Onboarding Is A Team Sport!


Engage All The Players For The Win!

The team at Hire Profile has heard lots of stories lately from clients and candidates alike on onboarding wins and fumbles. So we researched some best practices and attended a few webinars on this hot topic. Our conclusion is that a solid game plan makes for a win, so we put it all together and created a little playbook. 

The moves you make from the time your candidate signs the offer to the end of 90 days can make or break the deal. An organized, personalized, and engaging onboarding experience is key to help ensure your new hire wants to stay and you don’t blow the play. 

Pro Tip #1
Enlist all the players for a win! C-Suite, HR, IT, hiring manager, department team, onboarding buddy, and of course, your new hire. 

Approach onboarding as a journey, one that will fully engage your amazing newbie and his/her team. Onboarding is the perfect opportunity to reveal the company’s story and its values while simultaneously getting to know your new hire on a personal level. The days of endless forms, impersonal handbooks, and long tiring orientations are over. One of the easiest ways to begin an impactful onboarding experience is to set meaningful milestones. 

Pro Tip #2: Assume that everyone who accepts your offer has another one in their back pocket because most likely they do! 

Signing Day ~ Maximize this window of opportunity to make the “Yes to Desk” time one of immediate connection and impression! Show your new hire just how excited everyone is that they’re joining the team. Get creative, have some fun, spark a connection, and make the moment count! Some quick-start ideas are: 

  • A personal welcome note from a C-Suite representative
  • A fun welcome survey querying the new hire on favorite foods, movies, hobbies and pets
  • An energetic personalized welcome video from the hiring manager 
  • A quick team phone call can be a cheerful personal touch 

Kick-Off ~ Whether you’re onboarding virtually or onsite, the first-day new hire experience should be highly functional, supportive and informative without being overwhelming. No-brainer basics include: 

  • Tech should be ready, fully functional, and IT support easily available
  • Welcome swag always pleases, so have a little something delivered to his/her inbox, front door or desk. And remember that survey about favorites? Be sure to include welcome gifts that are related to their personal interests
  • Introduce your new hire to his/her onboarding buddy
  • Team intros are nice too, just keep them short, sweet and upbeat! 
  • Reviewing the full orientation roadmap is helpful

Pro Tip #3: Ongoing communication between the hiring manager and new hire makes a difference! Don’t one-and-done your hire after the first week is over. Keep that relationship going and stay open to feedback.

First Down | Week 1 ~ No need to cram all the administrative bits into a few days. Spread out the forms and policy orientation items throughout this period. It’s a best practice to leave plenty of room for peer social interactions and personal connections in both virtual and IRL situations. Also, use this time to proactively promote positive company culture and reinforce values. Giving your new hire a little space to process information between orientation meetings prevents overload. 

But not too much space! Consider integrating your new hire on a project straight away, particularly in virtual environments. It ups engagement and provides an immediate feeling of belonging. Plus there’s no better way to start team-building and bringing clarity into focus.

Pro Tip #4: Job clarity is the most consistent predictor of job satisfaction! Be sure your new hire knows how their success is measured too.

10 Yard Line | Month 1 ~ Stay focused on the new hire’s role and their clarity surrounding it. Outline specific learning paths so your new hire knows what’s expected and feels enabled to successfully hit the mark on the job. Actively engage them in feedback regarding their experience and be ready to address information gaps and concerns. Plan to initiate the 30/60/90 day check-in reviews.

It’s helpful to think about your overall onboarding game plan in terms of the Four C’s as defined by Dr. Talya N Bauer, Ph.D. They’re listed below in order of employee importance:





According to the experts, implementing the majority of these playbook strategies puts you in a position to provide a solid onboarding experience. The ROI on your efforts can be tremendous with quantifiable positive business metrics including strong new hire engagement and retention. 

Touchdown Pro Tip: Double down on culture! Employees want a sense of belonging and are actively seeking growth opportunities, meaningful projects, and alignment with what’s important to them. 

Now go get your onboarding game on! Make it a win!