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Why the Onboarding Process Is Critical When Starting A New Job

Mike Melone
Content Marketing Manager, Own Company
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Update: In recognition for our onboarding program, Brainshark recently announced Own as a 2020 SHARKIE award winner for best sales coaching program. Read the press release here.

Despite the unprecedented number of people filing for unemployment, there are still bright spots in the job market. For example, many tech companies are growing rapidly due to the increased demand for solutions that help digitize customer experiences, prepare for the future of work, and build resilience.

If you’re able to land a position at one of these tech companies- or anywhere else for that matter- you should rightly be excited. But you’re soon likely to face another challenge: starting a new job remotely. Not only is this uncharted territory for you, the employee, but your new employer’s onboarding process was probably not built for a fully remote workforce either.

But maybe it should be. According to the Aberdeen Group, 86% of new hires decide to stay or leave a company within their first six months, and new employees are 69% more likely to stay longer than three years if they experience well-structured onboarding. Combine this with the anxiety and stress that come with starting a new job virtually, and it makes these first few months that much more critical.

7 Onboarding Questions You Should Ask a Prospective Employer

When interviewing for a new job, you should ensure that you are setting yourself up for success in a new role. Just as your employer will ask you questions to ensure you’re a good fit, here are some questions to ask them about their onboarding process.

  • Are employees given a guide on their first day to help them map out what success looks like?
  • Do you have a Bootcamp or similar intensive program as part of onboarding?
  • How do you ensure that new learners retained what they learned during Bootcamp?
  • Do you have a Learning Management System? Does it include on-demand courses?
  • Do you have a mentor program?
  • Will you provide any additional resources or training given the current circumstances?
  • How do you ensure the tools employees use every day are well implemented?

How Own Transformed Its Onboarding Process During COVID-19

At Own, we understand that those first few weeks and months of an employee’s tenure is key to their success AND happiness. But we also recognize that onboarding virtually can feel distant and impersonal. With that in mind, we designed a program to ensure new team members are engaged, learn our business and culture inside and out, and get the opportunity to make an immediate impact.

Live Training via Bootcamp

As part of the onboarding process for new employees, Own runs a week-long Bootcamp, roughly once a month. The program’s primary goals are to give new employees (or “Owners” as we call them) the opportunity to meet senior leaders, learn the business and culture, and connect with their new team members.

After COVID-19 hit, the team pivoted Bootcamp to a virtual Bootcamp almost overnight. Not only was the sales enablement team able to keep all of the core elements of Bootcamp in place, but they also enhanced the program with new certifications, “stand and deliver” sessions featuring practice sales pitches, customer guest speakers, and more. Most importantly, the team has seen quantitative and qualitative evidence that new hires who go through the unique Bootcamp experience are successfully ramping faster than ever.

“When in-person Bootcamps were no longer an option, we discussed how we could set up our new hires for success,” said Thomas Cheriyan, Sales Enablement Manager at Own. “If the objective of Bootcamp is to ensure that we are setting up our new hires to be successful and productive as quickly as possible, we need to re-architect our learning and development strategy.”

As a result of Thomas’s leadership, the team rebuilt the onboarding program at Own so that new hires start learning on Day 1, learn up to and throughout Bootcamp, and then continue learning through their first 90 days and beyond at Own.

As one recent Own new hire commented in his Bootcamp feedback, “There wasn't a time over the past four days when I thought ‘I'm not going to need this.’”

On-Demand Learning via Own University

Around the same time that the team launched virtual Bootcamp, they also implemented a new Learning Management System (LMS) through Brainshark, known internally as “Own University.”

[Brainshark recently announced Own as a 2020 SHARKIE award winner for best sales coaching program. See the case study here.]

Own University has over 30 courses and is growing, and allows new AND existing team members to go deep into specific topics at their own pace. Subject matter experts design the courses at Own, ranging from technical subjects like “Own Archive" to more sales skills-focused topics like “Agenda Setting." Managers can assign specific training to their team members through the LMS.

Learners not only consume courses within Brainshark but must also role-play what they learn. As a result, the learning and development experience is exponentially greater as learners can truly take ownership of their new knowledge while reducing “The Forgetting Curve", as illustrated below.

To keep it fun and drive engagement, participants receive prizes for completing a certain amount of courses. There is also a leaderboard that gives the entire organization a view into which teams have finished the most sessions, adding an element of competition.

Hit The Ground Running In Your New Job

We understand that starting a new job can be stressful on its own, and beginning one during a pandemic only heightens those anxieties. There’s a whole new set of challenges that may seem overwhelming when you’re acclimating to a new role during a global health crisis. However, with the right mindset and a willingness to adapt, you can act on your career goals and successfully thrive in your new position at a new company.

If you think that new company might be at Own, click here to view our open roles.

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