We are all well aware of the importance of a structured and skillfully executed onboarding process. The numbers are very clear on this issue. For many recruiters, however, onboarding is not really something they worry about or dedicate too much time to.
They figure that it is their job to find the right placement for the right company and the right position and that is where their job ends. Many will follow up over the next couple of weeks (months), but as far as onboarding goes, they leave that to their client, i.e. the company where their new placement is starting to work.
This can be a sizeable mistake, especially in certain circumstances.
When Recruiters MUST Be Involved in Onboarding
In a perfect world where a recruiter can live off only a few placements, we would say that they MUST always be involved in onboarding. In reality, however, this does not hold water. Of course, if you can do it every single time, then do it, by all means.
That being said, there are situations when even the busiest recruiter has to be involved in onboarding.
For example, when the candidate is one of the top talent in their respective industry. In such a situation, their experience is of paramount importance and if you can help their new employer onboard them more quickly and elegantly, you simply have to do it. Another situation where a recruiter’s involvement in onboarding is a must is when a client is extremely important and they are filling a very senior position.
Other cases when the recruiter really should be involved in onboarding is if the bonuses get bigger the longer the placement stays at their new position (better onboarding = less turnover); if the client company has proven to be unable to onboard properly on its own; or if you know a great candidate’s positive experience will be rewarded with new fantastic candidates.
Once more, if you can find the time, you should get involved in the onboarding process of your every placement.
How to Do It
The best way to start helping with your placements’ onboarding processes is to talk to your clients and find out as much as you can about how they do it. This way, you will find gaps (there are always gaps) that you will be able to fill and that will help both your placements and your clients. Do not worry; the companies will be more than happy to share details about their onboarding processes with you. You are doing this for them too, in the end.
It should also be pointed out that a recruiter might actually suggest some new practices that they have learned from some other clients or that they have designed themselves. HR departments can sometimes get stagnant and they need a bit of shaking up. Of course, this has to be handled with gloves, so as not to offend anyone.
You would also do well to learn everything you can about your clients, as your onboarding process should start even before your candidate gets the job. This way, you will be able to provide more info on the company and what they can expect. What is the culture like at the new company? Who are the important players? Who does their HR? How do they handle employee benefits? What kind of business software do they use? These are all things that will help your candidates get a better picture of their prospective employer and that will also help them fit in once they get the job.
Once the early paperwork starts flooding in, you should assist your candidate in dealing with it, handling much of it yourself. If the client has been with you for some time, you can even prepare something of an introductory paper to it, business-wise. You can inform them of the company’s biggest clients and most important goals.
It is all about helping them hit the ground running.
Once your new placement starts working for the client, it will mostly be up to their HR department, but this does not mean you cannot stay involved. Stay in touch with your placement and ask them how they are doing from time to time. They will be much more open to you than to the new employer’s HR people. Maybe something has come up that you can handle, but they cannot?
This is serious diplomacy, but it can lead to spectacular results.
There is plenty that a recruiter can do when it comes to their placements’ onboarding processes. It can be time-consuming and you may not always be able to do it, but when you can, please do.
It can do wonders for your candidates, your clients and, in the end, yourself.