A great onboarding experience takes place over a few months, giving new grads plenty of time to adjust to and integrate into the company. Check out these four stages of the onboarding process and how to support new grads at each step along the way.
You don’t have to wait until your graduate hire’s first day to welcome them on board. Preboarding new graduate hires is an important process that helps to ensure a smooth transition into your company. Preboarding occurs between when your new hire signs their offer letter and their first official day of work.
Start by providing all necessary paperwork to new hires, including offer letters, employment contracts, and background checks. After they’ve returned this paperwork, provide a package that includes the resources new hires need to get started. If they’re working remotely, that could include work-related equipment. Begin opening accounts in HR and work software programs for new hires to get them set up to work right away.
Additionally, distribute important information about the company’s mission, vision, values, and culture. Provide team- and role-specific information that anticipates common new-hire questions. Let them know what to expect from the onboarding process, including the agenda for their first few weeks.
Finally, don’t wait until day one to introduce new hires to their manager and teammates. Encourage the team to reach out and welcome the new hire before they start, building connections and relationships that fuel effective teamwork. Nudge managers and teammates with questions they can ask to get to know the new graduate better, and to personalize their first day.
Check out more tips for recruiting and onboarding recent graduates in this blog 👉 “5 Tips for Recruiting and Onboarding Recent Graduates”
The First Day
On day one, aim to make the onboarding process as smooth and enjoyable as possible. This includes setting up a comfortable work environment, introducing the new employee to their team, and providing additional information about the company and job role.
Tip: Remember that this could be many recent grads’ first full-time job, so they may need more guidance than a seasoned hire with industry experience. 💟
A great onboarding experience includes a “getting to know you” session with colleagues followed by a tour of the office (or the tools used in a remote environment) so the new hire can familiarize themselves with their work environment. Aim to get new hires set up to begin work on their tasks during their first day.
Onboarding can be overwhelming for new hires and especially for recent grads. New hires often are bombarded with information on their first day, from meeting new people to learning about the company to getting started in their new role. Instead of trying to cram that much information into one day, develop a content campaign to feed the right information to new hires at the right time. To prevent new hires from feeling overwhelmed, automate the delivery of necessary content so they receive it as they need it.
The First Few Weeks
During the first few weeks of onboarding, new graduate hires will experience a variety of role-specific training sessions to prepare them for day-to-day job responsibilities.
Additionally, HR teams can introduce new grads to career growth and professional development options, including options to move within the org chart and guidance on how to expand their skill set. Similarly, HR teams also can help connect new grads with mentoring or buddy systems at work to support their growth.
Finally, reinforce relationships between the new hire and their team. This can be done through team-building activities, such as virtual happy hours or group lunches. Regular check-ins between team members and supervisors can create a supportive environment and ensure that questions are answered in a timely manner. Done right, the first few weeks on the job will provide a sense of community and help new grads begin to feel like part of the team.
The First 6 Months
As the onboarding period progresses, managers should continue to provide regular check-ins with graduate hires to ensure they meet job expectations and understand their responsibilities. During the first six months and beyond, managers should regularly review progress and begin transitioning the new hire from onboarding to ongoing HR processes, including performance reviews and career development.
Use HR workflow software to automate nudges to remind managers of the different topics to address with new hires during their first six months. For example, managers should address options for growth within the employee’s first month on the job, showcasing paths for internal mobility.