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How to Use Social Media for Onboarding

Kristen Harcourt Oct 22, 2014 7:30:00 AM

Social_OnboardingSocial recruiting has been a buzz term for a few years now. There are entire conferences devoted to teaching companies how to attract A-level talent this way; experts are pushing out blog posts and articles all the time; and consultants are framing entire businesses around training companies to use social media to recruit.

What I see less of, though, is how you can use some of those same social tools and strategies for better onboarding, and that's a missed opportunity.

Do you remember your first few weeks at your current job? Was everything set up for you when you arrived your first morning? How long did it take you to meet the key people and figure out where everything was kept? Did you know who to ask when a question arose? How long did it take you to feel like you were making an impact? (Be honest, your boss isn’t listening.)

The case for investing in onboarding is strong. Here are a few stats just in case you’re on the fence about it:

  •  85% of new hires decide to stay or leave a company within their first six months
  •  Best-in-class companies retain 91% of first-year hires vs. 70% for average companies
  • Almost a third of executives who join organizations as an external hire miss expectations in the first two years

As I said before, there’s a lot of talk about how you can use social media tools to improve recruiting outcomes, but did you know you can also use those tools for better onboarding?

Here are a few tips on how to do just that (for more detailed tips on building a better onboarding program, download our Ultimate Guide to Employee Onboarding):

New Hire Communities

Invite your new hires to join an online community of other new hires – those already in the company and those about to join. Here, they can connect with their peers, get tips from those who just went through what they’re experiencing, and make new connections that can translate into the physical world, helping them get to productivity faster.

If you don’t have the infrastructure to set this up in-house, you can use LinkedIn to create a private group. Or use a tool like Yammer.

If you’re hiring Millennials, this will be a natural fit for them because the majority are avid social networkers.

Set up a Wiki

A wiki is just a website that allows for posting and editing of comments. Set one up with common questions received from recruiters and allow new staff to add their own and experienced staff to provide responses. The result will be a constantly-updated repository for future new hires.

Connect Online

Why not provide the LinkedIn profiles and Twitter handles of all new hires to management, and vice-versa. Encourage them to connect, even before the employee’s first day, to provide a feeling of togetherness and familiarity.

What are your tips for using social media to help in the onboarding process? Are you doing something that’s working? Have you experienced it yourself?


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Topics: Employee Engagement, Recruitment

Kristen Harcourt

Written by Kristen Harcourt

Kristen Harcourt is a highly trusted, creative and collaborative advisor who is passionate about people. She really enjoys helping companies make the right people decisions to achieve long term productivity.