Hiring vs. Onboarding, What is More Important?

I hope you realized that this is a trick question.  Great leaders will spend about half of their time on these two important key competencies.  My focus on excellence in these two areas has been one of the keys to my success as a manager.  In In the future, I will write articles that will focus on best practices for hiring great employees, but this article will focus on how to make sure your employees are productive in the first six months.

I have read a lot a great books and articles on how to hire top talent, including one of my favorites Top Grading, but I felt compelled to write on the important topic of onboarding before sharing my tips on hiring. I have observed many managers that leave onboarding to human resources, corporate training, information technology or even their administrative assistant.  This is not the recipe for success!  Statistics show why onboarding is so important and why the first year in a new job is so critical.  In fact data indicates that employees are most likely to leave a job in the first year.  Below are eight things I believe are critical to onboarding new employees.

  1. The manager should personally oversee the onboarding process.  While tasks can be delegated, it is the manager's responsibility to make sure they are done on time.
  2. Small companies can use a spreadsheet to track the process and larger organizations should have a HRIS system or a onboarding workflow and reporting dashboard built in SharePoint.
  3. Be the first to greet your new employee on their first day.
  4. Personally validate they have the tools they need day one (computer, desk, business cards etc.)
  5. Review manager expectations and company values in the first two days.
  6. Have an onboarding checklist for the employee to use to get up to speed quickly.
  7. Assign one of your top performers as a mentor.
  8. Block of time in your schedule to make sure you are available during the first few weeks.

What are your best practices?  I look forward to hearing from you on social media or in the comments below.