At Edify we encourage clients to get ahead of onboarding whenever possible. Preparing onboarding materials in advance helps a manager anytime a new hire comes on to the team — and can be crucial if there’s a season of increased hiring activity, like the fall or the start of a new year.
But how can employers get ahead of onboarding, when the process can’t fully start until an employee’s first day?
So often we see managers struggling with the holding pattern that comes with hiring.
They know what’s required for the new hire’s role, they know how to communicate it, but they have to wait until the employee arrives on day 1 to start moving forward with the onboarding process.
That can leave even the best of managers scrambling to collect onboarding materials at the last second, rushing through the process and potentially missing important details along the way.
From the time that a new employee is hired, there could be a delay of anywhere from a few days to several weeks before that employee begins working. So while the company hiring managers might know what needs to be done for onboarding, they can often feel stuck waiting at the gates until the new hire’s first day.
Our best solution to the hiring holding pattern is to use “downtime” to prepare onboarding materials.
This doesn’t have to be complicated.
Start by thinking about the knowledge and skills a new hire will need to be successful in their role. This can include technical knowledge, process knowledge, product knowledge, and professional expectations.
Within each of those four categories, there’s going to be information, documentation, and knowledge, as well as skills and behaviors.
By simply considering what information is essential ahead of time, managers can start to build their go-to onboarding kit far in advance of a new hire’s arrival.
If you’re a manager in the onboarding process, try to collect these ideas in a Read Me file. You can share it with your new hire at the start of the onboarding process, giving them some information to gain context on their new role, and speed up their time to productivity.
There will always be some parts of onboarding that must wait until a new hire arrives for work. But whether you’re onboarding 1 or 50 new employees at once, getting some of the materials organized in advance can make the process more efficient and less stressful for you and the new cohort.