jack, the boss, greets Tom and says that he needs to get to HR to fill out paperwork. However, he wants Tom to meet his new teammates first.

As they approach his new area, Tom sees that his teammates have gathered with coffee and bagels to welcome him. All of his supplies are in his office, and after a quick visit with HR, Tom meets with Jack to review his 90-day performance plan.

Tom gets home and tells his wife, “You can’t believe the day I’ve had!”

A few thoughts from Doug on onboarding:

  • Don’t start a new employee unless their manager is able to commit time to them
  • The first day is the most important day for a new hire
  • You won’t overcome first impressions easily—if ever
  • Think about what you want your new employee to say to their friends and family about their first day and your company
  • Celebrate your new employees. Don’t just throw parties for your employees who are leaving
  • Do your new hires have a clear onboarding program?

Please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746 if you need help improving your company’s onboarding practice.

Four Tips for Onboarding Success

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Starting a new job is overwhelming. Trying to perform your best and learn a load of information can be stressful. Help your new hires make a great start by preparing them with a strong onboarding process. Plan a schedule of action items  that will  get them familiar with your organization. Sharing company policies and resources available to all will help your new employee adjust well to their new position.

In addition to a thoroughly planned onboarding schedule, several personalized actions will show your new employee that you’re glad they joined your team. Implement some of the practices below when your new hire starts:

Start on Tuesday

Starting your new employee on your busiest work day will not allow you to spend the proper amount of time getting him acquainted with the organization. If your busiest day is Monday, start your employee on Tuesday or another day with a lighter work load. You can answer his questions, show him where supplies are and take some time to get to know him when you start your new hire on a less busy day.

Break Out the Welcome Wagon

Help your new employee settle into their new position by making them feel welcomed and part of the team. Stock their workspace with pens, notepads, a handbook and other materials that will ensure a successful start with the company. Let them know it’s okay to ask questions or to be confused. When a week goes by, check in with them to see how their first week went. If you can help them out with anything, make sure they know it.

Give Introductions

Trying to get things done without knowing who people are or where their office is can be frustrating for a new employee trying to give a good impression. Help her out by introducing her to members of your organization that she’ll be in direct contact with. Make sure she knows where different departments are and who she needs to reach out to for various tasks around the office.

Take Them Out

Show them you’re excited for them to be on your team. Take them out for lunch and ask the other members of your department to join. This is a great time to get to know one another. Ask your new employee how their first day is going. Also encourage them tell more about themselves, like what they like to do in their free time or what their favorite sports are.

For more tips for a great onboarding process, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7786.

Photo Source: Victor1558

Onboarding Strategies for Getting Seasonal Workers Up to Speed

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

The post below is a guest blog from Kyle Lagunas.

Kyle Lagunas is the HR Analyst at Software Advice. On the surface, it’s his job to contribute to the ongoing conversation on all things HR. Beyond that, he makes sure his audience is keeping up with important trends and hot topics in the industry. Focused on offering a fresh take on points of interest in his market, he’s not your typical HR guy.

During peak periods – around the holidays, tax season or over the summer – it’s critical that businesses can easily manage the addition of temporary employees and quickly get them up to speed. And from recruiting and training to offboarding, seasonal employees can put your human resources software and processes to the test. Not only do you have to find and hire the right people, you have a very short time to train them and get them connected to your organization.

An effective, streamlined process for hiring and onboarding employees is essential to any organization’s success – especially those that rely on seasonal help. Here, I’ve outlined a few ways to go above and beyond your normal onboarding process to get seasonal employees geared up and ready to go.

Employee Integration: The Heart of Onboarding
According to ForbesWoman columnist and onboarding expert Emily Bennington, every employee in an organization should be integrated into the company on several levels – regardless of the length of employment. But because of the time constraints associated with onboarding seasonal workers, you’re going to need a concentrated game plan. How familiar with your products do they need to be to handle the register? Take a look at your existing onboarding process, and then adjust and condense it so you can achieve your optimal level of integration.

5 Key Factors of a Strong Seasonal Workforce
Some people may assume I’m focused on training when I say “onboarding,” but the fact is that the employee experience starts in the recruiting stage. With this in mind, here are a few key strategies to help you throughout every phase of the process:

Tailor your recruiting strategies. Your recruiting efforts should be tailored to meet the specific needs of a seasonal workforce. It’s important to make the details of the opportunity clear from the get-go. I would also be wary of how you communicate potential for further employment, as you don’t want folks making assumptions.

Perform due diligence. Don’t skimp on due diligence in collecting legal papers and monitoring employees’ schedules. “A lot of people short-circuit processes like verifying work eligibility or tracking hours correctly. It should go without saying, but you really need to be sure you’re following the law,” says John Rossheim, a senior contributing writer at Monster.com.

Provide proper training. According to Bennington, onboarding should focus on integrating new employees in three areas:

  •  Technical Skills: To what depth of expertise do seasonal employees need to be trained to perform their jobs?
  • Company Culture: How thoroughly do seasonal hires need to understand company policies and values?
  • Social Integration: In what ways can you connect seasonal employees to your organization so they feel like they are part of the team?

Furthermore, Rossheim suggests designing your seasonal workforce “to accomplish the task at hand, rather than haphazardly training everyone to do everything they may possibly have to do. Specialize rather than throwing everyone into the same bucket.”

Know your capacity upfront. Whether you have a general human resources management system or a hodgepodge of spreadsheets and checklists – it’s important to know your capacity. Can your back-office system efficiently handle an increased volume in applicants and new hires?

Make them part of the team. Seasonal employees can easily feel isolated if an onboarding program doesn’t successfully connect them to the organization. According to Eddie Baeb of Target Corportate Communications, Target is focused on engaging seasonal employees and making them feel just as valued as anyone else from day one. With nearly 40 percent (about 35,800) of seasonal team members joining as permanent employees last year after the holidays, they’ve got this down.

Offboarding Offers an Opportunity for Improvement
You may have discovered a few star performers you’d like to bring onto your team permanently. For the rest, though, Bennington says “there’s definitely an opportunity to establish brand ambassadors.” Offboarding provides a chance to make a lasting positive impression while gaining insight into the worker’s experience.

Standard offboarding practices include surveying workers on their experience. Bennington suggests going beyond surveying and having one-on-one exit interviews with select employees to get more candid responses.