Attracting and retaining good tech talent is more difficult than ever in 2019. The acceleration of digital transformation, online content, and user expectations means the demand for good tech candidates is sky high.
With demand for top talent so strong, organisations need to be ultra-competitive to attract and keep the best people. It also means companies need to ensure they’re staying up to speed with the rapidly changing landscape of tech and employee expectations.
The onboarding process is one that may seem pretty straightforward but is actually very difficult to get right. And it can mean the difference between impressing new talent and letting them hit the ground running or turning them off the company completely.
Why the onboarding process is so important
Having a smooth onboarding process is important in every industry. But it is even more important in tech because talent is in such high demand that they can easily afford to have higher expectations.
A well-planned onboarding process not only makes new hires feel welcome but makes life easier for managers and HR and helps build a great company culture. It also leads to improved performance from new hires, improved retention rates, and increased client/customer satisfaction.
The path to smooth onboarding
It all starts with the interview. Make sure in the interview that you clarify expectations and make clear statements about the kind of company culture your organisation has established. But avoid overselling the role.
Once the candidate has accepted the offer, don’t forget that if if you don’t also create a good onboarding experience then even if you spent months finding and landing your dream candidate, they might walk out the door three months into the job for a greener pasture.
Ask anyone what their greatest frustration about starting a new job is and they’ll probably tell you it’s trying to start a job without having the tools in place to actually do their job. If you’re hiring a developer then they’ll obviously need a computer and network access immediately but don’t overlook that in some cases this process can take days or even weeks to finalise.
Netflix is just one company that takes this preboarding step very seriously and has the preferred laptop of choice configured to the preference of each new starter when they arrive on day one. What software will they need? Will they need an extra screen or have any other special requirements for their workstation? These are fairly small things to address but make a big impression on new starters. Having these things sorted when they arrive shows that your company knows what it’s doing and their presence and time is valued.
A great phrase to remember is that with each new hire you should be looking to “accommodate, assimilate, and accelerate” them to full productivity as soon as possible. Don’t forget to focus on the social, not just the technical. Introduce senior tech/IT people and if your company runs a mentor program, introduce them to their mentor early on.
Ensure that anything that was promised in the interview or in the job offer is delivered so their role is aligned with their expectations. Have a project ready to go they can get involved in that will likely lead to an early win.
Day two and beyond
In the following days and weeks, let your new hire find their feet, encourage them to voice their opinions and give them coaching where needed. Be available to answer questions, give them feedback, and review performance and expectations often, preferably with measurable results.
Finally, continue to assess your onboarding process so you can keep making it better for next time. Don’t make the mistake of having one set process and then never revisiting it. Seek feedback on the onboarding experience from each new hire once they’ve settled in after the first few weeks.
The quality of your staff ultimately decides the future success of your organisation. Especially in tech, it is difficult to attract the best talent so when you do land them you need to do everything you can to hold onto them. And having a great onboarding process plays a huge part in ensuring that happens.
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