In the realm of talent acquisition, the pivotal role of the interviewing process in selecting the right candidates cannot be overstated. After all, it is during these crucial interactions that potential employees showcase their skills, experience, and cultural fit. However, as acclaimed author and business leader Stephen Covey once wisely remarked, “Hire for character, train for skill.” This quote encapsulates a fundamental truth. While interviewing lays the foundation, it is the subsequent onboarding process that truly sets the stage for an employee’s success. In fact, evidence suggests that a well-designed onboarding program can significantly impact an organization’s productivity, employee retention, and overall performance. Thus, it becomes increasingly clear that a good onboarding process holds even greater importance than a good interviewing process.
They say “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” I say that “onboarding eats interviewing for breakfast.” The experience your newly hired employee has, particularly in those first 90 days, is crucial. It will often determine the trajectory of their performance in your organization. And yet, sadly, we often put less thought into the onboarding experience of our employees than we do to the type of emoji we will add at the end of our 600th text message of the day [insert emoji here].
You simply cannot overstate the importance of a good onboarding process. It is, as a Forbes article puts it, “more important than ever.” After the interviews are done, the offer letter is signed, and the obligatory training videos are complete, the employee begins to learn what your company is really all about. Great candidates who endure a painful onboarding will soon be a disengaged. A bad experience followed by a toxic culture will not perform as hoped, no matter how good your interviewing was.
The point is this: Do you want to hire a great candidate? Do some interviews. Then welcome them warmly, train them adequately, treat them fairly, pay them competitively, and praise them regularly. Like Richard Branson put it:
“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” This is the importance of great onboarding.
Last modified: July 2, 2023