Hiring vs. Onboarding: Where One Stops and the Other Starts

February 10, 2023
Hiring vs. Onboarding: Where One Stops and the Other Starts
As an employer, you’ve probably spent a lot of time over the past couple of years reading the economic news and job reports to see if now is a good time to hire and onboard new employees. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job openings near the end of 2022 were down slightly for a total of 10.3 million and total separations were at 5.7 million. The unemployment rate was at 3.7 percent, and millions of people were still looking for jobs. To attract the top talent among those job seekers, you need a solid hiring process. To keep them, it helps to create a smooth new hire onboarding process. In this article, we'll help you understand the differences between hiring vs. onboarding.

The hiring process

The hiring process includes advertising an open position, accepting resumes for it and vetting candidates. You want to focus on candidates who would be a good fit for the job and your company. The hiring process stops when you’ve chosen the right person, and they sign the acceptance letter and send it back. Here's a basic look at the main elements.
  • Identify the job or jobs needed. To start the hiring process, identify the job need. This could be filling new positions for new departments or filling a position after someone left the company.
  • Write detailed job descriptions. For each open position, write a detailed job description that includes an overview, required skills, education, and experience. Include any additional skills that would be beneficial to have.
  • Advertise/post on job boards. Next, post those open positions on job boards, like Monster, Indeed and LinkedIn. Also, don’t forget to post on your internal job board.
  • Review applications and resumes. As you receive resumes and applications, review them. To sort the resumes and applications faster, it’s best to run them through your hiring software. This will highlight resumes that meet all your requirements and eliminate resumes and applications that are missing items on your must-have list.
  • Conduct screening calls or videos. For candidates who look like a good fit, schedule initial calls and/or video chats. This will allow you to get a feel for each candidate and weed out the ones that you know won't be a good fit for the job or company culture.
  • Conduct interviews. Schedule and conduct interviews with those who met your initial requirements and aced the screening call. These interviews can be in-person or via a video chat, if the position is remote. Putting each candidate through the same process, as much as possible, makes it easier to make accurate comparisons.
  • Background and reference checks. Conduct background and reference checks for the employees who have made the final cut. Of those who pass the background and reference checks, determine which candidates you wish to hire.
  • Make an offer, negotiate. Create your job offer letter and mail or email it to the new hires. If the employee has questions about the job offer, pay or benefits, answer all questions. Be prepared to negotiate the salary and benefits if needed.
  • Wait for the new hire to sign it and email it back. Wait for the new hire to officially accept the position by signing and returning the offer letter.
  • Start the onboarding process. Once you have the signed letter, start the onboarding process.

Onboarding new hires

Employee onboarding starts when your new employee signs and returns the offer letter for the new job to human resources. Many HR departments start orientation and onboarding before the employee’s first day. This can include sending a welcome packet, which might answer basic questions, outline company policies, describe the company's mission, and provide other information on the work environment. Some companies also ship equipment the employee needs for the job. Once the employee starts the official first day, the onboarding process involves learning the company’s policies and procedures, getting to know coworkers, and receiving training. The onboarding process can last for one day and be a one-time event. At the other extreme, it can last for up to a year. Companies rarely go beyond 12 months, but it is possible. Here's a basic look at the process.
  • Before day 1, send a welcome packet including paperwork. Before the new employee’s first day, send a welcome packet that includes the new hire paperwork, employee handbook, and, possibly, equipment they need for the job. If your onboarding is via a website, make sure that’s included in the packet of information. This allows the employee to fill out all needed onboarding documents before their first day.
  • Provide an onboarding timeline. In the new hire paperwork or on the new hire orientation day, provide a timeline for onboarding and training so that the new employee knows what to expect.
  • If in person, give a tour of facilities and make introductions along the way. If your new employee is working at the office, give them a tour and introduce them to coworkers. If online, schedule a video chat with the department.
  • Schedule meetings with supervisor and team leaders. Make sure to schedule a time for your new employee to meet their supervisor and immediate team leaders.
  • Assign a mentor. Assign your new employee a mentor, which is a person they can go to if they have questions, comments or concerns about the company and their job.
  • Start training. Introduce your new employee to the training portal where they can start their new employee onboarding training sessions and view videos.
  • Schedule regular check-in meetings. To make sure your new employee is acclimating well, schedule regular check-ins where you can answer questions and help your new employee become a productive member of their team, department and the company.

Hiring vs. onboarding

Hiring well is one of the most important competencies a business can have. Great hires can propel a company to greatness. But to take full advantage of great hires, companies need to set up a strong system for onboarding employees. Onboarding and orientation should be part of a comprehensive process that gets a new employee off to a great start. A positive experience can improve employee engagement and set the stage for long-term success. One way to make new employees feel welcomed is to use services from TriNet to drive excellence in your hiring and onboarding.

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