Onboarding New Hires? Follow These Best Practices

You are making a huge commitment when you hire someone, so be smart with your money and following these onboarding best practices.

Onboarding New Hires? Follow These Best Practices

Being the classic ‘A’ personality, a very high “D” DiSC profile style (in the assessment tool D is for dominance, characterizing a person who places emphasis on bottom-line results), and a Marine, we start at O’Dark Thirty here at Matterhorn Consulting to prepare for our business missions and their success.

Regardless of your role, i.e. sales, management, technician/installer, support or customer service, get started early — like really early (whether you’ve seen it as zero dark thirty or oh dark thirty, we’re talking about the wee hours) — when you are bringing new hires into your company culture.

We just completed an extensive “how to” project, titled “Employer’s Complete Guide to Hiring,” that is now published and available to Security Industry Association (SIA) members.

SIA CEO Don Erickson recognized the need for a resource to help association members attract, recruit, hire and retain the best talent to grow their businesses. We are a SIA member, contributor and consultant. So here is a preview to wet your whistle.

Outline Agendas & Set Expectations Early

Thinking ahead of the curve means you need to be 15 minutes ahead on every part of onboarding your new talent to effectively leverage recruiting, training and opportunity costs. You are making a huge commitment when you hire someone, so be smart with your money.

Remember, first impressions are lasting and can be a deciding factor if they will stay and be a productive member of your team. So how can you do this better, like really successful companies do?

You need to get moving ASAP with onboarding talent, according to The Aberdeen Group. The market research and analysis group found that 53% of the best-in-class companies start their onboarding process as early as even before the new employee parks their car in the lot on their first day of work. Does your company do this?

Discuss company culture via videos and PowerPoints, and provide a written agenda of what new hires can expect the first day, first week and first month, etc.

Set the expectations for supervisors and then follow through with auditing their actions by checking and confirming their accountability. The big challenge is time and work deadlines, especially when you run a lean company.

We all get busy. I get it, but talent development and retention is expensive. Checklists can help you stay on track, as well as scheduling short “huddles” with your new hire the same time every week.

Why is this process so important? Because employee turnover bleeds profitability, productivity and competitive advantage from your company while tarnishing your industry reputation. Social media will be happy to share this unhappy news. According to a survey by HR services provider G&A Partners and published by Forbes, the costs are significant:

Stay on Top of Communications, Accountability

You may have a process that looks solid on paper, but if your team is not implementing your onboarding process with accountability, it’s like running a relay race with a blindfold. Test, check and communicate by asking key questions. For instance:

  • How was your first day or week?
  • What did you learn and who did you meet?
  • What would help you be productive, faster?

Catching disconnects early can save you enormous time, costs and headaches, and increases your awareness of the “stickiness” that holds your team together. Communication is the glue that keeps people together in an organization.

How do you make this process stick and gain traction? It’s what I call your EDF — employee development factor. Provide your managers and supervisors resources (people) to get the work done. It should be their role and responsibility to fully develop and utilize those resources to meet or exceed organizational goals.

When you standardize processes with discipline and accountability by your managers/supervisors, their performance can be factored in with annual reviews and merit raises. There is another upside — time!

More proficient and efficient teams take delegation of tasks to the next level, which frees up managers’ time for more strategic leadership, establishing more aggressive goals and generally kicking butt and taking names … of people who want to come to work for an awesome company!

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About the Author


Paul C. Boucherle, Certified Protection Professional (CPP) and Certified Sherpa Coach (CSC), is Security Sales & Integration’s “Business Fitness” columnist. A principal of Matterhorn Consulting, he has more than 30 years of diverse security and safety industry experience including UL central station operations, risk-vulnerability assessments, strategic security program design and management of industry convergence challenges. Boucherle has successfully guided top-tier companies in achieving enhanced ROI resulting from improved sales and operational management techniques. He is a charismatic speaker and educator on a wide range of critical topics relating to the security industry of today and an accomplished corporate strategist and marketer whose vision and expertise in business performance have driven notable enterprise growth in the security industry sector.

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