New Hire Considerations - Tips & Best Practices

September 22, 2015 Marlo Hertling

In order to provide new employees with a great first impression, HR, Payroll, and managers need to work together throughout the new hire process.

New Hire Onboarding Tips & Best Practices

When the time comes to welcome someone new to your neighbourhood, here are a few tips we've picked up along the way to help you lay out the welcome mat for your new hire.

HR + Payroll + Managers = Onboarding Success for New Hires

Knowing that a manager plays an important role in introducing the new employee to the company. HR and Payroll play equally important roles, so it’s important to have a plan outlining who is responsible for each task.

Here are some common tasks that HR and Payroll should collaborate on for new hires:

  1. When a new employee is hired, HR needs to share the new employee’s information with Payroll so the employee will receive their first paycheque accurately and on time

Pro Tip: The easiest way to make this happen is using an integrated solution so that as soon HR has hired the new employee, they are in the system and then payroll can review their information

  1. Make sure you have the necessary information – (SIN, direct deposit information, emergency contacts, TD1 forms, etc.) before the employee starts

Pro Tip: Automating your employee onboarding can help make sure you have all the information from the employee you need before they start

  1. Streamline your new hire practice so that as much data as possible can be automatically populated on the employee profile

Pro Tip: Set up defaults so when you hire employees in specific business areas, that information will populate automatically (e.g. if they belong to a specific union or location you can default deduction codes and cost centres)

  1. Make sure their employment history begins building as soon as the employee starts

Pro Tip: Enter the employee’s job class, position, seniority, and initial hire date information so that their employment history is all there right from the start – have an automated process that automatically tracks key events such as wage increases and promotions

  1. Provide the new employee with all the information they need on your company's benefits plan so they can make an informed choice on what they will sign up for

Pro Tip: Allow your new employee to select their benefits shortly after they start – by simply setting up an effective date on their benefits you will know they will automatically kick in as soon as that date is reached

  1. Provide the employee with all of the documents they need to review and sign-off on for HR and payroll purposes

Pro Tip: Automate your document sign-off by providing employees the ability to read and electronically sign-off on their documents through your company's Self-Service portal

Employee Onboarding Tips (Before They Arrive)

Beyond the technical requirements of hiring a new employee, there are several ways to ensure they immediately feel welcome in your neighbourhood and can successfully fit into their new position.

Here are some tips on ways to make a new employee’s transition a great experience.

  1. Put together a welcome package that includes company policies and procedures, as well as the organization’s culture and values
  2. Send out a notice to all team members. Introduce the new employee by name, explain their previous experience and what their role will be and when they are starting
  3. Make sure the new employee’s work space has all the furniture, equipment, and supplies they will need when they arrive
  4. Prepare in advance to set up the new employee’s email address, phone extension, prepare business cards, office access, etc. so it is all in place on their first day- there's nothing worse than not being able to get into the building on your first day
  5. Be sure to add the employee to the company directory
  6. Contact the new employee to make sure they know where and when they should arrive on their first day
  7. Take time to build out an orientation process, including what will happen on the first day, week, and month; as this will help identify the first tasks the employee will complete and allow you to prepare the necessary background material they will need
  8. Provide an outline of how the new employee’s role will benefit the company

Employee Onboarding Tips (Upon Arrival)

On an employee’s first week or two it helps to have a schedule so that they know:

  1. How they will be spending their time, and;
  2. Others know what’s expected of them to help the new employee feel engaged.

Here are a few ways to make sure the employee’s first week is a good one:

  1. Take the employee for a tour of the office and introduce them to their new colleagues, consider assigning them a mentor who they can ask questions of as they arise
  2. Show them how to log in to your employee Self-Service portal and give them a tour of the information they can access (e.g. pay statements, time entry, company directory, etc.)
  3. Review their job description and the work they'll be expected to accomplish in the first days / weeks
  4. Ensure they are aware of any necessary safety or security procedures
  5. Review the performance management system, learning, and development plans
  6. Explain how your internal communication processes work
  7. Make sure the employee knows where the photocopier, supply cabinet, lunchroom, and washrooms are located. As well as the nearest coffee shop.
  8. Make sure they have a copy of their employee handbook and review the basics such as casual Fridays, how to make time-off requests, internet and device use policies, etc.

In Summary

Recruiting new employees is a significant time and financial investment for companies. Make the most out of that investment by creating a well-planned onboarding process that includes all of the stakeholders to ensure that the new employee has a great first experience. Effective onboarding sets new employees up for success by helping them get up to speed quickly so they can become productive, contributing members of your neighborhood.

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About the Author

Marlo Hertling

Marlo Hertling has worked with leading HCM organizations and has been helping Canadian companies implement HCM solutions for more than 15 years. She is the Vice President of People & Culture at Avanti Software Inc and serves as Avanti's HCM subject matter expert.

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