TINYinstitute Primer: Essential Resources on Employee Recruitment & Onboarding

5 min read
Jan 14, 2016 5:00:00 AM

TINYinstitute Essential Resources on Employee Recruitment & OnboardingHere's our second TINYinstitute primer, this time on recruiting and onboarding your new employees.

Just like the first primer, we've organized the resources based on the time commitment, so you can get valuable information in bite-size chunks or settle in for a longer, more in-depth read.


5-Minute Reading: Short Articles


First, let's look at your best resource for recruiting employees: your reputation.


The Best Bait You've Got for Nabbing Top Talent

In 2006, when asked how they found their last job, respondents gave the following top answers:

  • 31.7% responded to an ad posted on a commercial job board

  • 11.6% got a tip from a family member or friend

  • 9.5% responded to a newspaper ad

In 2014, the top answers were:

  • 24.5% responded to an ad posted on a commercial job board

  • 12.8% referred by an employee of the company

  • 11.3% got a tip from a family member or friend

Note that tips from family and friends maintained roughly the same percentage, while the percentage of people who responded to job board ads actually decreased. And we see a new top answer surfacing: referrals by current employees.


It's important to keep in mind that you shouldn't recruit for skills alone. Even the most experienced and talented candidate won't work if they aren't a good fit for your company culture:


3 Strategies for Recruiting Candidates That Fit Your Culture Perfectly

Behavior-based questions inform recruiters about an employee’s cultural alignment with their company:

  • What would be your ideal day at work?
  • What are common obstacles to achieving your work goals?
  • What would be a deal breaker for you at a new company?

Many companies complement these behavior-based questions with personal questions to get a look into who they are as a person and if they’ll fit in the company:

  • What book could you read over and over?
  • What websites do you browse for fun?
  • What’s the last movie you saw in the theater?


As baby boomers retire and more millennials enter the workplace, you'll have to learn how to tailor your recruitment strategies for employees of different generations. For example, your interview questions:


The Right Interview Questions To Ask Each Generation

Millennials are known for moving rapidly between jobs to seek out growth opportunities, as well as placing a high emphasis on collaboration.

Ask these candidates "Where do you see yourself in five years?" because it's about their career trajectory and skill development, not their place in a specific job or company. For your part, you can determine whether the interviewee's goals align with the opportunities in your organization.

"How well do you work within a team?" gets right to the heart of millennials' preferred work style. It's important for all generations to be able to cooperate, but this group in particular values teamwork, and wants to know that you do too.


But remember that the interview can't be your be-all, end-all measurement of a candidate. Some great employees, especially introverts, may not interview well. Here are some strategies for evaluating them more accurately:


Crouching Tiger, Hidden A-Hole: Secrets of Observational Interviewing

Most interviews are biased towards extroverts who make you feel warm and fuzzy with office-BFF potential. The pedestrian-favorite, open-ended question “Tell me about yourself" is catnip for the extrovert and energy-sucking Kryptonite for the introvert.

Some of the highest performers can be INTJs that challenge and make you feel uncomfortable. They get their energy from their work, not from chitchat. They're listening and thinking of solutions in that same silence that makes others uneasy. Through rain, sleet, snow, and Slack, they quietly get stuff done while others bang their own gong.

So in addition to asking the right set of smarty-pants behavioral questions cooked up in the HR-nerd lab, I also use the following not-so-secret-anymore observational interviewing techniques that allow both blowhard and wallflower to win the call back


And once you've nabbed that great hire, it's time to get them onboarded. And yes, you should get the process going immediately, not wait until their official start date. In other words, practice pre-boarding:


Why Onboarding on the First Day Is Too Late

Why are onboarding and pre-boarding so important? Consider these findings from Allied HRThe Aberdeen Group, and iCMS:

  • It takes a year or longer for new hires to get up and running, but only 2% of companies extend onboarding to one year

  • Companies who onboard experience 54% greater new-hire productivity

  • Onboarding improves company ROI by more than $79,000 per year


Successfully onboarding a new hire takes more than one day or one week:


Extend Employee Onboarding To Increase Productivity

According to TalentWise, it takes an average of eight months for a new employee to become fully productive. An employee with only one week of onboarding will most likely hit sink-or-swim mode.

Companies that provide on-the-job training are giving new hires a life jacket to stay afloat. It teaches these workers the ins and outs of the organization’s culture and workflow. So giving employees a manual to read on the first day and expecting them to go head-on into work the next day is just wishful thinking.


Long-term onboarding is an investment in retention, which keeps your hiring process from being a revolving door:


Make Onboarding Your Secret Weapon Against Turnover

According to the SHRM Foundation:

  • 50% of all senior outside hires fail within 18 months in a new position

  • 50% of all hourly workers leave new jobs within the first 120 days

  • Organizations say effective onboarding improves retention rates by 52%

Half. Those first two statistics should scare any HR manager. But the final one should be a glimmer of hope.


In-Depth Reading: Research Report


If you're ready for some advanced study, then check out our guide on recruiting that growing generation (and now the largest one in the workforce): millennials.


The Ultimate Guide to Recruiting & Retaining Millennials

Millennials aren’t driven by salary alone. Organizations need to realize that money alone won’t sway this generation to accept a job offer. In fact, a survey by Cap Strat found that 72% of Gen Y are willing to sacrifice a higher salary for a more personally and professionally fulfilling career.


Homework Assignment: The Onboarding Checklist


Now it's time to get hands-on. Check out our onboarding checklist, which uses a 30, 60, 90-day plan that sets up new employees to grow into their roles without overwhelming them on day one:


The Ultimate Checklist for New Employee Onboarding

  • 30 Days: This is when your new employee learns the ropes. They’re still getting used to everything, so introduce them to tools and projects, and set small goals.
  • 60 Days: This period involves more collaboration and bigger responsibilities. It’s a time to ease off on the training and focus more on the doing.
  • 90 Days: Now is when you’ll start taking off the training wheels. Your new hire becomes accountable for their work and is able to accomplish projects with limited guidance from you.


Your "homework" will leave you with actionable material for your next hire. Then come back next week for our guide to company culture and values.


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