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How Social Media Facilitates Onboarding

Human Resources departments commit significant resource to vetting applications and recruiting new employees. Unfortunately, even with this effort committed to talent search, many new hires will leave in their first year or two of joining a company. The average worker may hold as many as a dozen or more jobs in his or her working life, and there is little incentive for an employee to stay at a particular company if there are other employers luring him or her away. Given the amount of time invested in the process of acquiring employees, most companies want to play for keeps, and onboarding is an effective tool in hiring.

What is Onboarding

Temp workers are often expected to start performing without much in the way of introduction to the other employees or the work involved. Since they aren’t expected to stay at the company more than a few days or weeks, there isn’t much energy invested in helping them learn the ropes, and they are often given tasks that can be explained in just a few minutes and introduced only to the people in the company they absolutely need to know. While there are temp to perm work possibilities, these temporary workers who earn permanent positions do so through their own initiative, not through the encouragement of employers.

The opposite is true of a regular employee. It isn’t enough to expect a new hire to just jump in, but there is an integration process that transcends the concept of mere training. The employee is showed where the coffee station is and where the rooms are, but onboarding is a strategy used by Human Resource professionals to find ways to make the new hire feel a part of the company. This involves encouraging him or her to get involved and express an opinion or give feedback. It also fine tunes the process of getting the employee acquainted with the vision of the company and its long-term goals. The stronger the relationship the employee feels with the company, the less likely he or she will be lured away.

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Social Media and Onboarding

Just as many companies today use social media as a tool to create a relationship with a customer to secure repeat business, employers use social media to facilitate onboarding. The idea is to keep in constant contact with the employee, and one of the best ways to accomplish that is through forums, Linked In, blogs, Facebook and other social media platforms. The average person nowadays spends a large amount of time when not at work on social media, and advertisers feel they are missing out if they don’t have a social media strategy. Employers feel they are also missing out if they neglect opportunities to connect with employees, even if they aren’t at work.

A number of social media experts suggest the concept of creating a “tribe” around a brand, personality or product. This is analogous to the way employees talk about building a “team.” The idea is that the team should be aware of each other’s strengths, and individual members strive to complement each other to work efficiently as a unit. This unity can be created by members getting to know each other well in the office and outside the workplace. In addition, many teams today are not comprised of employees located in the same area, so social media is especially crucial in allowing employees and employers to connect remotely.

Social Media Solutions

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It’s true that employers use social media as a way of luring employees away from present positions, and to prevent this from happening, employers use onboarding as a way of making them feel part of a team or even a family. Employment consultants, such as Jason Hanold associates, discuss ways companies can win this talent war. One way is to remain engaged with the employee throughout at least the entire first year after hiring for effective onboarding.

Company web forums are an effective way to allow employees to communicate about the company and to clarify issues. Forums connect employees with each other and with project managers who can address questions as they come up. In additions, the discussions can help develop a rapport between members of the company and help promote teamwork. Blogs are another way company members can present themselves and describe what they do and a bit about themselves. Blogging allows employees to get to know each other and develop friendship in the context of work and on a personal level. LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media platforms provide additional opportunities to connect

Staying Connected

It isn’t enough nowadays just to find the best prospective employees, but to work at keeping them. Companies are not shy about trying to coax talent away from existing employers, and company loyalty can no longer be assumed. Employers need to make sure they don’t waste resources on employee turnover by retaining the staff they have through onboarding and establishing a relationship with a new hire. Social media platforms, blogs and forums can make onboarding effective and encourage positive communication within a company.

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