Keys To A Great Employee Onboarding Experience

Episode 18

Episode overview

In this episode, Pete & Ricky offer advice to professionals in the human resources industry on how to seamlessly onboard your new hire. A positive employee onboarding experience is crucial to retaining top talent.

32 minutes

View transcript

Tips on how to onboard your new hire

1. Follow a structured approach. Design a training plan for your future employees and be consistent with it.

2. Continue communication with the candidate up until their start date. You want to continue to remind them that they made the right decision and be confident in it.

3. Prepare for the employee’s first day and do as much as you can in advance. Get all the behind-the-scenes stuff done beforehand. Have all of the paperwork, equipment, and logins ready to go before they start.

4. Share your training plan with your new employee. Make it as easy as possible for them by letting your employee know what to expect and what they will be experiencing in this training process.

5. Check in on them regularly. Don’t just forget about your new employee after day one. Make sure you are there for any questions throughout their first week and that they have someone to help assimilate to the company’s culture.

6. Ask for feedback. While you hope that things are going well for your new employee, never assume. Once they get settled in, ask them what they liked and what they didn’t, and use this feedback for future employee training.

Additional resources

New Hire Checklist: The Easiest Way To Onboard
How To Conduct Virtual Onboarding
Is Your Top Talent Having a Knockout First Day of Work?
Highly Effective Strategies for Employee Retention

Pete Newsome

About Pete Newsome

Pete Newsome is the president of 4 Corner Resources, the nationally acclaimed staffing and recruiting firm he founded in 2005. His mission back then was the same as it is today: to do business in a personal way, while building an organization with boundless opportunities for ingenuity and advancement. When not managing 4 Corner’s growth or spending time with his family of six, you can find Pete sharing his sales and business expertise through public speaking, writing, and as the host of the Hire Calling podcast.

Ricky Baez

About Rick Baez

Efrain “Ricky” Baez Jr. is a published human resources professional specializing in strategically aligning HR competencies to business goals with a down to earth, common sense approach. Ricky is a four- year veteran of the United States Marine Corps and holds a Masters degree in Human Resources (MHR) from Rollins College and an SPHR certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute. Ricky is also a faculty member for the Master of Human Resources program at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.


Ricky Baez 0:00
Hello, this is Ricky Baez and you’re listening to the Hire Calling Podcast.

Pete Newsome 0:11
Welcome everyone and thank you for listening to the Hire Calling Podcast. I’m Pete Newsome, and this is your source for all things hiring, staffing, and recruiting. And of course, I’m back on this beautiful Monday with Ricky Baez. Ricky, how are you today?

Ricky Baez 0:25
I’m doing fantastic, sir. How about you?

Pete Newsome 0:28
I’m doing okay. It’s Monday, life is good. We’re in Florida.

Ricky Baez 0:32
That’s right.

Pete Newsome 0:34
We’re doing all right. Doing all right.

Ricky Baez 0:35
Temperatures slowly dropping to the areas that I like, it’s after Labor Day, a week or so after Labor Day. So, it’s getting slightly cooler. Not that much. But this is my favorite time of year.

Pete Newsome 0:46
It’s getting there.

Ricky Baez 0:47
It’s getting there.

Pete Newsome 0:48
We’re not quite there yet. But we’re getting there.

Ricky Baez 0:50
I’ll take any win Pete, any win. And I’m good.

Pete Newsome 0:55
So today, we’re going to switch it up again. Okay. And we’re going to talk about something that is a really important part of the hiring process, it’s a critical part to get right. It sets the tone for employees, when they come in, it also sets the tone for the organization as a whole, I think and that is employee onboarding. And as an HR guy that has to be near and dear to your heart, right?

Ricky Baez 1:22
Very, very near and dear Pete. You know, I’ve been doing this for 20 years. And one of the things that I’ve noticed in human resources is that we focus a lot on recruiting. We focus a lot on the commercial and the advertisement of the allure of you working for us.

Ricky Baez 1:42
And what I have seen throughout my career is that we tend to give a lot more tender loving care to that side of the house, and we tend not to give nearly as enough attention to that same allure when people come on board said to me, this is very much near and dear to my heart.

Pete Newsome 1:59
Perfect. So, you say we do all the work to get them there, you know, and then you cross the threshold and then forget about what was so important.

Ricky Baez 2:10
Well not that we forget, right? It’s that we keep focusing on the next person and the next person. And as we should, right, we obviously should. But let’s not forget about the people who come on board. I always joked around with my last team, whenever we’re at a job fair.

Ricky Baez 2:25
And I always tell my team, I’m like, Look, my job as the HR leader is to make sure that the recruitment team does an amazing job. And I mean, amazing job to advertise how awesome it is to work here. And then I turn to the managers, the asset managers on the floor, is my job is to make sure that I don’t make the recruiters look like liars. Right? It’s great to work here, right?

Ricky Baez 2:50
And let me come in and let’s show them why it’s so great to work here. And that is the benefits and the career path and all those things that the leaders are supposed to do. So, my job is twofold. So yeah, definitely love this topic. I can’t wait.

Pete Newsome 3:03
So, you know, we have to consider right now that a lot of onboarding has shifted into be virtual. So that’s a factor for it as well. But I think maybe that is something we can keep in mind as we go through the individual tips. And we’re going to offer six today, I believe.

