Imagine this – you are a new hire, excited that you received an offer after going through multiple rounds of interviews from your dream company! On the day you accept your offer you receive a welcome mail from your prospective manager welcoming you and connecting you to a buddy within the team.
In the weeks leading up to your start date, a buddy connect is organized and you have all your big, small and silly questions answered. Your prospective manager connects with you for a quick catch up call once a fortnight, he/she is aware of how far you are into your onboarding paperwork and checks in on progress, asks you if you need any help with pending paperwork so they can connect you to the right HR partner. You feel comfortable to ask questions on tasks, expectations, the organization’s vision and get familiar with the team culture even before Day1.
How inclined will you be to consider offers from other companies? our guess – NONE!
A new hire experiences the organization, its values and culture through the team he/she is a part of and the manager he/she will work with. This ecosystem called “team” and the “team leader/manager” are the people they will extensively network with, learn from, have their goals set and contribute to through their performance from Day1 in a new organization1.
Yet, in most organizations the official role of the hiring manager in the onboarding process is negligible, in the space of new hire onboarding and experience. Most talent acquisition processes expect the hiring manager or experts from the team, to get involved in the selection process and then there is no accountability till the date the new joiner onboards. The momentum picks up for induction and project level integration post start date. Till such time the new hire is disconnected and engages primarily with the HR teams for administrative aspects.
Multitude of short-sighted reasons are attributed for this gap – too busy with client deliverables, pre-boarding is primarily about administrative paperwork, let’s invest once the new hire actually onboards to name a few. In the bargain, the core benefits of better employee experience and integration, reduced offer drop rates and people manager accountability for new talent are overlooked.
The scope of employee experience needs to broaden, organizations will do well to remember that people join teams and limiting the responsibility for pre-onboarding to operations will begin the relationship with new talent on a transactional note and create a poor first impression. It is important to recognize that receiving an offer is a significant milestone, a validation of skill, experience and value in the market for an individual. Elevating that moment with the right experience will have the right impact on hard metrics like offer renege, higher early productivity, team inclusion and reduced nascent attrition.
With remote working becoming the new norm, fundamental re-design of process to include managers prior to Day 1 is a need enterprises cannot shy away from any longer. Key mind shifts to focus on include –
- The role of the people manager doesn’t begin only after a new hire joins the team, the “woo” needs to commence from day of offer acceptance.
- Enterprises need to make new hire renege and attrition a part of the performance metrics for managers and make this behaviour shift a reality.
- Managers and HR need to collaborate on user centric design to elevate new hire pre-onboarding and induction journey with buddy programs, such as greet your future colleagues interventions
In the war for talent, the ability to attract, engage and retain the best in a distributed and remote working world rests with managerial ownership and active partnership with HR from the stage of candidate experience to new hire assimilation to employee experience.
Are your managers an integral part of new hire pre-onboarding? Or is it still a recruiter and HR Operations prerogative?
1A citation for this statement: Korte, R. & Lin, S. (2012). Getting on board: Organizational socialization and the contribution of social capital. Human Relations, 66, 407-428. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0018726712461927