Covid-19: Four Ways to Develop a Successful Onboarding Process for New Recruits

13 November 2020 by Max Eldridge
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It’s not surprising that the covid-19 pandemic has given way to a continued hiring in
the pharmaceutical industry. But how, at a time when remote working is key, do
companies ensure a smooth onboarding process for their new recruits?

We look at four ways you can develop a successful onboarding process to welcome staff to
your company and ensure a better outcome for all. After all, 69% of employees say they were more likely to stay with a company for
three years when experiencing great onboarding.

Ensure the Job Description is Clear

Imagine starting a new role, only to find out later that the job description didn’t lay
out exactly what you’d be doing. It would be frustrating, to say the least.

We believe onboarding starts well before your employees even begin working with you.

By taking the time to lay out a clear and concise job description and ensuring, your new
recruit will be ready and raring to tackle the job at hand. It’s when people
don’t know what they’re doing that they begin to lose confidence, which can
ultimately show in their work.

Streamline the Admin Process for New Starters

Most new recruits will likely want to feel part of the team as soon as possible, but
nothing screams ‘new starter’ quite like three hours spent hunched over reams
of paperwork about fire safety and manual handling.

If possible, streamline the admin process for new starters by making paperwork
available online well before they begin work. They can then digest everything
in their own time, leaving them free to take on new tasks on their first day
‘in the office’. Of course, during the pandemic they will probably be working
from home anyway, but anything you can do to make your new employee feel like
part of the team will help them settle in much quicker.

According to a SaplingHR survey last year, 58% of organisations state onboarding
processes focus on paperwork
, with an average of 54 activities to complete
during onboarding. That’s a lot of paperwork!

Put firm plans in place to make sure this isn’t the case for your new starter, and
you’ll be glad you did.

In an SHRM report, automated onboarding technology was a method
employed by 68% of level 3 organisations, level 3 being the most proactive and
successful in utilising strategic onboarding techniques, with only 20% of
organisations reaching this level. This included simple changes, such as automating
forms, tracking progress against development plans, and identifying employees who
need additional support.

Introduce a Clear Performance Plan

It may be slightly more difficult to keep tabs on employees’ productivity if
they’re working from home, but by introducing a clear performance plan from the
outset, you can ensure everyone benefits in the long-term.

Check in with new recruits as regularly as possible, for performance one-to-ones via
video call. It helps boost morale at a time when employees may easily feel
isolated during a period of remote work, and it can offer some much-needed
structure to the working week or month.

You could also implement a ‘buddy system’ for new recruits, linking them up with
someone they can have a regular Zoom call with to feel better connected to the
wider team. This could act as an informal way for new employees to ask any
questions they have to help guide them through their first weeks.

Set Up Regular Employee Feedback Sessions

Within the life sciences sector, there
are many different sizes and types of organisations, each with their own
culture. That’s where regular employee feedback sessions come in, which can
continually shape the onboarding process to suit new starters joining the
business.

You could send surveys to new starters to find out how they’re getting on. Alternatively, you might choose to
set up focus groups to discuss the onboarding experiences amongst long-standing
employees.

Benefits to a great onboarding process include cost savings, improved retention and
increased productivity of employees, which ultimately contributes to business
improvement, so why wouldn’t you want to set one up that works during the
pandemic too?

Will you be introducing a new onboarding process? Let us know by commenting on this blog
post (below).