Why employee onboarding doesn’t need to suffer summertime blues

The summer months pose some unique challenges when it comes to effective management of new hires. But while members of your HR team take well earned breaks – that doesn’t mean your entire hiring process should enter a holiday slumber.

With effective management, sensible scheduling and the right tools, a hiring process should deliver the same quality of experience throughout the year. What makes this difficult to achieve is the ‘shifting sands’ of staffing during the summer months.

Research shows that nearly a third (32%) of all holidays are taken during the summer months of June, July and August. This doesn’t just impact on the hiring team but everyone that’s associated with preparations for new starters.

This is particularly important during the onboarding phase of recruitment – ensuring that successful candidates are converted into productive new employees. Any delays or frustrations during onboarding are liable to lead to candidates dropping out.

So here’s a look at some strategies to maintain consistent performance during the holiday season:

Identify your dependencies

Who needs to do what for a new hire to be brought into your organisation?  It’s only by documenting this and each of the key staffing dependencies that you can ensure smooth running over the summer.

These dependencies can include everything from the IT staff needed to setup new accounts to the line managers responsible for meeting and greeting a new starter on their first day. Knowing these dependencies allows either cover to be arranged or starting dates to be changed.

Resolve staffing issues early

The worst possible time to identify any kind of onboarding issue that arises over the summer months is as and when problems are occurring. This is especially true when it involves the often contentious issue of holidays and time off.

Prevention is much better than cure and once a holiday request has been approved, there’s no going back. Employees are much more flexible when they’re given adequate time to change plans and adjust holiday periods.

Keep track of progress

The typical kind of onboarding problems that are encountered over summer are caused by missing links in the chain. A person on the hiring team handling the new starter is away on holiday or one of the managers needed to sign off a contract change is absent.

To make sure these blockages are identified and resolved, it requires an effective way to monitor the progress and status of the onboarding process. This is a key benefit of cloud-based onboarding systems which provide real-time status updates.

First day experience

A common problem during the summer months is that new starters  find themselves entering a workplace in which key personnel are absent. This often means the employees who would normally greet a new starter aren’t available.

Without identifying this, it can make for an unsettling first-day experience. An effective onboarding process will ensure these duties are properly planned and coordinated, with cover arranged for any absences.

Holiday headaches

An issue that often crops up with new starters over the summer period is that they arrive and make an immediate request for time off. They will often have booked holidays or activities prior to having joined the company.

Without having accrued time off, this would normally be refused but the circumstances make this a potentially messy issue to handle. With an effective process, policies are made clear from the start and new starters given an opportunity to raise any issues early.

Deliver a warm welcome

Adding a few summery touches to the onboarding information that new starters receive can help to improve their experience and feel part of the team. An effective approach is to share information on any company activities or social events that are taking place over the summer months.

With a cloud-based approach, any kind of digital information can be easily integrated into the onboarding process – from welcome videos to online resource links. It’s an effective way to add some colour and character.

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