Picture this:

Your company is growing. Things are good. You need to bring on new staff.

The labor market is tight, though. Maybe you’re spending money with recruiters. Finding the right new team members is a significant cost, in fact one of your largest costs. Once you find them, you’ll need to invest more in training them. There’s a lot of competition.

But you manage it. You find the right people. They’re expensive but worth it. You’re ready for them to join the company.

Your new team members show up for their first day. None of their technology is set up and ready for them. Maybe they don’t have accounts set up yet. The people who are supposed to do this for them have other, full-time jobs, so this is an afterthought. Different people own different parts of the process. New staff find that they need to talk with multiple people, none of whom they know yet, to get all the resources they need to start working.

Several weeks go by and still not all your new team members have everything they need. They still aren’t entirely productive yet. Some of them are frustrated. They joined you because your company is growing and innovative and doing interesting things, but they can’t be part of it. In the worst case, maybe one of the new employees remembers that other job offer they received, and leaves for a different company.

If this sounds familiar, you aren’t alone. We hear stories like this from companies regularly. When companies are young, IT tasks fall to whoever can do them. But as a company grows, too often the informal processes no longer do the job but don’t get fixed.

Today’s job seekers are digital natives who expect to have the tools at hand to do their jobs. Having a good technology stack is important to the image and efficiency of your company. Making sure new team members can access and use that stack as quickly and as easily as possible is essential. Having the tools but not delivering them in a timely manner to new hires undermines your recruiting and retention efforts in a big way.

A well-designed IT onboarding process for new staff is essential to your company. Here are some things to incorporate into such a process:

  • Have a single point of responsibility. Don’t have multiple people responsible for different parts of the onboarding. There needs to be a single person or department that is in charge.
  • Have a written checklist. Make the onboarding process explicit and written. An onboarding process that only exists as “oral tradition” locked up in certain people’s heads will eventually fail. Worse, you’re guaranteed to have parts of it walk out the door when a team member leaves.
  • Document processes. All the steps necessary to completely onboard a new team member need to be clearly documented. Someone who has never done the task before should have a reasonable chance of successfully completing the process, which means…
  • Document all credentials and accounts. All the credentials and accounts for things like Software-as-a-Service accounts need to be documented and available to whoever is executing the procedure.
  • Maintain a software repository. For any software that needs to be directly installed on the new team member’s computer be sure to not only have it clearly identified, but easily located for the installation process.
  • Clearly define access and permissions. Not all team members need the same software and access to resources. Defining what these needs, permissions, and levels of access are ahead of time greatly speeds the process and ensures consistency.
  • Standardize equipment procurement. Determine in advance standard hardware choices for different types of team members. Set up purchasing processes and vendors so you can quickly get your standard models of devices. Keep all this updated as models are updated and changed.
  • Plan for training and orientation. New team members will be unfamiliar with your environment and technology stack. It isn’t enough to provide them with a fully provisioned device. Plan to go over the devices, applications, and general ways that your technology stack is used with each new team member on their first day. Work with them to customize their environment and integrate personal devices like phones and tablets so they can be quickly productive.
  • Work closely with HR/Recruiting! HR and IT are partners in the onboarding. Communication and expectations need to be clear, both directions. IT needs to know about new team members with enough time to execute the onboarding process preliminaries. HR needs to know that they are handing off new hires into good, caring hands that are going to reinforce, not detract from the image presented during the recruiting process.

Company culture is what you do not what you say. A bad experience during IT onboarding can start an employee’s relationship with your company off on the wrong foot. A concierge experience can reinforce the culture you want to build and aid employee retention.

Getting this right is crucial but time-consuming and difficult. At Brightworks Group we onboard new employees for our customers every day. Why not talk to us about how we can make your IT onboarding process an asset for your company?