Is Great Onboarding the Key to Lasting Partnerships?

January 11th 2017 | Posted by phil scott

Is Great Onboarding the Key to Lasting Partnerships?

Arguably, one of the worst outcomes after the expense and time channelled into recruiting for a senior executive, is to have it not work out. Yet, the reality is that it can happen, and it does. To get to the crux of the matter there’s a need to evaluate the causes of such early breakdowns, and the ways in which to avoid it.

Generally speaking, with the right support the executive recruitment process for high level positions is measured and professional, but this shouldn’t mark the end of such care and attention when it comes to any new recruit, least of all, a highly influential executive member. The emphasis must be on safeguarding such a crucial business decision by onboarding the new executive as effectively as possible.

From the top

For starters, it’s vital to present a full and accurate insight into the organisation at interview stage, preferably involving a variety of current senior staff members to allow candidates to form their own, informed opinion on the culture of the company allowing for the best fit.
Should it end there? The answer is of course is a resounding no. Time should be set aside through the onboarding process once the executive is in post to revisit the culture of the organisation and acclimatise them appropriately.

Be specific

Each role and every candidate is different, so adopt a bespoke approach to each scenario. Regular meetings with the HR team will allow the executive time to keep tabs on where they are, and where they need to be. This shouldn’t be a quick fix, rather a continual process that happens over time as the candidate settles into their role and explores the knowledge and skillset they already possess.
The best way is to make it a step-by-step process. The idea of jumping straight into a business critical project for example may daunt the most experienced of executives. Many companies for this precise reason slowly build involvement for new executives in an effort to gradually introduce elements of the role as the induction process unfolds.

Make it sociable

It takes time to build active working relationships, but without attempting to sound facetious, it also requires appropriate opportunity. Many companies allow new executives time to visit and meet with key team members or departments at the start of their post, but fewer are responsible for encouraging new starters to follow this up and build great relationships.

Regular contact with key teams is essential within the onboarding process, whether it’s in a formal or sociable setting. The ideal is to mix the two. With executives frequently relocating to take a new job, it’s vital to keep them engaged with the company and its people, and to support them as they adjust to the transition.

And lastly, be prepared

There’s nothing more embarrassing than neglecting to get things ready for a new starter. It’s also the fastest way to impact a relationship within the first few moments. It’s vital to ensure that everything the candidate needs to start their job from day one is in place and that includes providing the right equipment.
Ensuring that all these items are ticked off the metaphorical checklist in advance of that first day on the job, will provide a smooth start and encourage a long and healthy working partnership.