What to Expect When Onboarding
Starting a new job is not much different from the first day of school when you were a kid. It can be stressful and anxiety-inducing, you don’t know anyone that well, and depending on how well it goes, it could make or break the school year. Or, in this case, how long you stay at the job.
Companies are spending more than ever on hiring and retention, especially during these Great Resignation times, and onboarding is a big part of that. What exactly is onboarding? To put it simply, it’s the process of integrating new employees into a company, and it encompasses everything from having them sign the necessary paperwork to let them get to know their new co-workers.
Now that so much work is done remotely, onboarding processes have become much different than pre-pandemic times. Back before the pandemic, your first day of work (onboarding) usually involved a tour of the office, going out for lunch with your new team, and spending an hour or so filling out forms.
Some companies may still do this if their workers have returned to the office. But many companies today that have remote workers are doing the entire hiring and onboarding process remotely. It can be a strange experience at first, but it’s also more flexible, and companies use many of the same tried-and-true methods.
Empire Resume will let you know what to expect when onboarding, including what it’s like in today’s remote work environment.
Good Companies Take Onboarding Very Seriously
Whether you’re working remotely or not, many companies today are increasingly using more technology in the onboarding process. That means the days of filling out paperwork are usually replaced with filling out the same types of documentation in online systems.
HR managers take onboarding very seriously because they know that making a good first impression is essential. Bad onboarding can hurt employer’s big time. About 31% of employees quit during the first six months of a job, sometimes because of poor onboarding, according to a survey by BambooHR. If a company has a disorganized onboarding plan, it can leave you feeling confused, anxious, and disengaged. And if the onboarding is really bad, it could be a red flag the company isn’t that great.
Before the job starts, employees should expect some “pre-boarding,” which means contact with the company before Day 1. This will usually involve the HR manager or your future boss reaching out to ensure you have access to company email or other critical software, like their Slack channel.
In the world of remote work, pre-boarding is essential. If you’re in the office, it’s easier to stop by a manager’s desk to ask about access to company email. But it’s a little more complicated when everyone’s working remotely.
Recently, companies have become much more flexible about onboarding. An HR manager will usually have a checklist of things they need to do, but good managers will tailor the process to each employee. You should expect to receive a digital copy of the employee handbook and policies on your first day.
I’s also likely you’ll meet with several new co-workers and managers. A good company will tailor each meeting to you and your new position, and if you’re working remotely, each session will obviously be on video chat.
Don’t Be Shy About Asking Questions
One of the hardest parts of starting a new job is the sense you don’t belong yet. This can be especially true while working remotely, as you’re not in the physical presence of your new co-workers and can’t gauge things like body language.
Many companies help with a sense of belonging by assigning you a “workplace buddy” or “mentor.” Companies did this before the pandemic, but it’s even more critical in a remote work environment. A workplace buddy can show you the ropes and answer any questions you may have.
Even if you aren’t assigned a buddy or mentor, we strongly suggest you reach out to a new co-worker and not be shy about asking questions. HR managers and your new boss will be more formal toward you while talking to a co-worker informally can help you feel more like you fit in.
You can also expect several orientations during the onboarding process. Orientations differ from onboarding in that they’re more like presentations where you receive more formal instructions on things like company policies, benefits, and other relevant company information. Even if you’re working in the office, a company nowadays will likely provide this type of orientation online through some kind of video presentation or software.
At some point during onboarding, you may also learn about the company’s goals and plans for new hire performance reviews. Of course, every company is different, but many companies set up performance check-ins for new hires at 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days. While these evaluations can be nerve-wracking, remember they’re designed to help you progress and grow with the company, and they’re not always a punitive measure or so-called probationary period.
If your new company is very organized, you can also expect some type of weekly check-ins or check-in system with your new boss or the HR manager. It’s easy for new employees to get distracted when they first start a job, especially if it’s a remote one. So, periodic check-ins with the new boss can be good because they’re designed to keep you focused.
Start Your New Job Off on the Right Foot
Starting a new job can be scary, even for people who have been in the workforce for a while. Onboarding is designed to make the transition smoother, and depending on how good your new company is, the first few days and weeks at a job can be a good indication of if you’ll stay long-term or not.
Onboarding processes are different nowadays because so many companies are working remotely. Instead of going out for coffee with a new co-worker, you may be talking to them in a Zoom call. Either way, make the best of your first few days at your new job by not being shy about reaching out and asking questions.
A good company will have an organized and comprehensive onboarding process that covers all the basics and gives you a great first impression. But remember to reciprocate and put yourself out there so that your onboarding process is a success and you start your new job off on the right foot.
Stay tuned to Empire Resume’s blog for more helpful insights on careers and employment, including articles like How to Use LinkedIn for Your Job Search, How to Get Promoted, and 5 Benefits of Hiring Remote Workers.
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Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate and motivate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. Her interests range from writing to programming and design. She is also passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.