Enhance Employee Onboarding with Social Media

Written by Natalie Winzer, iHire, LLC
Computer monitor showing employee onboarding process using social media

Successful recruiting does not simply end with an accepted offer. Considering the high costs of not only finding but also keeping the right people at your company, new hire onboarding has to be just as strategic as hiring, interviewing, and making offers. With social media permeating just about every aspect of our lives today, it is not surprising that social tools have a variety of applications in onboarding programs as well.

As an HR professional, you may see social media as a distraction and productivity killer. However, in a world where it is far more likely that your new recruit is active on social media than “off the grid”, why not meet these individuals where they are and engage them using technologies they already know and love? Check out these benefits and ideas for incorporating social solutions into your onboarding efforts.

Go Beyond Paperwork

While there are mandatory forms all new hires must suffer through, consider housing these on a portal created specifically for individuals gearing up to join your company and go beyond paperwork to capture (and sustain) engagement. Include photos of the office, a copy of the employee handbook, and tidbits of advice from existing staff. Other open positions could also be posted in your portal to show new team members that there are opportunities for advancement and the potential for a lasting career. Use this tool to create excitement while communicating your company’s culture and brand. Weeks could pass between when your new hire accepts a role and actually starts, so give them plenty of reasons to feel good about the decision they made during the interim.

Expedite Relationship Building

Social media lets us connect with anyone in the world in an instant, and an easy way to make a new employee feel welcome is to foster the rapport-building process right away and ease the first-day jitters. Encourage existing staff to connect with new hires on your internal portal or LinkedIn well before their first day at the office. Since LinkedIn is a professional networking site, it is the most appropriate place for these two parties to meet before in-person introductions, identify shared interests, and see whom they might already know in common. As Matt Charney stated in his Recruiting Daily blog post, How To Use Social Media for Employee Onboarding, “LinkedIn goes a long way to helping new hires feel like they at least know a little bit about all those unfamiliar faces they’re suddenly faced with at work.”

A secure internal social network is a great place to have new team members review details on specific projects they will be contributing to, ask questions, and be ready to jump in on day one. As per Tarik Taman, General Manager of Human Capital Management (HCM) and Cloud Enterprise Resource Management at Infor, this “makes a new hire quickly feel like a part of the team, which could aid in overall retention at an organization and more enhanced productivity.”

Eliminate Roadblocks

By building a company social platform, you enable the instant connection between all stakeholders in the onboarding process: HR staff charged with benefits enrollment, leadership tasked with training, team members preparing to welcome the new employee, tech personnel responsible for setting up the new hire’s email address and workstation, etc. Having one place to track the statuses of all of these steps vs. a series of email strings, for example, is far more seamless. The last thing you want is an A Player twiddling their thumbs because their laptop doesn’t have internet access yet or spinning their wheels waiting days for training on your company software.

Get a Head Start on Learning

Certain aspects of new hire training will be better suited for in-person, hands-on instruction, but that doesn’t mean all learning needs to be postponed until your new employee walks in the door for the first time. Use your social portal to house fun, engaging training videos that staff can complete at their own pace. Depending upon the resources at your disposal, you could take this a step further by letting current employees (not just HR) create, revise, and update learning materials and/or be available for live chat support.

Sources:

Tarik Taman – Social Media in the Workplace – Are We Nearly There?

Karie Willyerd – Social Tools Can Improve Employee Onboarding

Matt Charney – How To Use Social Media for Employee Onboarding

Ellen Julian – Onboarding New Employees? Get Social!