Ricky Baez 3:21
That’s right.

Pete Newsome 3:22
To our listeners. So, let’s get into it with tip number one.

Ricky Baez 3:26
Alright, so tip number. Oh, I’m sorry, go ahead. I’m excited, Pete.

Pete Newsome 3:30
You are excited. This is your show today. So, let’s let you go. So, what is tip number one, Ricky?

Ricky Baez 3:38
So, tip number one, before I say tip number one, let me just explain this. You know, we talked about bringing them on, we talked about I’m sorry, the interview process. We talked about getting ready for the interview. And we also talked about what the hiring authority needs to do during that interview. You know, once the interview is over, and we extend the job offer, the candidate accepts the offer, there’s that little time in between.

Ricky Baez 4:02
Either that week, two weeks, three weeks that I call is the critical period, the critical time. And that’s the week where in the back of the candidate’s mind, Pete, they’re thinking I don’t care how great the interview went, but in the back of your mind they’re thinking, did I make the right decision? Is this the right thing? I mean, I don’t care how great it went, people still think that. It is our job, with a robust onboarding process, it is our job to remove that doubt.

Ricky Baez 4:30
And here’s how we do it. The first tip is you follow a structured approach, a training plan. Don’t just roll that dice, have a robust training plan ready for when that person comes on board. So, what does that look like? That looks like you know, making sure what your day one looks like, your day two, day three, that first week, that second week, that third, all the way to the end of those 90 days. So, have you structured an approach, a training plan, to make sure you’re ready for that candidate before they come on board?

Pete Newsome 5:00
You know if there’s a recurring theme throughout this season of our podcast so far, I think it’s preparation.

Ricky Baez 5:06

Pete Newsome 5:07
So, you know, we talk about preparation for candidates prior to an interview, preparation, you know, in even knowing you know how long it’s going to take to drive to work. Same thing with hiring managers needing to be prepared. And so, this is really just, you know, a natural step in that preparation of being ready for this new employee to come in. And you can either get it really right or really wrong, through that, you know, that first day, and then the first week and then carry on to the first month.

Pete Newsome 5:41
So, a lot of it is training, a lot of it also has to do with just almost having a checklist of sorts of you know, that certain things have to happen each time you bring a candidate on board. The paperwork doesn’t change that much unless the government changed something or your internal processes change. So, it really does make sense to have a checklist. Are there any other tips that you’d offer about this, in this area in particular?

Ricky Baez 6:15
No, absolutely. So, once you got that checklist, that plan on board, remember I talked about a few minutes ago, remember, like if it was that long ago, about that magical period between the time they said yes, and the time they start, you can’t forget. I know that time is boring for us from an HR point of view. We can’t forget about the candidate during that time. So, what does that mean?

Ricky Baez 6:37
If they put in a two-week notice, don’t just forget about that candidate until that Friday before they start, keep in contact with them have regular cadence, regular check-ins. Whether it’s a text, whether it’s an email, a phone call, not every day, right, you don’t want to come across as too overbearing, but you want to let the candidate know, you want to continue to remind the candidate they made the right decision. Because the less you talk to them, the more of those negative thoughts go into their head to see if that’s the right choice or not, because change, it’s difficult.

Pete Newsome 7:09
Well, right now, in this world, where we know that it’s an employee’s market, that good employees are very hard to come by, harder than normal, given the imbalance in the number of job openings, versus the number of people who are actually on the job market, there’s probably an opportunity for counter-offers to happen pretty frequently right now, too. I mean, that opportunity always exists. But now more than ever, I bet it’s happening with some frequency. So, I think that communication along the way is going to help a lot there, too.

Ricky Baez 7:44
Absolutely. And again, just every other day or so. How I do it, Pete, I like to, you know, it’s every two or three days to kind of let them know, Hey, you know what, we’re really excited. Watch this video about our organization, watch this about this, we’re going to, you know, it’s just little tidbits of information to keep them engaged. A week before I send them an email, letting them know, we can’t wait to have you start onboard.

Ricky Baez 8:08
Here are some things for you to consider, we’re seven days away from the big day. And then some little tidbits of information on what to do on day one, a couple of days after that, hey, send me a little, you know, headshot of yourself. Tell me some, you know, about me interesting facts, because this is what I’m going to use for new employee orientation to introduce you to the team. And then finally, on the very last day, hey, we’re ready to go. I’m telling you, Pete, that candidate is going to be excited on day one. Actually, we did that today, one of our brand-new employees.

Pete Newsome 8:40
Yeah, I was going to put you on the spot and say that that is something that you’ve brought to 4 Corner, which is been a great, very welcome addition to our process of introducing the candidate. On our Monday morning kickoff call, you orchestrated that call, you put a presentation together that has the candidate’s picture on it, like you just said, I think it’s a great thing. Any advice to others who want to incorporate that on what they should look to include?

Ricky Baez 9:10
So yes, so thank you for that because not everybody is going to want to put all of their stuff out there, right? So be careful because if you ask for that information, a picture and personal information. All I was asking is, do you have any pets? What’s your favorite restaurant? And what’s your favorite color? Just those things right. Don’t go too deep into it. If the candidate or the new employee for that matter is a little bit uneasy, back off a little bit right.

