So you hired them. Now what?
Over the years, companies have invested significantly to ensure they are hiring the best new recruits; but once they’ve got them, what do they do with them?
Onboarding of course! Or perhaps not…
Onboarding vs Talent Integration
Onboarding is vital, intended to help new hires acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and behaviours to become effective members of your organisation. Normally this involves orientation days with lectures, videos, print materials, or computer-based product to introduce newcomers to their new organisations. We’ve seen it done well, but also when it becomes relegated to being a tick-box exercise instead of something developmental.
By managing an effective talent integration process rather than routine onboarding, organisations can assist new recruits with organisational integration and socialisation more quickly thus promoting continuous productivity in a period of transition. A good talent integration process will ensure new hires are anchored into new teams whilst establishing strong relationships, support and loyalty. A focused plan for talent integration should feature a combination of both one to one and group coaching and should cover at least the first 90 to 180 days. It should be fresh, energetic and tailored to each individual as a new process which focuses on the role they are integrating into to ensure learning in the correct areas in a style which meets their needs.
If done well, it will:
1. Help individuals understand what the new role really requires beyond what was revealed in the “courtship”. The process will assist the individual in developing strategies in line with their new teams, practices and resources to address these challenges.
2. Assist individual transition if the role presents a significant step-change in mandate or seniority (e.g. transitioning from technician to leader). They should learn how to challenge assumptions they might bring from their old jobs.
3. Ensure individuals understand the culture of the team or company they have inherited, and how to create a high performance team with shared purpose and energy.
4. Provide a core syllabus for coaching emerging leaders, including how to direct attention and build resilience as well as skills in emotional regulation.
5. Create strategies to develop trusted new relationships, maximise impact and influence, yet avoiding the common pitfalls new leaders can make.
Talent Integration Programmes
Integrating new hires well is not something that happens instantly. A talent integration programme should be ongoing and include monthly coaching sessions designed to provide a safe test bed for the individual to reflect on progress and find strategies to improve against a structured set of self and other-directed metrics.
The coach should be available for contact outside coaching sessions as needed. It should also include carefully crafted informal 360 perceptual conversations with stakeholders at key stages through the process, as this often provides the most valuable signposts.
Finally, analysis of how well the incumbents are adjusting to the new individual (repeated team culture audits for example) close the circle and ensure the integration is being “digested” well across all parties.
A good talent integration programme cannot follow a one-size-fit-all approach, nor must it be over-engineered or systemised; it has to be an organic process. Every context is different, as is every individual.