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8 Best Practices for Onboarding Technical Employees

Technical employees are high-value individuals that you hire to resolve very specific issues and handle complex tasks in your company. Whether they are a highly-trainer IT specialist or an expert project manager handling complex procedures and processes, you need to engage these new employees to ensure productivity and happiness from day one. 

This is a crucial first step if you want them to become productive members of your organization. To achieve this, you need to tend to meticulous and efficient onboarding, and it’s important to perfect the onboarding process both for you and your new hires. You’ll also need to use the right software to track employee productivity and leverage the findings to elevate their experience on the job.  

Let’s put all of that into perspective today by taking a closer look at the best practices you can use right now to onboard technical employees efficiently and effectively.

Develop a detailed SOP

Modern onboarding is all about personalizing the experience to the needs of the individual, their psychological profile, and their unique position in the company. But that does not mean that you shouldn’t have standard procedures of operation, or even several SOPs depending on the type of hire, the job, and the department.

To develop detailed SOPs for your technical positions, you first need to have an onboarding checklist template that will go over all the necessary steps before, on, and after their first day at work. You can use the template to optimize the SOP for different positions and further personalize the onboarding experience.

Some new hires might require direct oversight, while others might require a couple of video tutorials to get them started immediately. Don’t waste any time or resources and make sure to use your SOPs to maximize productivity from day one.

Perfect the hiring experience

Onboarding is the integral part of the hiring process, and even though it comes in the later stages, it’s important that you perfect both the hiring and the onboarding processes for effective talent acquisition. When it comes to hiring the best employees for your company, it’s important to remember that technical experts have a lot of choices at their disposal, so you need to bring something new to the table.

Make sure to have a strong value proposition that goes beyond a generous paycheck. Keep in mind that technical professionals are always considering several offers from high-quality employers, so you need to perfect the hiring experience in order to win them over.

Consider using a comprehensive recruitment management system that will allow you to track all applicants and personalize the hiring experience, so that you can provide them with the perks that matter to them. Don’t offer general perks and benefits, instead, be the employer that goes above and beyond to acquire the best of the best. 

Make internal communication a breeze

When new hires enter a new work environment, whether on site or remotely, the first thing that can hinder their performance is a poor communication structure. A communication structure encompasses all the tools and communication processes in your company that you use to deliver the right information to the right person. Preferably without causing any communication bottlenecks.

To make communication more seamless and effective for new hires, you need to introduce them to your communication hierarchy. They should know exactly whom to talk to both vertically and horizontally. 

Next, be sure to unify your communication systems. Research the best business phone services and choose a provider and a system that can provide you with all the tools you need for effective internal and external communication. This will prove instrumental for new hires that are also handling brand-customer communication.

Assign onboarding leaders and managers

Strong leadership is the key to effective onboarding, especially for technical employees who are entering a diverse and dynamic workplace. No matter how experienced someone might be, they are still going to feel overwhelmed at first, so you need to monitor their performance and provide proper guidance. This will help them familiarize themselves with your unique processes, communication, and proprietary software.

To achieve this, you need to assign onboarding managers and empower them with an employee onboarding checklist that will allow them to maximize the potential of the new hire from the very start. A good manager will not only follow the checklist, but will prepare the onboarding process for the new hire and their exact needs, making sure to tailor the experience and provide guidance in those crucial first few weeks..

Optimize virtual onboarding for remote hires

During the pandemic, remote work has become the norm. In the post-pandemic world, remote work is going to remain as one of the best and most beneficial business models for businesses of all sizes, simply because of the perks that this model brings to the table. But what happens when you hire a technical employee remotely?

How do you proceed to onboard a highly-specialized employee remotely, and how do you do it with minimal risk? For one, you need to start running better virtual meetings and use the right video conferencing software that will allow you to connect with remote employees from around the world.

Create a detailed weekly schedule and run regular virtual meetings focusing on different aspects of their job. Don’t try to go over too much during a single meeting, rather, focus on resolving small but concrete issues and aim to help the employee internalize new information. 

Use billing software to manage new payroll expenses

Whether you’re hiring new employees locally or globally, or if they are working in-house or remotely, you’re now going to face new payroll expenses and administrative challenges. Onboarding is not just an important process for the employee, but for your company as well, so you need to have the right software on hand.

From determining the salary expenses to the special perks and benefits you’re going to provide to your new hires, you need to put everything into a robust financial system

The best way to do this while ensuring compliance and minimizing financial waste is to use dedicated billing software that has numerous features you can use internally and externally. The right billing tool will help you manage your payroll and finances, but it will also have a variety of customer-centric tools to help you elevate customer experience and satisfaction – which is important when hiring customer-facing technical staff.

Onboard in house and outsourced R&D

Research and development is a crucial process in every company that drives innovation forward and helps businesses retain their competitive advantage in a changing market. Firstly, you need to consider the pros and cons of in house vs outsourced product development and then start creating an onboarding procedure for both.

Many business leaders think that they don’t need an onboarding process for outsourced R&D, but it’s important to note that even external experts require guidance and familiarization with your processes and needs. Make sure to develop an onboarding SOP for both, in order to maximize the performance of these new team members.

Keep all accounts secure for new employees

On a final note, never rely on your new employees to keep important personal and business information secure – unless they are cybersecurity experts. Not only do you need to address the pressing security issues in cloud computing and your data centers, but you also need to use the right tools to keep all business accounts and software safe.

You can automate the password creation process for all your business software by using a reliable tool like LastPass to help your new employees secure their accounts with strong passwords that are automatically stored in a secure location. This will prevent accidental data leaks and account break-ins, and will alleviate the pressure off your new hires to come up with a strong (and unique) password for every tool you use in your organization. 

Wrapping up

Onboarding highly-skilled technical employees can be a difficult process if you don’t use the right tools and tactics. Make sure to avoid the common pitfalls when onboarding new hires and use these best practices to streamline the entire process from day one. This will ensure the new employees are happy and stress-free, and most importantly, that they quickly become productive team members in your employee collective.