Have Organizations Really Changed their Onboarding Practices?

I thought I would give you another taste of what we learned from Brandon Hall Group’s 2016 Onboarding study, but if you would like to learn more – and there is a lot more – attend our complimentary webinar, What is New in Onboarding? on Oct. 19 at 1pm Eastern. shutterstock_309698858

When I started this Onboarding study, I hypothesized that many organizations are now taking advantage of a practice that is relatively new — pre-boarding new hires before the first day of work and that they are involving managers, mentors and other stakeholders outside HR and Learning and Development in the onboarding process.

Both practices can have a very favorable impact on new hires. Pre-boarding can keep that new hire engaged with the organization during that sometimes lengthy gap between the signing of the offer letter and the first day of work. It can begin to provide insight on the organization’s culture, mission, and values and introduce the new hire to their leaders, managers, and co-workers. Some of employment paperwork can be completed during this time frame. And the overall effect can be to shorten time-to-proficiency, which is a very valued metric among HR professionals.

Involving managers, leaders, mentors outside of HR and L&D in onboarding can be very beneficial to new hires and to the process itself. Involving managers and leaders will ensure that they understand what is being covering during the process, contribute to its effectiveness, and have a chance to express their perspectives. New hires will get an opportunity to make a connection with these individuals, ask questions, and get a realistic view of the organization. Mentors greatly enhance learning during onboarding and facilitate assimilation.

Making Headway on Pre-boarding

What I found out is that organizations are making some headway with respect to pre-boarding.

More than half of the organizations are at least taking some advantage of the pre-boarding process. These are the practices most administered by organizations both during pre-boarding and onboarding: employment paperwork (59%), assimilation into the organization’s culture (36%), orientation on policies, values, mission (35%), assessments (34%), and benefit enrollment (33%).

However, a really surprising finding is that a substantial percentage of organizations are not administering some practices at all, whether it be during pre-boarding or onboarding: assessments (51%), social networking activities (57%), mentoring/coaching (46%), and orientation on diversity policies/programs (26%). All of these practices really help to ensure new hire engagement, connection, and that the new hire will have a successful career at the organization.

Involvement Outside of HR/Learning and Development

Not surprisingly, for more than six in ten organizations said the roles most involved in onboarding are as expected: HR professionals (76% involved, very involved or fully dedicated), the hiring manager (67%), and Learning and Development (62%).  The good news is that for about 42% of the organizations, co-workers/peers and/or business unit or department managers are involved in onboarding.

Unfortunately, only 32% of the organizations get the benefit of really involving mentors or coaches during onboarding. That is disappointing. Involvement of mentors and coaches can really enhance new-hire learning during onboarding and can extend it to on the job work experience.

So, like the pre-boarding process, organizations are making some headway with involving stakeholders outside of HR and L&D in onboarding.

Daria Friedman, Principal Analyst, Talent Acquisition, Brandon Hall Group

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Mike Cooke

Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group Mike Cooke Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Mike Cooke was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of AC Growth. Mike held leadership and executive positions for the majority of his career, at which he was responsible for steering sales and marketing teams to drive results and profitability. His background includes more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, management, and operations in the research, consulting, software and technology industries. Mike has extensive experience in sales, marketing and management having worked for several early high-growth emerging businesses and has implemented technology systems to support various critical sales, finance, marketing and client service functions. He is especially skilled in organizing the sales and service strategy to fully support a company’s growth strategy. The concept of growth was an absolute to Mike and a motivator in starting AC Growth, in order to help organizations achieve research driven results. Most recently, Mike was the VP and General Manager of Field Operations at Bersin & Associates, a global analyst and consulting services firm focused on all areas of enterprise learning, talent management and talent acquisition. Tasked with leading the company’s global expansion, Mike led all sales operations worldwide. During Mike’s tenure, the company has grown into a multi-national firm, conducting business in over 45 countries with over 4,500 multi-national organizations. Mike started his career at MicroVideo Learning Systems in 1992, eventually holding a senior management position and leading all corporate sales before founding Dynamic Minds. Mike was CEO and Co-Founder of Dynamic Minds, a custom developer of software programs, working with clients like Goldman Sachs, Prentice Hall, McGraw Hill and Merrill Lynch. Also, Mike worked for Oddcast, a leading provider of customer experience and marketing solutions, where he held a senior management position leading the company into new markets across various industries. Mike also serves on the Advisory Board for Carbon Solutions America, an independent sustainability consulting and carbon management firm that specializes in the design and implementation of greenhouse reduction and sustainability plans as well as managing the generation of carbon and renewal energy and energy efficiency credits. Mike attended University of Phoenix, studying Business Administration and Finance. He has also completed executive training at the Chicago Graduate School of Business in Chicago, IL.