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These Are the 3 Biggest Trends in Workforce Innovation

Keeping up with the changing world requires constant innovation — and this includes hiring. Evolving technology, the shifting generational makeup of the workforce, and a candidate-centric market[...]

February 18, 2020

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How Staffing Suppliers Help MSPs Create a More Robust Onboarding Experience

Part 2 of 2 in a series (Part 1: How Staffing Companies Help MSPs & Hiring Managers Maximie Onboarding Programs)

Take the onboarding experience even further

In the first article of this series, we explored the new emphasis placed on the onboarding process as a growing strategic priority for hiring managers, and illustrated the ways in which staffing professionals can facilitate a superior, best practices experience. Now let’s look at how staffing partners can drive an even more engaging and productive learning environment for preparing new hires to succeed.

Be proactive

Before your talent begin their first day on assignment, provide them with as much information as you can about what orientation will cover: a general “lesson plan” or list of topics to tackle; overview of the client organization, history and job expectations; basic facts and interesting points about the client’s industry; details about the culture and operating environment; and any forms that can be completed prior to day one of onboarding, which won’t violate any confidentiality. Offering this information to new hires before their first day of work accommodates more time to engage in meaningful discussions with the talent and less time answering frequently asked questions.

Peer mentoring and safe havens

At Zenith Talent, we really do commit ourselves to our talent -- our internal recruiter partners and the exceptional professionals they bring aboard. That’s one of the primary reasons why we end up as top performing supplier partners in the programs we support: we listen to our workers and provide feedback about their performance, areas for continuous improvement, and offer mentoring from qualified internal coaches with related skills and experiences. This is a practice that translates well to the onboarding experience. Bringing in peers with experience at the client organization and knowledge of the MSP creates a safe and supportive coaching outlet where new workers can ask all their questions upfront, without worrying about the reception. Many new hires aren’t comfortable approaching hiring managers, MSP teams or client staff with what they feel could be perceived as “dumb questions.”

Other team members who are already working the job on behalf of the staffing supplier are great sources of knowledge, comfort and creating welcoming climates for their new colleagues.

Create opportunities for socialization

As we all know, Millennials are the social generation. And since they’ve begun entering the workforce in growing numbers, it makes sense that the more social the orientation process, the more engaged these new talent will become. LinkedIn Program Coordinator Cassandra Brown, a self-labeled Millennial herself, recounted her onboarding process at the company:

“At this event, we mingled with other teams within our organization to hear what they have been working on, but more importantly we were able to spend time with coworkers who we might not usually see.

“What really set this event apart was the ambiance. There was music, food, beer & wine, swag, and a general vibe of friendliness. The recent grads and interns thrived in this setting and were much more inquisitive, responsive, and confident than they would have been on a scheduled lunch date to speak to a more veteran employee about what they do.”

While not every company culture would be conducive to this type of mixer, the idea remains sound. Immediately after the formal onboarding process, staffing professionals should still try to coordinate some form of casual group interaction as part of the overall onboarding experience. Curiosity about the program isn’t restricted to the new talent. Client personnel and MSP account members want to know more about the incoming workers. A friendly and informal gathering facilitates conversation, knowledge transfer, team building and a sense of camaraderie among all the stakeholders participating in the program.

The onboarding experience shouldn’t end at the conclusion of orientation

The first week on the job for most new talent will be laden with paperwork, information dissemination and intensive training. And that can be an overwhelming experience. Yet once new hires complete their onboarding, MSPs and hiring managers will naturally expect them to get to work. This is where staffing partners have a golden opportunity to continue the onboarding experience in a manner that fosters retention, loyalty, ongoing performance improvements and employee engagement. They can help their clients (MSPs and hiring managers) and their talent by remaining present -- encourage ongoing meetings with new workers to discuss the job so far, answer new questions, provide opportunities for reflection and thought, digest the information imparted during training, and repeat topics that may have been confusing or missed.

It’s everybody’s job

Onboarding should not simply be one last formality in the hiring process, and it shouldn’t be relegated to HR or MSPs. The onboarding experience must be a shared experience, where every stakeholder has a part to play. HR sets the guidelines, MSPs oversee and enforce them, and staffing partners can ensure that their talent and their customers receive ongoing support. As any experience, onboarding doesn’t end after the last form has been signed. It’s a transitional approach that eases new hires into their jobs with the tools and resources they need to prosper, flourish and develop in their assignments. 

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