So you’ve been through the lengthy interviewing stage and you’ve given them good news to one or a select few candidates, that they have been chosen. In the initial stages as the business owner, you probably have one thing in mind only. How will they transition from a candidate to an employee? What you’re asking here is how well will an outsider fit in with the rest of your employees and the way you do business here? Now we’re heading into a realm of ideas and thinking. Onboarding a candidate is a mental challenge unlike any other in the realm of business. They almost have to unlearn everything from their past in order to fully absorb your culture, processes, procedures, communication standards and future aims. Here’s how you can make that new person, ‘one of us’.

Meet them at the door 

When new candidates arrive for their first day of work, just 5 minutes alone with the boss would put their minds at ease. They are more nervous than you are, so giving them a handshake, smile and a little pep talk to motivate and welcome them, will drastically improve their transitional period. Meet your candidate(s) at the front door when they arrive. They may not have ever met you, so introduce who you are and what your role is in the business. Speak briefly to them about why you chose them instead of the others. Give them some gentle words of advice on what kind of culture you have, who to talk to if they have a problem, etc. After a small chat, you can hand them over to their department manager and get on with your day.

Not a one-day activity

Onboarding should never be a ‘one and done’ process. Think about it, your business is complex, you use different software, your teams approach tasks differently and the thinking among your employees is very niche. Building an onboarding activities checklist is, therefore, going to make the process detailed and linear. There are around 7 phases, going from the day you say you’re hired to the end of the first year. Firstly, you call the candidate and tell them you have accepted them. Take the opportunity to have a small welcome video be sent to them via email. Step two is preparing all the paperwork in time for their first day. Everything from benefits, payroll, insurance policies, bonus plans, overtime rata sign up, etc, should be completed.

One month checkup

After a month has passed, it's good of the boss to check in with the candidate. By now they will have almost gotten used to the software your business uses and the office procedures as tasks move along in stages of completion. See how well they have fitted into the office dynamics and what kinds of opinions they have to perhaps improve things.

Step by step, the candidate will become a trusted employee. Utilize several phase onboarding processes, so you’re giving the new link in the chain a well-rounded introduction to the business.