No false starts: Olympics, onboarding, and nailing new hire first impressions

Olympics off to the races

The Rio Olympics kicked off this past Friday and the world’s best will be going head-to-head for medals and national pride. Just like winning events and breaking records, in the business world, you can’t accomplish anything without getting out of the blocks quickly and avoiding the dreaded false start.

In the HR world, a false start won’t automatically disqualify you, but it does cause a significant amount of problems regardless. This is of utmost importance when adding new employees to your organization, as noted by a recent whitepaper published by Human Resource Executive.

Avoiding false starts

What does this all add up to? It is extremely important for your organization to get off to a great start with new hires and to avoid the “false start” of an ineffective or outdated HR onboarding program. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing your talent and going through the expensive process of recruiting, hiring, and training for the same roles over and over again.

Demonstrating this issue, half of all hourly workers leave new jobs in the first four months and half of senior outside hires leave within 18 months, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Additionally, the same research shows that employees decide within the first 30 days of their tenure whether or not they feel welcome in their new organizations. Making matters worse, 1 in 25 new hires leave their organization due to issues with the HR onboarding program.

Those first impressions with your new hires mean even more than you may have realized.

Think about all of the tasks that you need to accomplish in order to get someone started in a new role. They need a place to work, so that’s a desk, chair, and maybe even an office. Then they need something to work with, so a computer or laptop, monitor, desk phone, cell phone, and all of the appropriate peripherals. Does this person also need a headset, conference phone, or adaptive technology to be able to work effectively?

Questions you need to ask yourself

From physical considerations to important benefits and certifications, there are other important questions that you need to ask yourself to optimize your HR onboarding process.

How do they get into the building? Is there an ID badge required or a passcode for an electronic lock? Do they need a similar password for all of their pieces of technology? Are they lucky enough to get keys and a parking space? What about a uniform or corporate-branded attire?

Are they electing to sign up for benefits and a 401K? Do they have an I-9 and the needed tax paperwork on file? What about an emergency contact or health and safety compliance forms? Are their licenses and certifications up-to-date? Is there state specific or trade union required paperwork to work about?

The list of potential hurdles to clear can go on and on. How can you manage this process? How do you get all of the documents, people, and products in the right place and at the right time for your new hires?

You certainly can do it all by hand, but we’ve already proven how that works in other departments like Accounts Payable. Why not apply the same principles that can help you win with human resources?

The right resources

It all starts with giving HR personnel the tools they need to better manage the employee onboarding process and provide new staff with as smooth a transition as possible.

By electronically capturing, storing and retrieving employee files and documents, you accelerate and improve HR onboarding, allowing everyone involved to see where things are in the process. You simply can’t do that with paper. Through automation, increased visibility and centralized information management, the right solution supports effective onboarding and ultimately improves the service HR provides to new employees – ensuring they are ready for work on day one.

Much like a sprinter can’t afford to have a false start, neither can your HR teams, especially not when a company can spend upward of 20 percent of an employee’s salary just to replace them, a process that averages a whopping 63 days. Can your organization afford to be underproductive for 63 days while paying a 20 percent premium?

Not many can.

So get it right the first time and get off to a great start to win gold in your onboarding process today. The right solution will help you transform your HR Department. So don’t get caught in the blocks. Hit your stride before it’s too late to win the race for the talent you need.

(This post was originally published on Pulse.)

Joe Russo is a strategic account manager at Hyland. Currently, Joe also writes for Factory of Sadness, a Cleveland sports website operated by Fansided, and The OnBase and Hyland Blogs. His work has also appeared on and The Fraternity Advisor.
Joe Russo

Joe Russo

Joe Russo is a strategic account manager at Hyland. Currently, Joe also writes for Factory of Sadness, a Cleveland sports website operated by Fansided, and The OnBase and Hyland Blogs.... read more about: Joe Russo