Integrating New Staff Members: Hiring, On-Boarding, and Inclusion

Margarita Rozenfeld and I chatted about the best methods to onboard new staff members during and after COVID-19.

Margarita pointed out that most important step happens well before you hire the person. She said an organization needs to be “clear about who they want to hire and how they want their hiring process to be.” You need to think not only how that “person needs to be from a functional perspective and what skills they need to bring to the table but also how they need to fit culturally.” She gave an example of a non-profit she recently worked with that helped survivors of domestic abuse. In addition, many of the staff members had experienced trauma themselves….. so it was very important they brought in someone who was sensitive to those issues as well as a strong leader and someone that people could trust.  The team spent a lot of time writing the job description and how the new staff member would be on-boarded. They formed a committee that included all levels of the organization from executive director to line staff members to ensure it was not just a good functional fit but also that the candidate felt truly chosen. The result was that the “candidate could not have been a stronger fit.”

The best way to ensure someone is a good match for your organization, is to clearly articulate their role, function and key culture-fit traits – including in a job description – and to test for this fit throughout the recruitment and interviewing process.

Communication is key before, during and after hiring a new staff member. Ask people what works for them and make it clear that they are welcome. “Ask thoughtful questions.”

Other topics we discussed?

  • How to onboard an employee when the new employee will be teleworking (either permanently or during COVID-19).
  • Managing and motivating off-site employees.
  • How to re-integrate employees into the workplace after teleworking during COVID-19 and when there is a mix of new employees and those that worked on-site prior to COVID.
  • How to do a timeline presentation for existing and new employees so they understand the history and culture of the organization.
  • How to do a virtual tour of your organization and workplace.
  • Understanding the emotions your employees may be feeling as they reenter the workplace – from fear to anxiety to optimism and how people deal with transitions.

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