Collecting data, sourcing.
Mining the Applicant Tracking System, recruiting.
Calling qualified candidates and setting up phone screens, interviewing.
Getting an offer accepted, celebrating.

In the recruitment and HR worlds, we spend a lot of time talking about talent acquisition. How do we acquire talent? How can we get them to come aboard? What will entice them to take the job?

So it’s a wonder that we spend so little time planning the onboarding process. The first day is often either a mix of boring paperwork in a windowless room or a mad dash to find the new hire a computer and a dusty binder than it is a welcoming and interesting first day experience.

And it’s ridiculous. Onboarding is the transitional piece between talent acquisition and talent management. It is the bridge between jobseeker and employee. And we’re messing it up!

“New employees are most likely to leave a company within the first 18 months of their tenure and 90 percent of new hires decide in their first six months on the job whether or not they’re going to stay with the company.”

Here are three ways you can make your new employees’ first day, their best first day ever.


Redefine “first day”

In today’s competitive workforce, the first day may not be in the office, or it could come three months before that person moves to your state. No matter what a first day at your company looks like, the onboarding process should make them feel welcome. For example, Bryan Chaney’s first day at Indeed looked like this:


Making an employee feel welcomed before, during and after the “first day” is crucial. Studies show that 17% of employees may quit after a disastrous first day. Conversely, employees’ discretionary effort increases by more than 20% when they are onboarded effectively, according to the Corporate Leadership Council.


Have a plan

And not just in your head. Work with managers, HR stakeholders, even long time employees to determine what is necessary for one’s first day on the job. Is it lunch with the new team? A mentorship program or goal alignment session?

Whatever it is, create a paperless trail. Send your new hire an itinerary of first day activities and get your team in on the action. You don’t need a seasoned executive to show a new employee around the company intranet or to give them a tour of the lunchroom, right? Allow your new employee to be escorted around the building and shown the ropes by a succession of people so they can feel really welcomed. Include an onboarding checklist so the new team member can get a sense of accomplishment from the very first day!


Get the basics out of the way

For compliance’ sake, for your sake and for the sake of your new employee, get the I-9s, the self-reporting and the record keeping out of the way ASAP. An effective onboarding solution helps create faster employee productivity, increased ROI, improved retention and overall engagement. An Aberdeen survey showed that 83% of the highest performing organizations began onboarding prior to the new hire’s first day on the job.


Select an employee onboarding solution that allows your new hire to complete this paperwork before their start date so you can spend the day getting to know your newest contributor!