Ricky Baez 9:35
Just start really light because some people are introverts and they may not want to, you know, to give everything out there until they get to meet the entire team. So, let the candidate drive that. Now real quick Pete because you did mention a lot of this is happening virtually now. Normally, this is done right in person, right? So, you get all the things ready to go until they come in ready in person. You got to be even more frequent with your communication when it’s virtual, right?

Ricky Baez 10:04
Because even when it’s virtual, you got to keep that cadence of communication up. That way they see if it’s in front of them, they’ll see that you’re still as interested in them as they are in us. You’ve got to keep that going. So, let the candidate drive how those questions are answered. But let me tell you, there is no better way to get somebody started in a brand-new organization and breaking that ice, than talking about your favorite sports team, your favorite color, and your favorite food. I mean, why not? Who wouldn’t want to do that?

Pete Newsome 10:33
Now, it’s fun, it helps. And I like it in having the virtual consideration taking place, right, and not just letting this person come in, under the radar. It really does make a big difference right now. And all of that is part of planning. Again, you’re ready for that employee on day one, and what a warm, you know, thing to feel for your first day at a new job that to know that it wasn’t done on the fly.

Pete Newsome 11:01
To know that they were eagerly anticipating your arrival. So, let’s call that tip two then. So, the first one is to have a structured plan, be consistent with it. Tip two, make sure that communication is in place leading up to that first day. And then of course, on the first day is really important. But there’s still an opportunity to take advantage of that downtime in between the acceptance and the start. What could you offer, as far as advice on what an HR department should do to prepare behind the scenes perhaps?

Ricky Baez 11:41
Sir so this is the part that really gets me going Pete, because there, to me personally, there’s no bigger waste of time than having somebody start on day one and the first part of the morning is wasted with, you know, equipment issue, credentials, they can’t log into anywhere because they don’t have those credentials. So, the best thing an HR department can do before anybody starts, it’s to get all the behind-the-scenes stuff done beforehand.

Ricky Baez 12:09
The onboarding documentation, getting them set up for a direct deposit, all those papers, all that paperwork they have to fill out, all the way till day one, right? Because I-9s are different, we got to be careful with I-9s, you don’t want to do I-9 documentation too early. Because remember, you got three days from there in case they don’t have that documentation, they got three days to provide the necessary documentation for us to determine if they’re eligible to work in the United States. So, you do everything except the I-9, which that you do on day one.

Ricky Baez 12:39
But it doesn’t hurt to give them some information beforehand to let them know exactly what kind of documentation they need. So, if you call them a week before to say, hey, next week, on day one, you need X documentation, either one from list A, or one from list B and C. If you have them looking for that a week in advance, nine times out of 10, you’re not going to have any issues to wait for them to submit it after they start because they’ve already started digging for those things. So, give them the information they need of what kind of documentation they’re going to need, to get everything ready for day one.

Pete Newsome 13:10
So, let me ask about I-9s in the virtual world that we’re in, times of COVID, right.

Ricky Baez 13:14

Pete Newsome 13:16
I-9s are a very serious thing.

Ricky Baez 13:18

Pete Newsome 13:18
The government takes them seriously, every employer should do the same. How are HR departments handling that in these virtual times right now? Where not everyone is on-site, you can’t get your eyes on the documentation that you’re normally required to. How is that being handled right now?

Ricky Baez 13:39
So, let me first start off by saying I’m not an attorney, and Pete, you’re not an attorney. Right? Last I checked. We’re not attorneys here. So, what I’m about to say is not legal advice, right? This is just for informational purposes only. So pre COVID, what we had to do, we have to visually inspect the documents. We have to touch it, we have to feel it, we have to make sure that the person pictured on that document is the person who’s sitting or standing right in front of you.

Ricky Baez 14:05
COVID came and they said, we’re going to do things a little bit differently, right. So, about a year and a half ago, when the COVID situation started becoming really serious for us here in the United States and for the workforce, we just didn’t know what we needed to do. We were waiting for some guidance from Homeland Security. And they did give us that guidance. They said that look, can we hold it up to a camera in a virtual environment, so we can see it? Yes, we can, that we can do.

Ricky Baez 14:34
But that’s not the answer to the question. That is a temporary solution to a temporary problem. Right. So right now, the Department of Homeland Security said that up until the end of this year, now this is fresh off the press about a week ago, up to the end of this year, you can still continue to do it virtually. Meaning you hold it up in front of the camera, you get to see that information to make sure that they are the person they’re saying that they are and you’re able to process the I-9 documentation that way.

Ricky Baez 15:05
Now or another way you can do it if they’re virtually somewhere else, or even in another state, you have to get an agent to work on your behalf to say, here you go. Somebody in your organization that you trust so that they’re able to verify that information. But most likely, people are just looking at it through the camera, making sure it’s good. We can still do that Pete until December 31 of this year.

Pete Newsome 15:30
And you mentioned that change, I just want to make sure that that point is one that we don’t go by too quickly. It was that temporary exception that was supposed to expire on August 31, I believe. And it was just extended until the end of the calendar year, which is a big deal.

