Human Resources: Make positive first impression

Q. Should you have a formal onboarding process for new hires?
Monday, August 22, 2016

A. An effective onboarding program takes work and planning to ensure new team members can hit the ground running and feel welcomed from day one. Fewer things are more detrimental to a new hire, whom you have spent time, money, and effort to bring on board, than to have them twiddling their thumbs on day one due to lack of organization or preparation. A successful onboarding plan takes teamwork, commitment and planning.

Be sure to have a workstation identified, equipment and supplies ordered, and make sure the new hire will have access to systems, company email and a specific training plan in place. All these items should be set before the new hire steps foot in the door.

Make sure your new hire feels welcomed by the company. Have the manager or an executive send a personalized welcome card to their home. Let them know when and where to report on their first day, and give the new employee a schedule of their agenda, including orientation and training. These steps send a strong, positive message to your new hire, showing you are thrilled about the decision they made to join your company and have successfully prepared for their arrival.

It is important the onboarding experience involve more than standard HR policies, procedures and benefit information. Onboarding should also involve all departments within the company. This way, the new hire can gain understanding of the company and feel like they’re part of the company’s common goal and mission.

By putting these simple, structured procedures in place, you’ll have a positive first impression on your new hire, which can set the tone for a long term, positive partnership.

Melissa Seitz is an HR generalist at Medical Service Company. Reach her at