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Edify Collabs: Great Minds Think Alike - Why Functional Onboarding Matters When Working with Recruiters

Austin Epon

Every company aims to retain talent and achieve business objectives every step of the way - whether in improving products and services, customer relationships, or sales by employing the best candidates they can find to fit the roles they set. And this is so much possible with the help of onboarding and staffing teams (either in-house or outsourced) as they strike right off the bat, making sure that every new hire is taken seriously and becomes a productive contributing employee in the shortest time possible.

But why are onboarding and recruiting companies emphasize the need for technical and functional onboarding for technical and software teams apart from the regular corporate onboarding when companies already strive to make their own resources available? Simply because different and unique teams are in dire need of different and unique solutions - specific frameworks that support the new hire throughout his or her journey the moment he is done with HR and starts day 1. And all in all, technical and functional onboarding counters the worst failures - high costs of poor onboarding practices, high churn, and low job satisfaction rates.

In this article, EdifyOS in collaboration with TeamUP Staffing talks about why functional onboarding matters when working with recruiters.

What is Technical and Functional Onboarding?

Think about eating a three-layered cake - you are the new hire and the layers of the cake are the different onboarding sessions. Layer 1 can be the all-abouts of the company, Layer 2 can be about departments in the company and what each of them does. And the 3rd is the layer you are most excited about - your own layer. Your own team, your home to which you’ll work for 8 hours a day, 5 or 6 days a week. After having the third layer, HR wraps and calls it a day, leaving you to finally start day 1 tomorrow. 

What happens next? Can we expect our new hires to immediately do their job? What if they still have concerns and questions about their job that general onboardings weren’t able to answer? What if they don’t know who to run to? We all know this feeling.

This is where technical and functional onboarding comes to play. It is the team level-specific onboarding, the separation of your company and your function to it. The onboarding, preparation, and training within your own team, your work itself, the thing that you are hired for. This makes sure that new engineers are getting support on a regular basis without them having the need to always check their team’s availability and trials and errors which may result to bigger problems.

Onboarding is not a Learning Management System, It’s an Experience

Many companies and engineering managers still think that onboarding is like signing up for insurance and that’s it, or a walk-through to a company culture’s do’s and dont’s. It’s what determines a new engineer’s success even before the interview process. As we are talking about how to retain engineers longer and reduce the cost of over-replacing talent, onboarding helps new hires become easily engaged and open to your company’s culture, and more importantly to become contributing productive members in just a short time.  Onboarding is the human touch that comes after the LMS.

Technical and functional onboarding helps new hires easily grasp and adapt the micro-culture of his or her team or engineering manager. Especially in the case of small to mid companies hiring contractors for short-term work that do not necessarily have to be fully showered by corporate onboarding as technical and functional is more crucial. And if that makes sense to short-term contractors, how much more with your newly hired engineer that has all the potential and room to grow if given a great onboarding experience.

Going Remote: Communication and Culture is the Key

Now that hiring and onboarding are mostly done remotely rather than in-person, everyone including the new hire, the team members, and the engineering or hiring managers are faced with opportunities and challenges of being fully remote. The role of communication and setting the proper culture to deal with such will become vital in keeping new hires engaged and working their way to productivity - and this is why onboarding and staffing make sense. This does not only make sure your new hire is guided well to stay longer, but also makes sure that your new engineer’s success is within reach.

New hires have the tendency to become hesitant in approaching or asking for help, especially when they do not know when to ask or who to ask, not to mention the anxiety if team members will look down on them or might get laughs for asking stupid questions. This is where professional expectations in terms of communication can definitely go a long way. How will your new hire know they can call you, or send an email, or hop in a conference call? When can they expect a reply? New hires need to learn and understand their team’s micro-culture especially when we aren’t always there to attend to their needs. And with a poor technical and functional onboarding process, new hires can feel left behind.

Churn comes when employees don’t see the success in what they do in your company. Your new engineers deserve the best onboarding and staffing needs to be able to give the best results to your company and your customers.

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