Ricky Baez 15:47
It is. Actually, it was extended to March of this year. And then it got extended again until August 31st. And then at 6 pm, on August 31, on the very day, they sent another extension until the end of this year. So that’s December 31 of 2021, we’re able to do that. But this next part is key folks and listen to what I’m telling you.

Ricky Baez 16:11
Come January 1st, anybody that has come on board during the pandemic, and you’ve done that virtual inspection, and they’re still employed with you, from the first until three days later, you have that three-day window. You’ve got that long to verify everybody, physically, that came on board during the pandemic. So, what does that mean? That means don’t wait until December 31. To start inspecting that documentation, start doing it right now. Start doing it right now.

Ricky Baez 16:44
Even if you think that person is going to leave, later on, it doesn’t matter to start inspecting that documentation right now, because once you get to January 1st, a lot of things can happen. Maybe this person can’t come in, that person lost their documentation. You’ve got to make sure that those things are physically inspected between January 1st and January 3rd. Don’t wait until then, start doing it right now. Save yourself a lot of headaches later on.

Pete Newsome 17:06
Well, that’s a lot of work.

Ricky Baez 17:08
Yes, it is.

Pete Newsome 17:08
That needs to take place. Do you expect that there may be yet another extension? I mean, you can’t count on that. But this is a, what’s your personal take? Or is this, you know, we hear the phrase new normal thrown around a lot. Do you think this could become the new normal? Because companies aren’t going back to the way that they used to operate. The virtual employee is here to stay. I don’t think anyone would dispute that. So, times are changing. Do you think this may be one of the things that change with it?

Ricky Baez 17:38
You know what Pete, I wasn’t expecting that question, but I’m going to answer it like this. One of three things are going to happen here, just 1 of 3 things, right? Either A, they’ll extend it, right, for another six months or whatnot. Or B, they’ll say no, we’re going to continue to do it January 1st, you better have everything ready. Or C, they’ll change the law. I doubt it’s going to be B, but here’s what’s going on.

Ricky Baez 18:04
This extension was put in place with the understanding or the hope that we’ll be in a much better place, a much better handle for this pandemic. I can only speak for Florida, in Florida, it’s a little bit you know, wiggly, right. It’s gone up, now it’s slowly tapering off. So, I don’t know what’s going to happen, to be honest, in the next, you know, three months with this process. If this pandemic keeps going up the way we have seen in the past three months, I anticipate either it’s going to be extended again, or they change the law. I mean, I doubt they change the law but.

Pete Newsome 18:37
I get the sense of this particular one, I give whoever is in charge of this at Homeland Security, I give them credit for realizing it’s going to create a big challenge in the marketplace, and I don’t think they’re in the business of trying to make life more difficult than it needs to be on employers and employees. But it is a difficult thing. No one has a great answer to it yet, as far as I can tell.

Pete Newsome 19:03
And what I’m specifically referring to is being able to process an I-9 under normal circumstances, under normal requirements for virtual employees. There’s just no clean, easy way to do it right now. I think personally if Homeland Security is listening, I think times need to change along with the technology that we have available and the cameras seem to work pretty darn well. Don’t you agree? Or you might not agree?

Ricky Baez 19:31
No, no, it’s, to be honest. I like the whole camera thing you know. I don’t know why we haven’t done it up until, I mean actually I take it back. I do understand there’s a lot of opportunities out there so people can doctor those documents. I mean, but then they can.

Pete Newsome 19:48
Those exist anyway.

Ricky Baez 19:49
Yeah, they exist anywhere. Right? So, you know it is what it is.

Pete Newsome 19:53
That’s my, that would be my prediction is that we never go back to how we were, just too impractical. But let’s not get too hung up on that we were back to, we were talking about being prepared or doing what you can in advance of that first day happening, kind of behind the scenes, talked about paperwork. I also think we need to look at equipment and any other software, services, tools, I think you mentioned passwords, having all of that set up in advance is so big.

Pete Newsome 20:24
Also relevant to employees who are virtual, you may need to ship the equipment and it may not be as simple as the person showing up on day one. And we’ll keep using this example since it’s right in our face, but our employee who started today is virtual. She’s in Atlanta. So, having her computer in all our equipment ready to go today is one thing, but she needed it in her possession in order to use it. So, it had to be shipped prior to her start date.

Pete Newsome 20:55
And that’s a, you know, whether it’s an IT department, operations department, combination of the two, that’s a change for how they’re used to working. And you know, it’s another thing that’s come along through COVID. So easy to handle, in theory, if you’re prepared and thinking, but if you’re not communicating internally, that can catch you off guard in a bad way.

Ricky Baez 21:18
So, let me say this because I’m sure a lot of people are thinking right now. Well, Ricky what so you’re going to ship that that information, that packet, all that equipment to somebody, you didn’t even know if they’re going to start. And I’ve had that answer thrown back at me. And what I say is, I completely understand, you know, some people again, you and I talked about this about a month ago, because I just found out what the word ghosting meant.

Ricky Baez 21:45
And I didn’t know what it was, you know, so a candidate might ghost us. So, what happens if that happens, you just send them $800 laptop, or the $1200 laptop out there, and you may not get it back? Look, here’s the way I look at it, I rather send the laptop over to somebody. On the off chance, they don’t start and then work on getting that information back. I rather do that and have a great first day for somebody, than use that as a blanket as to not to do it, and we start somebody on the wrong foot. To me, the risk is worth it.

