How to Create a Multigenerational Onboarding Program

An onboarding program is essential to the success of your new hires. It eases the new employee’s transition into the organization and lays the groundwork for their employment.

There are a number of ways to approach the development of your company’s onboarding program, but no matter how you choose to onboard employees, your process should align with the culture and values of your organization. An onboarding program must also speak to the unique individual who is joining the company, touching on their own concerns and addressing their own potential challenges.

It is not uncommon for organizations to struggle with this last part. This is especially true as more and more organizations become multigenerational workplaces where employees of all ages intermingle. Every professional of any age has their own capabilities and skill sets. Tailoring your onboarding program to meet the needs of all of these very different but equally valuable employees can mean the difference between a successful hire and an assured exit.

Onboarding a Baby Boomer

Baby boomers are those born between 1946 and 1964, which means many of them have been working for at least 30 years. When it comes to employment, they get it. They understand guidelines, rules, and how to navigate the complications of office personalities and workplace stresses. Many boomers are comfortable with conservative company cultures and less interested in newer management trends and employee perks.

Chances are near 100 percent that your onboarding process is not the first one a boomer employee has experienced. They know a thing or two about starting a new job. These employees might expect the traditional orientation led by HR and heavy on presentation decks. They will quickly pick up any rules and regulations set forth, but they may hesitate when faced with cutting-edge technologies. They might also be stuck in their own ways, holding tightly to the processes they have followed throughout their careers.

Before Day One

A good onboarding program for baby boomers capitalizes on their self-awareness and experience. Instead of guessing how a boomer employee might work best, just ask. Have them explain their preferred learning and working styles and try to accommodate those going forward. Also be sure to discuss technologies used in the office and the new employee’s level of comfort with these tools and processes. Offer them guidance if they need help getting used to new tools.

There will be some non-negotiables that require diplomatic resolution. For example, your organization might have a process that every employee needs to follow but with which some boomers are uncomfortable. Explain the importance of the process, then ask how you and your team could help the employee follow it comfortably. That way, the employee understands they must participate and knows whom to approach for help if issues arise.

Employees, regardless of their age, all have their own working preferences. For example, extraverts might be most happy in an open office conducive to chatting, while introverts might need solitude to feel most productive. If possible, create various types of workspaces in your office so that each person can find one that suits their style.

Onboarding Generation X

Generation X was born between the early 1960s and the early 1980s. These professionals are youngish, but experienced. They have watched workplace technology develop firsthand, and they very much understand the rules of corporate life. Chances are a Gen. X-er will have experienced onboarding enough times to be comfortable with traditional orientations but is young and enthusiastic enough to be open to more modern techniques.

Gen. X is known for independence and an emphasis on work/life balance. Because of their interest in working independently, Gen. X-ers may prefer onboarding programs that incorporate self-guided processes. Gen. X-ers will appreciate on-the-job training that lets them get involved in actual projects right from the start.

Before Day One

Mentorships and coaching programs can be great ways to feed Gen. X’s desire for independence while also integrate new hires into the company culture. Find an established employee who understands the new hire’s role within the organization. Work with that employee to develop a few projects the new hire can jump into immediately, and have the established employee act as the new hire’s go-to for guidance on the projects. Prepare an outline for each project prior to the new hire’s first day so that they can jump right in once orientation is over.

Mentoring is a great way to help new hires of all ages get acclimated to the job and meet their new team members. There’s nothing more comforting than knowing at least one person you can eat lunch with on your first day.

Onboarding a Millennial

Born between the late 1980s and late 1990s, millennials are some of the youngest workers in the workforce. Many are just beginning to rise out of entry-level positions, while others are just embarking on their professional journeys. As a result of their relative newness to the workforce, some millennials may not know yet exactly how they prefer to work or learn. Overall, millennials have an affinity for technology and connectivity. They also desire meaningful work and career growth opportunities.

Traditional orientations and onboarding programs probably won’t be best for millennial success. Instead, most millennials share Gen. X’s preference for on-the-job training. If you can incorporate gamification and social experiences into the process, you’ll get even more buy-in from millennials.

Before Day One

Develop a clear plan for millennials’ onboarding processes, including project outlines, goals, KPIs, and scheduled check-ins with management. Within the new hire’s first few days, detail their current role and how the employee can build from it toward other positions within the organization. Also, help millennial employees see the potential for growth in your organization by encouraging them to innovate and explaining how they can bring their ideas to wider implementation.

