Onboarding: A First Hand Look

In the human capital space, onboarding continues to be a hot topic, but it’s been a while since I’ve been through it myself. The first-day jitters, the paperwork, the new commute, the new colleagues. Fortunately, a lot of those usual concerns have been alleviated for me. I’m lucky enough to have known most of my new colleagues at Brandon Hall Group for quite some time, having met them at various industry events over the years. And my commute involves walking down the hallway into my office. So there’s no best practice case study, or cautionary tale in my first day on the job. But I have been thinking a lot about onboarding, and getting to know in a new way my colleagues, our readers and members, and the rest of the community at large that may or may not know me already. So I thought I’d share a few things about myself in this first blog, before turning to the research.

In thinking about where to start, I looked at my twitter bio (@mollielombardi), which forced me to summarize who I am in very brief format, and it’s not bad. “HCM analyst, professional data geek, Parkinson’s advocate, crazy dog lady.”

HCM analyst – There are a lot of ways to describe what an analyst does. As I described it to the six-year-old son of a friend, I get to ask people questions, use math to understand how many people do certain things, and then write about it. He promptly replied that if I had to use both math and writing, it sounded like an awful job. But I really kind of like it. I have the privilege to talk to and ask questions of vendors, practitioners, academic experts, and a host of other really smart people, quantify what they say, and then share my own thoughts and analysis as well. It’s an amazing vantage point from which to look at technology and practices in the human capital space.

Professional data geek – I never really knew I was a data geek until I became an analyst. But it actually is tremendously exciting to get a new data set in, and pore over the numbers, finding trends, correlations, surprises and even contradictions. I love the challenge of finding a story in the data, and looking at how information relates to other pieces of information, how strategy or tools connect to business performance and human outcomes. The numbers don’t lie, and it’s great fun to see where they take me.

Parkinson’s advocate – in the fall of 2013 I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a neurological disorder affecting movement. I am incredibly fortunate to have great doctors, great support from my industry and colleagues, as well as friends and family. Anyone who knows me knows that I plan to kick Parkinson’s firmly in the teeth and have not let it slow me down. One of the greatest privileges of my deciding to come forth with my diagnosis has been the opportunity to raise awareness and funds to find a cure, and if you follow me on twitter you will find many opportunities to join me in the fight.

Crazy dog lady – Not that there’s anything wrong with being a cat person, but I had to disprove the stereotype about women in HR. I am firmly pro-dog, with 100 pounds of Bernese Mountain dog occupying a big round cushion in my office on a daily basis to prove it. He is the most excited of all about my new job, because it means I get to work from home more often and he gets more belly rubs.

And last but not least, member of the BHG team – I am beyond thrilled to be joining this great group of professionals, all experts in their field, all united in helping more than 10,000 clients across the globe improve organizational performance and transform their businesses. I look forward to getting to know all of you more in the future, and to doing great work together.

Mollie Lombardi, Vice President of Workforce Management Practice and Principal Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

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Mollie Lombardi