Ricky Baez 22:19
Other people may think differently, but I rather err on the side that the person is going to follow through and start, than otherwise. So, I rather go that route, to be honest, just send it ahead of time. That’s what we did. We sent it Wednesday last week, she received it on Friday or Saturday got everything ready to go. And she was ready to rock and roll today on Monday.

Pete Newsome 22:40
So, from an HR perspective, I completely understand where you’re coming from. From a financial perspective, there may be an alternate view out there, at some organizations.

Ricky Baez 22:50
I’m sure.

Pete Newsome 22:51
Make your decisions, the decisions that make the most sense for you, in your organization. That’s what we’re doing. With our internal folks to Ricky’s point, we want them to be not only productive and ready to go from day one, but we want them to feel welcome. And that is something that we’re more conscious of than we needed to be when everyone was in the office. So, while we do hire and train, in our office, for some employees hiring in virtual places is something that we’ve embraced over the past couple of years.

Pete Newsome 23:27
And it is a different consideration. So, we’ve chosen to take that route as Ricky described it, but that may not be prudent for everyone. As long as you have a plan and think about it upfront, I think that’s the most important part. So, if your employee is not going to have equipment on that first day, just make sure they’re not surprised. Make sure that their expectations were in line with whatever your process is, I think that’s the most important part of this. Right?

Ricky Baez 23:54
Absolutely. Yeah. Because you’re trying to let them know they did not make a mistake coming over here. You want to eliminate that thought in their head and wonder why they came over to the organization and it’s just backing up what we’ve been telling them from day one from the day they said I’m going to apply for this position.

Pete Newsome 24:11
Absolutely. So, let’s call that tip number three.

Ricky Baez 24:13
That’s right, tip number three.

Pete Newsome 24:15
Do as much as you can in advance, prepare for that first day. What’s next?

Ricky Baez 24:20
So, tip number four, so they get to the, so day one starts, you do your kickoff meeting or whatever you do on that day. And here’s how I like to do it. I’d like to spend a little bit of time with them to get to know them personally, they get to know me personally to break that ice, get to know them as human beings but this part is crucial.

Ricky Baez 24:39
Once you start getting the intricacies of what onboarding is going to look like, that first tip we gave you, make sure you got a structured approach. Make sure you have a training plan. Show them that training plan. Let the candidate, I keep saying candidate, they’re not a candidate. Let the new employee know. Let the new employee know what they can expect. They’re in training for the next 30, 60, 90 days. Let them know what the roadmap is going to look like all the way into the 90 Day Review if you have one. Which you should have one, right?

Ricky Baez 25:13
So, to me personally and I’m talking about Ricky here, there’s nothing worse than to blindly going through a process. Not knowing what the next day is going to look like, not knowing what I’m going to be covering next week, not knowing, just not knowing what’s happening tomorrow. Make it as easy as possible for that candidate to fully understand what they’re going to experience in the next 90 days of training.

Ricky Baez 25:37
And here’s what that does Pete. What that does is, once they, almost said it again, once the employees see what they’re expecting, what they are going to go through, they make an emotional connection with it. They know what it is, they have accepted it, they visualize it in their mind. They’re going to be more successful with it if they fully understand what’s coming down the pike. So, give them a roadmap and explain what those first 90 days are going to look like is tip number four.

Pete Newsome 26:05
It’s a great idea and one that each organization can implement in its own unique way. And maybe it’s not 90 days, maybe it’s longer, maybe it’s only 30. But the greater amount of visibility you can provide for that new hire. You said it, gives them comfort with what’s ahead in what’s an otherwise uncomfortable situation, even under the best of circumstances. There’s some trepidation that’s in place, when you’re walking into a new organization, it’s different.

Pete Newsome 26:41
You’re there with probably a lot of things on your mind as a new employee. And to whatever degree, the company or organization can take away unnecessary anxiety, all the better. So lay that out as best you can. And everyone wins. And now what’s great too is that you can pull in other parts of the organization through that and so it’s not just that training group. By laying out that plan, we recommend giving an opportunity to have meetings set up with other people and other groups within the organization as part of that.

Pete Newsome 27:20
But you don’t have to do that. It’s a tip that we try to adhere to ourselves as well as, you know, give advice if anyone is asking. We think that’s an important thing, set up meetings with other parts of the organization. But lay it all out for your new hire. That’s a great tip. There’s probably nothing I even needed to say that you’re stood in that point, you said it all.

Ricky Baez 27:46
And Pete, real quick. Just looking through all of these and I started thinking about something that happened to me about 10 years ago. And this all goes back to the very first point, which is to have a plan, have a structured approach and make sure everybody knows what they’re supposed to be doing. I got this job offer from this one company. I’m not going to mention it.

Ricky Baez 28:06
And I was, want to know how I found out I got an offer? I got an invitation via email to new employee orientation. And I’m like, oh, why am I going to orientation? I got the job? And I started, yeah, so and so didn’t call you? No, she didn’t call me. I’m so sorry. No one still called me. So yeah, just thinking about this. I’m sorry to derail, it’s just it reminded me of that one instance. So, I’m sorry. That was tip number four.