As Kforce’s Allison Kruse points out, millennials’ technological tendencies can frustrate their abilities to connect in the real world. As a result, it’s important for managers to make extra effort to build rapport with millennial team members. Kruse quotes another Kforce employee, Kristan McCants, on how managers can do this: “Scheduling regular [one-on-ones] or simply grabbing a coffee during a work break are just a few ways to establish a level of trust and understanding with colleagues.”

Each generation has a different outlook on the world of work. Whether you blame the state of the economy during a generation’s formative years or the parenting techniques trending when they were children, the fact is that different generations generally have different preferences and behaviors in the workplace. Building a multigenerational onboarding process means understanding these differences — as well as the uniqueness of each individual new hire — and tailoring your approach to each employee’s needs.

A version of this article originally appeared on the ClearCompany blog.

Sara Pollock is head of the marketing department at ClearCompany.

Tech Sector Struggles to Find Qualified Blockchain Developer Talent

Blockchain is a new and disruptive technology, little understood by most of us who don’t work in the financial sector or hold cryptocurrency. Yet in many industries  — including the HR and recruiting sector — pioneers are finding valuable uses for blockchain that extend well beyond bitcoin.

“Essentially, blockchain is an open, decentralized database that is operated by more than one party,” explains Luka Horvat, head of talent operations at Toptal, which connects businesses with blockchain talent. “In order for multiple parties to successfully cooperate without needing to trust one another, various mechanisms are needed. From this basic principle of a ‘trustless database’ and thousands of lines of code, various public and private blockchains were born. These blockchains enable parties to simultaneously use and operate on the same datasets without having to worry that their data or businesses will be compromised.”

Talent Gaps Within Talent Gaps

The technology sector already suffers from talent gaps — talent chasms, really — that force stakeholders to poach top talent back and forth while desperately seeking new talent pipelines. Since blockchain is still fairly new, finding experienced developers can be an especially difficult task.

“The blockchain space is new, rapidly developing, and diverse,” Horvat says. “In this environment, it’s incredibly difficult to find talent with an exact experience match.”

One way around this roadblock is to look instead for candidates wth experience in what Horvat calls “adjacent technologies,” which include cryptography, systems development, distributed systems, C++, Python, and Go.

If You Teach Them, They Will Come

Horvat also recommends recruiters “identify hungry learners who are excited to advance in the blockchain space,” as they can be trained up to subject-matter expertise. Nurturing developers with related experience internally is often more efficient than recruiting established blockchain talent directly.

While the technology itself may be new and disruptive, developers entering the blockchain space will find a familiar atmosphere, which makes training new blockchain talent slightly easier than you might expect.

As Horvat remarks, “Blockchain development teams aren’t too different from other types of development teams.”

Aside from internal developmental initiatives, there are also third parties stepping in to lend a hand. Toptal’s new Blockchain Academy, for example, is designed to help produce a brand new crop of blockchain experts for the talent market.

French playwright Charles-Guillaume Étienne famously penned the phrase “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” If you want to find valuable talent in a new and disruptive technology, this old advice might serve you well. By developing your own training programs or partnering with companies that train blockchain talent for you, you can establish a loyal developer base with the skills to push your organization into the future.

How LinkedIn Recommendations Can Boost Your Career

The days of hard-copy recommendation letters privately shared with prospective employers are over. Now, it’s all about LinkedIn recommendations.

LinkedIn recommendations give prospective employers valuable insight into your skills and accomplishments. They stand as public proof of your professional reputation, because they’re tied back to the profiles of those who give them.
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Technology Sector Seeks to Fill Recruitment Gaps

Things can change overnight in the tech sector, and savvy companies must stay on top of shifting trends or risk becoming irrelevant. Adapting to recruitment challenges enables companies to attract top talent, while businesses that fail to keep a finger on the pulse of the industry’s workforce might find themselves scraping the bottom of the proverbial barrel.

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Be the Company People Leave Their Jobs For

These days, it seems almost impossible to keep employees on staff for longer than a few years. According to A Snapshot of Competition for Talent in the U.S., a research report from software-as-a-service provider iCIMS, more than half of all full-time employees are willing to dump their employers for the gig economy, and 63 percent of full-time employees are actively looking for new jobs. Companies can no longer ignore the job-hopping trend. To keep hiring costs at a minimum and retention rates at a maximum, it’s imperative that businesses take steps to make sure they are the companies that candidates want them to be.

