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Welcome AboardA great onboarding program cannot be optimally effective if new employees—executives, department managers, supervisors and line employees—don’t fully understand and support the organization’s mission, values, corporate cultural and performance expectations prior to employment.

Waiting to educate people until after they have signed in for the first day of work is the kind of costly human capital mistake that America’s corporations, particularly its healthcare organizations, can no longer afford to make.

As our great national debate on healthcare reform continues, it is now more important than ever to focus on the importance of the human capital factor in running clinically effective, safe and efficient hospitals, clinics, outpatient facilities, etc.  People are our most important asset. Manpower shortages and competition for the best workers will drive turnover that providers can no longer afford.  Onboarding—the process of acquiring, accommodating, assimilating new team members, and accelerating their ability to deliver meaningful value—is not an optional program that can be discarded in tough economic times.

So how do we successfully integrate the recruiting process into onboarding?

First, you must base the program on honesty.  Companies must be honest with potential employees during the recruiting process.  Disclosure—the good, the great and the not-so-hot elements of a company, its culture, and its way of doing business—is an essential part of the onboarding process.  Inadequate disclosure, misrepresentation, or dishonesty will result in a costly miss-hire.  Even the greatest of companies have those things on which they want to improve.  Therefore, the best time to disclose is at the start of the recruiting process.

Second, you must insist that your recruiters—your internal talent acquisition team or your third-party consultants—change their business process to ensure that the candidates are given an appropriate level of disclosure for their level within the organization.  This is a challenge since most companies—and all recruiters—hate to disclose information that may be embarrassing or, at best, indicates an element of corporate imperfection that might make the recruitment process more challenging.

The cost of hiring a new employees is extraordinary—especially at the executive level. Why not be honest upfront to avoid a mis-hire in the long run?

© 2012 John Gregory Self