Pete Newsome 28:36
So, your scenario was the opposite of the guy in Office Space, Milton, who had lost his job, but no one told him.

Ricky Baez 28:44
Nobody told him it. They just keep moving him to the basement, and all he cares about is a stapler. Spoiler alert. That’s a great movie.

Pete Newsome 28:52
Well, hopefully, they had a stapler waiting for you on day one.

Ricky Baez 28:58
Okay, so that was number four, give a roadmap, explain what training is going to look like. Alright. Tip number five, Pete. Another one is near and dear to my heart.

Pete Newsome 29:08
Well go with it, let’s hear it.

Ricky Baez 29:10
Check-in on them regularly. Check-in on them. Yes, you’ve got an awesome plan. Yes, you’ve communicated with them to make sure they’re ready on day one. Yes, you did as much as possible behind the scenes, you give them a roadmap. Don’t forget about them still. Check-in on them, that first week, you should start the day with them. You should end the day with them on week one.

Ricky Baez 29:30
Right, every single day. Now you don’t have to do this. That’s what I have done in the past and it has worked. At the end of the week, review that week, what they did. Make sure you’re there for any questions and let them know more granular, what the following week is going to look like. Now, this is where you as the hiring authority, the trainer or the big buddy program or HR whoever is in charge of this process, you should gauge it. The following week, should you still start with them every day and end every day?

Ricky Baez 29:58
Not necessarily. It depends on how well they picked up the information from week one, and how they’re trending. But at the very least, once, twice, three times a week, all the way to the very end, make sure they have somebody to connect with that knows the intricacies of the organization. Yes, I don’t care if they have 50 years of experience in IT. They have zero years of experience with your organization and how they do that IT. So, you got to make sure that somebody there with the organization to answer all of those questions about the organization to help them, help him or her assimilate to the culture.

Pete Newsome 30:34
Don’t assume.

Ricky Baez 30:36

Pete Newsome 30:36
Don’t assume that things are going well, don’t assume that the plan is being followed. If you’re the manager of this new hire, then that’s who I would recommend check-in. A lot of times, every organization is so unique in how they do this, but in our own internal organization, we have a full-time trainer who essentially has responsibility for new hires for their first couple of days, for sure. But their manager should still check-in.

Ricky Baez 31:09

Pete Newsome 31:09
Maybe HR can still check-in if there was a recruiter involved, we do that for our external hires. That’s a big part of what we try to do. Even though we’re outside the organization, when we place someone at one of our clients, we always talk to them at the end of their first day, we want to know how it went, we always talk to them at the end of their first week, to find out how it went.

Pete Newsome 31:33
Because we don’t want to assume that things are going well. And we hope that they will, we expect that they will. But we can’t leave that to chance. And we want to know because too often, you see problems that could have been solved or could have been avoided, just by communicating and you don’t want to find out when it’s too late. That’s the message. So, don’t assume. I keep saying it the same way because I don’t know a better way to phrase it.

Ricky Baez 32:01
And especially right now in this in a pandemic type of a workforce even more so right. Because even before that pandemic, it was really easy to go by the new associate’s cubicle or office, hey everything good, everything awesome, roger that, great. Or seeing them by the water cooler, or the cafeteria or the break room, you don’t plan that.

Ricky Baez 32:21
Now that element is not there, that variable is not there in the equation, you have to make a conscious effort to call that person go on zoom, go on teams, go on whatever you need to go on to make sure you make that concerted effort to make sure you check in on that person. Because the fact that we’re not all in one space like we used to be, has changed the whole dynamic and how we interact with each other.

Pete Newsome 32:44
You have to account for it.

Ricky Baez 32:45

Pete Newsome 32:45
You have to account for it. And even someone like me, who admittedly is, you’re better at this stuff than I am. You’re better at thinking of culture and all of those things, where I tend to be more focused on, just you know, with blinders on with the business aspect of what we’re doing.

Pete Newsome 33:09
But what I think of myself as a new employee in the roles that I’ve had, prior to starting 4 Corner, that would have felt very isolating, it would have felt, it would have been, it would have been awkward, it would have been tough. And so, if you don’t know who to pick up to call, if you don’t have to appear to turn to, the person you sit next to, I mean I could go down the line of every job I’ve had this since my first one at 15. I always needed someone to turn to.

Ricky Baez 32:52

Pete Newsome 33:02
Where’s the bathroom? Where’s mine? I guess when you’re working at home you don’t need to ask that question. But.

Ricky Baez 33:45
Or if you do, I got questions. Like you know where your bathroom is?

Pete Newsome 33:49
You know, where do you go for simple things. You know, information and I doubt there’s a company who covers every single question that could be asked because there’s an infinite number of things a new employee could wonder. It may be very obscure at times. But it’s important to that person. And it’s important to their comfort. So, you really have to go above and beyond what you think is necessary, probably. Or what I would think is necessary.

Pete Newsome 34:20
I mean I’ve really changed my thinking in this past year and a half period of being mostly virtual, which is how I would describe our current situation, where you can, our employees can work in the office all day if they want to. But many choose to not work in the office at all or we’re hiring outside of the area where folks could live anywhere in the world. And we need to still make sure that they’re involved and feel comfortable in a way that we just wouldn’t have had to think about when we were all in the office.

