Successfully Onboard Your Talent – Crisis Or No Crisis (Part 2 of 2)

(Because your onboarding needs to begin well before Day 1)
by Simon Cropper

Domo Japan | HR Director Asia & Japan |

Is one of your company`s goals to more efficiently onboard talent and to lay the groundwork for a new hire`s long-term success? With a little thought and planning it`s probably easier than you think. Here are some things to consider to help you get you started.

So what are some of the things we can do to improve the long-term success of our new hires as well as their overall experience during the process?

At my company, Domo Japan, we actually begin the onboarding before the onboarding actually happens. By this I mean we interview and share with candidates expectations for success at Domo.

Once someone has joined its too late to find out if they will fit the culture (or not!). By creating a “Pre” and “Post” hiring & onboarding process we are more likely to see new hires not only “survive” but “thrive”

We need to be sharing “who we are” from the first interview, not during a “New Hire Orientation Day”. We need to proactively try to find out if folks will fit or not. It’s not enough to just simply talk about our company leadership principles or that poster on the wall in the office that talks about our Company Vision & Values and how important is for the candidate to follow these upon joining.

In our case we share some incredibly well done videos of our management talking about how we came about, our roots before Domo even began, and how that DNA drives our business even now. We try to share our “unwritten” rules, things that can’t be seen from outside, but only felt when a new hire begins work. And we try to help new people connect with what some organizations refer to as the 3 C’s! They are:

  • Connectivity – for example, the company network, key management members that folks need to talk to from day one, or conversations with those who already do the job your new hire will be assigned to
  • Culture – the “who we are” and the “what we stand for” points that capture key aspects of our culture!
  • Compliance – the clear description of what is expected from someone in this role, and how he or she needs to act or behave within it in order to be successful etc.
Don’t you just love HR-related work? There are always so many new opportunities to not only impact the bottom line, but also impact the lives of all our people!

Another key aspect of the pre-onboarding phase is fully leveraging the “quiet time” before someone joins when often they choose to take a short break between jobs. People are often more willing / able to dedicate time to learning and training during this pre-onboarding phase, since once they begin their new role they are often way too busy to invest time into training.

So this pre-joining phase is a great opportunity to give them some “company homework” — it could be reading of financial reports or public documentation that you are legally ok to share, it could be some online training related to their role as a manager, or technical and product training for folks in an IT or technical related position. You may want to set some 1 on 1 calls with their new team members or managers to simply talk about what they do day to day and some of the challenges they actually faced when joining the company.

Over the years I`ve seen many managers join firms and have to figure out this simple stuff as they go about their job, sometimes not knowing what to do until an actual issue arises.

If the position you are filling is leadership, consider if you are able to share with the new manager what issues there may be in their team. Such as recent turnover, or the recent results of an annual engagement survey etc. You can also try to make sure they know in greater detail how your employee performance is managed, the annual or quarterly cycles of how you track, manage, and reward performance.

Over the years I`ve seen many managers join firms and have to figure out this simple stuff as they go about their job, sometimes not knowing what to do until an actual issue arises.

These approaches can help to expedite a new hire`s understanding of what they can expect. This makes it more real, helps connect folks with what actually happens on the ground and mentally prepares them for the possible challenges to come.

Frankly there is a lot of great material out there if you research it or network with your peers in the industry, and there are a lot of great examples of how companies hire and onboard people. Unfortunately, most of it is Pre-COVID and potentially not relevant now, hence a revamp of your process could be key not only to the immediate productivity of your new hires but to the length of time they actually stay with you after joining 😉

Good luck and if you are an internal HR professional based in the Japan or APAC markets then please connect with me on LinkedIn and possibly join one of our Domo professional HR Roundtables in future! Don’t you just love HR-related work, there are always so many new opportunities to not only impact the bottom line, but also impact the lives of all our people 😊

Simon Cropper is a Tokyo-based HR professional with 25 years of HR and Recruitment experience working both in-house and in agency.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TADirect or any other agency, organization, employer or company.