The last time I was a new hire, it was 2005 and the internet was just becoming mainstream in the recruitment world. Most HR professionals were managing candidates in an Excel spreadsheet, onboarding with paper documents, and conducting training in classrooms.
Although as a people manager I had organized and led onboarding programs for various positions, both in-person and virtually, it wasn’t something that I had experienced myself. To say that I was nervous and anxious was an understatement! It can be scary to start in a completely new environment, with new people, new systems and processes.
When done right, onboarding can increase new hire retention by 82% and improve productivity by 70%. Unfortunately, many employers do not invest enough time and resources into setting up optimal onboarding experiences.
My onboarding process with Blu Ivy started the day I signed my offer letter. I was invited to create a profile within BambooHR that allowed me to keep track of onboarding tasks (all of the fun onboarding paperwork), enter information about myself, and more importantly, get to know my new coworkers. I was asked questions like do I prefer tea or coffee, and what types of things am I passionate about. I was also able to read this information about my new coworkers which helped me to feel like I knew them a bit before I even started, putting me at ease.
By my first day of work as a new Bluube, I had already received emails from my new manager, company executives, and some of my new colleagues had reached out with kind messages and requested to join my network on LinkedIn. I had also received an itinerary for my first week, so I knew what to expect.
Like most company orientations, we reviewed the company history, mission, vision, values, and core service offerings. But beyond the usual, we were introduced to members of the team, encouraged to do virtual coffee chats, and ask lots of questions. To be honest, I was a little freaked out by how genuine, warm, and friendly everyone is. It went beyond the typical “corporate nice” that I was used to.
Because I learn best with hands-on experience, I was eager to start working on client projects. When I put the word out that I wanted to assist with projects, there was no shortage of people who were willing to pull me in and work with me. Oftentimes, new hires face territorial tenured colleagues who aren’t as willing to bring people in on their work. I get that it might be more work for them to explain or review the work afterwards, but it is a great way to get new hires to feel included, valued, and gives them an opportunity to learn on the job.
The authenticity, and genuine connections that I was promised during the interview process were accurate and sincere. This was further exemplified when I flew out to Toronto for our annual Strategy Days and met everyone in person for the first time. Working in a 100% remote work environment, you may not feel as connected to your coworkers. There is something special about the connection you get in the “real world.”
Pandemic travel restrictions, combined with the hyper-growth at Blu Ivy over the last 10 months, meant that many of us met in person for the very first time. But you would have never known that if you were observing our interactions.
The authenticity of our virtual connections was only amplified in person. We felt like we had known each other for years or met in a previous life. The warmth, connection, and (dare I say it) love, that radiated during those two days helped to solidify my place in the organization and reconfirmed that I was in the right place. I was home.
Sr. Director, Employer Brand & Culture
Blu Ivy Group
Blu Ivy Group is a global leader in employer branding, organizational culture, and recruitment marketing. We help organizations across the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors build extraordinary employee experiences, magnetic employer brands, and high-performance cultures.
From C-Suite to Employer Brand and Talent Acquisition leadership, we partner with our clients to transform their organizations and design the most compelling workplaces of the future.
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