Ricky Baez 34:52
So, you said it really quick, I want to be sure people hear that Pete because you said something really important that a lot of organizations do not do. Most organizations either keep employees home, or bring them all in, or they do a hybrid that they have to follow. At 4 Corner Resources, the option is yours. As a recruiter, as an employee, you want to come into the office, come on in to the office, we got everything you need.

Ricky Baez 35:20
If you want to stay at home and work from home, that’s perfectly okay. You have the option. Just letting people know there because we’re hiring Pete and we want to make sure. I want to make sure people fully understand that you know, we want you to focus on your talents that we bring you into this organization for and we don’t want to muddy the waters with, should you have to come into the office or not. It’s definitely your call.

Pete Newsome 35:45
Yeah, we’re fortunate to be in a situation where we can offer the best of all worlds, in that regard. Not every organization can, depending on the job, it may not be practical to do if it requires being hands-on in person. But it’s even though I would consider our situation to be a luxury, it still comes with its own potential pitfalls, as we talked about.

Pete Newsome 36:10
So, for me, I have to acknowledge that this is not as natural where I’m well into my career. I started 4 Corner 16 years ago, so I’ve been in this role for a long time now where what was important to me, as a young professional, is no longer what’s important to me now. What was necessary for me as a young professional isn’t what’s necessary for me now. But we have to make sure that no one suffers as a result of that.

Pete Newsome 36:45
So, what should be a good thing, can be a bad thing, if it’s not administered correctly. If the organization doesn’t, isn’t very conscious of the difference. I think that’s, I think it has to start there. And then act accordingly. But it’s a different world, and we’re all still trying to learn, you know, where our place is, I think, you know, good and bad.

Ricky Baez 37:12
Most of us are Pete. Most of us are having a little bit, you know, just a little off the track, but we’re getting there, we’re getting there. Alright.

Pete Newsome 37:20
Okay, so we know that we need to give new hires attention. That’s tip number six. So, we’re going to do all those things right from the start, we’re going to be structure, we’re going to have a plan. But as I think we’ve alluded to a few different ways. You want to make sure that your intentions actually hit the mark. So, any thoughts on that? And I know I’m setting you up to hit this one out of the park because I know what your answer is going to be without even asking.

Ricky Baez 37:50
So, I will say this, we do a good job. We do a good job of putting everything together. And making sure it is the most concise, the most amazing product we can give our brand-new employee. We’re prepped, we’re communicating, we’re getting everything done, we’re showing you everything you need for you to be successful. But that’s from our point of view. Once you get towards that end, there’s nothing wrong in asking that new employee, either the first month, second month, third month. Feedback.

Ricky Baez 38:26
Get some feedback. How was their experience, like we know what we saw, but we want to see what they saw, the recipient of all this planning? And to me, that is crucial, because if we missed the mark somewhere, and we don’t know, making sure that new employee gives us that information, so we can adjust what we need to adjust. So, it can be just that much better for the next person. So, here’s where we got to be careful though. Because if you come too strong, and you don’t make it comfortable for the new employee to give you all this information, they’re going to say, boss, everything’s great.

Ricky Baez 39:01
Everything is just awesome. You’ve got to create an environment where the employee is comfortable enough that early on in the game to give you honest feedback. So, set it up in a way that whatever feedback they give you, we’re not going to look at them a different way or they feel odd by giving us that information. But if you get that feedback, you implement it, you’re only helping yourself and you’re helping the organization and the future employees coming on board.

Pete Newsome 39:27
Absolutely. That’s it. I thought you were going to say survey, Ricky.

Ricky Baez 39:30
No, no.

Pete Newsome 39:33
That’s your thing.

Ricky Baez 39:35
That’s my thing when there’s a lot, right? But if there’s like two or three people, Hey, let me take him to Dunkin Donuts real quick. And let’s have some conversation. Hey, should we send Dunkin Donuts a bill? I used your name. So, we should send them a bill. Yeah, we should.

Pete Newsome 39:49
We need a few more subscribers.

Ricky Baez 39:50
We do. Just fine. We should be alright.

Pete Newsome 39:53

Ricky Baez 39:54
No, not a survey. I think a good conversation would suffice.

Pete Newsome 39:58
Okay. All right. I’ll go, we’ll go with that then, but you do, you know it is important. And it’s back to what we said a few minutes ago, we said, don’t assume. Don’t. Never do that. And as we’ve acknowledged, we’re learning as we go with how to do this, you know, in our case combining on-site onboarding, as well as virtual onboarding. The needs are different, every individual is unique. And so, we may think we have 10 out of 10 things, right.

Pete Newsome 40:31
And there may be, you know, a new employee who thinks we’ve completely missed the mark in an area. It doesn’t mean we’re going to accommodate every unique request, but we do want to be aware of it. And that’s always important. And I would give that advice, if there are any employees listening who aren’t involved in HR, maybe new employees, and if it’s one of our employees, this goes for you in particular, share that information. Your employers want it, their HR department wants it, your manager wants it, they need it.

Pete Newsome 41:02
No one wins if an employee sits silently with, you know, frustrations, or potential complaints. It doesn’t mean your employer can or will act on it. But I’d be hard-pressed to come up with an example of when that feedback isn’t, the honest feedback, sometimes the harsh feedback isn’t wanted, right. And so those are very different things in my mind, wanting feedback, acting on the feedback, it’s, they’re valuable, the feedback is valuable in both cases. And so, when asked those questions, give an honest answer.

