A startup’s onboarding process can be less process — and more improvisation. But as your company scales, a system is needed to get your new administrative hires started on the right foot. A Bamboo HR poll found that employees who quit in the first six months of being hired felt that the job wasn’t what they expected. More than half (54%) said they quit because they didn’t want to do the job any longer, or their role wasn’t what they expected from the interview.
Considering the amount of time and effort it takes to find and onboard a new hire, retaining staff should be a priority. And it all starts with the Human Resources manager and team — the employee’s first point of contact for onboarding. Across all industries, HR managers are hired for their abilities to communicate and present information. Here are some techniques and security tips for new HR managers to present the best possible onboarding process for their new hires.
Best Cybersecurity Practices for HR Professionals
The HR department is responsible for sensitive employee information, including:
- Social Security Numbers (SSN).
- Medical records.
- Home address and family member information.
In most cases, the sensitive information is kept digitally in computers or on the cloud. This practice is generally safe, but there are vulnerabilities you should look out for to prevent the data from being compromised.
Comply With Recordkeeping Regulations
- Employee record retention: The S. Department of Labor outlines how long a company’s HR department should keep records. Employee payroll documents and collective bargaining agreements must be kept for at least three years. Time cards and employee schedules must be kept for at least two years.
- Medical records location: The Americans With Disabilities Act requires employers to keep confidential medical records such as health exams, worker’s compensation history, and leave requests separate from employees’ personnel files.
- Data breach reporting: HR professionals in California must notify employees if the company reasonably believes their personal information was accessed by an unauthorized individual.
Know the Proper Method of Disposing of Sensitive Paperwork
Disposing of employee data is a combination of company policy and federal, state, or local regulations. Know how long you should legally retain documents and data, as well as how your company disposes of it.
Sensitive records may need to be burned or sent away to an outside service to be destroyed in compliance with federal regulations. Following your company’s guidance on the disposal of data and documents is essential to avoid data being reconstructed, read, or distributed illegally.
Look Out for Internal Cybersecurity Threats
Most HR employees are aware of the danger of external cyber attacks from hackers, phishing, or viruses. But company software or an employee’s access to internal systems can also create threats.
An example of an internal threat is email. You send a requested employee file to the wrong email address and end up compromising your hire’s private information. To minimize internal threats, follow these steps:
- Never use or disclose an individual’s full social security number in correspondence.
- Turn off the auto-fill feature that remembers numbers or email addresses in your email and word processing programs.
- Regularly run virus and malware checks on your company computers.
- Take your cue from the healthcare industry and keep software and operating systems maintained and up to date.
Best HR practices for New HR Employees
Onboarding new hires is a critical aspect of the employee’s future in the workplace. The HR department is responsible for reinforcing the company’s image, projected during the recruitment process. Getting off on the right foot is essential. The HR department should implement specific practices to ensure new employees know what to expect on their first day and beyond.
Start the Onboarding Process the Day Before the New Hire Starts
The reasoning behind this step is so that everything is organized before the recruit arrives. Have employee handbooks and documents ready. Set up and equip the new hire’s work station. Create logins and email credentials beforehand. Make sure staff know about the new hire’s arrival and assign a mentor in advance. Having the important elements prepared in advance allows onboarding to go more smoothly on his or her’s first day.
Create a Welcoming Environment
The new hire’s first day sets the tone for the employee’s time at the company. A welcoming environment and a little creativity during the onboarding process doesn’t take much effort but makes a big impact on new hires. There are several elements that can create an ideal work environment — the office space, the initial point of contact, and the support team available to guide new employees. Consider these ideas:
Set the Stage With Good Lighting
The dark corner without a window can be demoralizing to staff. In fact, a study found that employees think good lighting is the No. 1 office perk. If your office environment lacks natural light, replicating the effect using certain lighting techniques can make a difference:
- Create different lighting zones including overhead lighting, ambient lighting, and desk lighting
- Use lightbulbs of a specific temperature (6500k) to replicate natural outdoor light and switch to LEDs to avoid overloading the office’s electrical system
- Use light or white colors for surfaces and walls to reflect light and provide a brighter environment
Get Creative With Employee Perks
The best way to welcome a new employee to HR or other administrative role is with a surprise or an unexpected detail. Most new hires know what to expect on the first day — a pile of paperwork to be completed, handbooks to read, and an overload of information. But imagine welcoming them with a gift basket featuring a massage gift certificate, snacks, or a gift card. The small gesture could break the ice and shake the first-day nerves off.
Personalize the New Hire Welcoming Process
You’ve staged a well-lit environment that encourages productivity and created a thoughtful welcoming gift as part of the new hire onboarding process. Ensure new hires know what team members they can reach out to if they have any questions. Personally welcome each new employee and introduce them to key support staff, available to guide them through the initial work stages, to set recruits up for long-term success.
Onboarding for Future Success
Developing an effective onboarding process takes time. The effort will be worthwhile — your new hires are investments into your company’s future and should be given the best start possible.
Protecting their privacy with proper record keeping of their personal data, providing an environment that’s bright and conducive to productivity, supporting their growth in the company, and delivering on the promises made during the interview process will likely increase your chances of nurturing a long and successful work relationship.
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