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Good News for the Midlands!

Midlands Engine key to Government’s ‘devolution revolution’, says Business Secretary Sajid Javid

The Business Secretary has insisted that driving Midlands growth is key to the Government’s ‘devolution revolution’ following criticism of a lack of focus on the Midlands Engine in the Budget.

Find out more

The Nottingham Business Expo 2016

Motorpoint Arena Nottingham, Thursday 3rd March, 9am-4pm

On Thursday 3rd March, The Nottingham Business Expo will take place at The Motorpoint Arena Nottingham from 9am until 4pm.

With over 120 companies attending the Expo this year, it has almost doubled its number of exhibitors since its first year in 2015.

The Nottingham Business Expo saw just over 1000 people attend the 2015 event, which was hosted at The Nottingham Conference Centre. Delegates travelled from as far as France and Holland to attend the prestigious event in the business calendar.

Find out more about this year’s event here:

 

Why Aren’t There More Women At Board Level In The Recruitment Industry?

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Earlier this year, The Guardian reported that there are more men called John heading up FTSE 100 firms than there are women bosses. Moreover, there are almost three times as many men with the title ‘Sir’ than there are women at senior level. This harsh reality is actually an improvement on the historical gender imbalance. We take a look at the recruitment sector to see the state of play.

Continue reading Why Aren’t There More Women At Board Level In The Recruitment Industry?

Placing the Right People: The Google and MI5 Way

Placing the right people for your businessFinding the right people for your organisation is fundamental to its growth and well-being. We take a look at how some of the largest organisations manage to recruit well.

In recruitment, there is no magic formula. On paper a candidate may seem ideal, only for there to be something intangibly lacking at interview stage. Others, who may have been perfect for the role, may fall through the net due to a poor CV. Recruitment is more of an art than a science, and gut instinct combined with years of experience has shown to be the most reliable method of hiring the perfect fit.

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Three Wise Policies For HR Professionals: Part 3 – The Post-Christmas Blues

Post-Christmas Work BluesThe run-up to Christmas in the office will undoubtedly be an exciting, yet frantic time. Spirits will be high as employees look forward to a well-deserved rest over Christmas and members of staff will be working hard to complete any outstanding work in time to enjoy the festivities.

But amid the festive celebrations will be the despondent realisation that, by the New Year, the feeling of merriment and cheer will soon fade, otherwise known as the post-Christmas blues. January even has its own day dedicated to this feeling, known as ‘blue Monday’, which is the third Monday of the month and has been found to be the most depressing day of the year.

Continue reading Three Wise Policies For HR Professionals: Part 3 – The Post-Christmas Blues

Three Wise Policies For HR Professionals: Part 2 –The Trouble With Alcohol

Christmas partyIf something is going to ruin your office Christmas party, the chances are that it will involve alcohol. In fact, most problems that arise either during or after the office Christmas party are the direct result of employees overindulging on their favourite festive tipples.

While the office Christmas party is an opportunity for members of staff to unwind and have fun, it’s important that some employees don’t get carried away when the drinks begin to flow…

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Three Wise Policies for HR Professionals: Part 1 – Social Media

44625581_lAs the festive season approaches, businesses will be looking forward to the fresh challenges of the New Year, reflecting on the successes of 2015 and celebrating with office Christmas parties. While most members of staff will consider the Christmas party the highlight of the social calendar, for many red-faced employees the evening could be one they would rather forget…

The office Christmas party is, first and foremost, an opportunity for employees to let their hair down and reward themselves for all of their hard work. However, even if your office Christmas party is off-site and outside of working hours, it is still legally considered an extension of the office environment; therefore boundaries of acceptable behaviour must be set.

Continue reading Three Wise Policies for HR Professionals: Part 1 – Social Media

From Junior to CFO: How to Get to the Top in Finance

Looking for a career in finance?According to a survey by skills education specialist, City & Guilds, finance ranks among the top 10 careers that make 18-24 year olds happy. In contrast, another survey by the Education and Employers Taskforce reported that only 3% of the 1,100 13-to-16 year olds surveyed said they are considering a career in finance. This is despite one in five jobs expected to be in this sector.

So, if the field of finance makes young workers happy, why aren’t the next generation considering a career in this sector? Of course, there is the small matter of today’s teenagers growing up in the thick of a global banking crisis, making the prospect of finance, particularly investment banking, extremely easy to dismiss.

Continue reading From Junior to CFO: How to Get to the Top in Finance