Ricky Baez 41:44

Pete Newsome 41:45
Temper it if you’re very angry, you know, don’t be emotional in doing so. But if you think something went poorly, communicate that in a professional way. Your employer will appreciate it.

Ricky Baez 41:57
That’s the key, in a professional way. Right, which I mean, I don’t think we, we have to go too deep into that. But yes, you create an environment, you as an HR, as a business leader, or just regular employees, you create an environment where they’re able to convey that without any fear of retaliation. Oh, my god, they’re going to think I’m complaining too much. No, that’s not the case, you got to set it up in a way that they take the ball and run with it and score.

Pete Newsome 42:19
That’s its own challenge. That is not a small thing. It is easier said than done. And I would say that, you know, that’s something that I’ve even considered over the years is how to get that, how to get the truth, you know. I’ve been told Pete, you’re going to be the last one to hear it because you own the company. Well, I want to be the first one to hear it, because I own the company.

Pete Newsome 42:45
You know, I want to know, if we have a gap, if we have a glaring problem in how we do anything. And I would want our clients to share that information. I’d want our candidates externally who we recruit to share. And of course, it goes out saying I’d want to know from our internal employees if we were missing something, and in every case, client, candidate, who we work with on the staffing side or internal employee, doesn’t mean we’re going to be able to accommodate every request.

Pete Newsome 43:15
But we will always want to consider it and make sure whoever has that potentially negative feedback if we’re going to call it that understands the why behind the situation. And I just, I don’t know this to be definitively true. But I think every organization wants to operate the same way.

Ricky Baez 43:36
Yes, yes.

Pete Newsome 43:37
Easier for some than others. But they all want to operate that way. I believe, at least, every organization that I know of, right, everyone intends to do things well, doesn’t always happen every time. So ask your employees for feedback. Employees give your employer the feedback when asked.

Ricky Baez 43:57

Pete Newsome 43:57
That’s the message. Right?

Ricky Baez 43:59
Yeah, and again, what you’re looking for, you’re looking to see that if what you as an organization are putting out is doing what it’s supposed to do, right. That’s all you’re looking for. That it’s doing what it’s supposed to do, folks, if you don’t ask for that feedback, you’re going to spin your wheels, right? Ask for that feedback.

Ricky Baez 44:15
And don’t be afraid of it. Let them give you that feedback. Don’t take it personally, take it and run with it. Go with whatever team you have to go with to see if we can do something with and you just touched on it right now, Pete, it’s important to let them know why we should do it. But if they give us some feedback on something we can’t do, it’s equally as important to let them know why we can’t do it.

Pete Newsome 44:38

Ricky Baez 44:38
Right. They should know that the yes’s and the no’s. It just builds that relationship and telling you folks we do this, we do these six things, you’re going to have somebody who’s going to come on board, they started on the right foot, they got the right cadence, and they got the right support and they’re going to last long with your organization, I guarantee it.

Pete Newsome 44:57
Alright, he guarantees it so that’s good, that’s the point of approval man, to guarantee.

Ricky Baez 45:02
That’s right.

Pete Newsome 45:03
I did not guarantee it, Ricky guaranteed it.

Ricky Baez 45:04
I guaranteed it, it’s all right. Awesome, awesome. So, here’s what we talked about. Follow a structured approach, training plan. Make sure you communicate with them, keep in contact with them until they start, get as much done as possible before they start. The equipment, login credentials, etc.

Ricky Baez 45:21
When they come on board, show them that roadmap, let them know what they can expect during training, check in on them regularly. And last but not least, ask that ever crucial feedback and let them know why you can do something and why you can’t do something. That will build that brand loyalty like you wouldn’t believe.

Pete Newsome 45:39
There it is. Six tips for onboarding new employees that every hiring manager should know. I think we hit the mark today.

Ricky Baez 45:44
I think we did, sir. Yes, sir.

Pete Newsome 45:45
But we welcome the feedback. If anyone thinks we missed something obvious or you disagree with any of these, we would love to have that. We hope that it’s not necessary to get that message. But just like we talked about, we want that feedback too on the podcast. We’re getting great feedback so far, but we can use more.

Pete Newsome 46:04
And as always, if you have tips, then please or not tips but if you have ideas for future shows, we want to hear those too. We welcome that. So, we’re not running out of ideas anytime soon, but we can always jump one of our planned topics and do something timely. So, hit us up at, we’d love to hear from you.

Ricky Baez 46:28
And also, wherever you grab your podcast, whatever platform you got, whether it’s Google, whether it’s Apple, go to the podcast section, download, and subscribe. Give us a like, there’s a little area where you can write a review. Let us know what you think. We want to know what’s on your mind. So, if you’re not able to send us an email, give us a like, let us know, share our podcast with your network. Trust me. They’re going to love it. I know you love it. Pete and I love it. What’s not to love? Just share it and like it. Trust me. You’ll feel better at night.

Pete Newsome 47:00
There you go. Thanks for listening.

Ricky Baez 47:02
Thank you, folks. Drive safe. Until next time, good night.

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