How Prescreening Employment Assessments Can Improve Onboarding

BY Kathy Crosett
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If you’ve been lucky enough to land a great employee in the past few months, congratulations! In the competitive labor market, it’s not easy to convince a qualified applicant to accept an offer. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can cut corners with your onboarding process. While onboarding can be a resource-​intensive process, you can improve your outcomes by using the results of prescreening employment assessments to guide the experience you deliver to your new hire.

How Prescreening Employment Assessments Can Improve Onboarding

Most employers use a set onboarding process to help newbies assimilate into corporate culture. If the job requires the employee’s presence in the office one or more days a week, the immediate supervisor and a few staffers may take the person out to lunch. Beyond that, they may assign a mentor to spend time with the new employee. The goal of this kind of mentorship is usually to teach the employee the informal culture and to explain who to contact when they need things like office supplies, IT support or advice on how the PTO or internal chat system works. Every employee will encounter unique experiences and needs someone to rely on in their first few weeks at the organization.

Many employees like the responsibility of mentoring a new person. These assignments can build their confidence and raise their visibility in the organization. From the new hire’s perspective, a good mentor will be one who feels supportive of their efforts and listens to their questions.

Successful communication between a new employee and their internal mentor can greatly improve the onboarding experience. Review the psychometric assessments taken by your new hire and your existing employees and find the best fit between individuals. If one of your team members has indicated an interest in a management role, you can give them a test drive by assigning them mentorship responsibility. This assignment could work well as long as the mentor commits to spending time with the new employee on an ongoing basis.

How Long Should Onboarding Take

The rules of onboarding have changed since the pandemic disrupted our lives. In the pre-​COVID-​19 days, an in-​person onboarding process of 30 days may have worked very well. Employees who spent time with each other in the office and at after-​work events bonded naturally. Friendships developed with little effort on the manager’s part. These friendships are important on many levels, especially since research shows that having work friends increases employee engagement and loyalty.

In the new normal, where workers continue to spend their time in a remote or hybrid environment, new employees will find it challenging to create close bonds with other team members.

A recent study finds that over 30% of employees feel disconnected, isolated or alienated. For a young new hire who is just starting on their career path, the missed opportunity to connect with a mentor in person can have a significant impact.

For that reason, consider extending your official onboarding process to a 90-​day or 180-​day period. Our research shows that getting a new employee fully up to speed can take at least six months. To help your new employee feel included, invite them to join groups and meetings. Don’t let the immediate supervisor or mentor be the only people the newbie talks with on a regular basis.

Encourage people to share their personal interests, in groups, during lunch and learn sessions, for example. In a remote environment, these exchanges allow team members so see each other in new ways.

After spending significant resources to find employees, don’t drop the ball by failing to roll out a great onboarding experience. And remember that prescreening employment assessments can provide the information you need to optimize your new hire’s first few months on the job.

Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels.