How we onboard our new employees in Simployer

How new employees are met is crucial to how well they succeed in their job. We asked Simployer's own HR department what they believe is good onboarding.
Ole Peter GalaasenInnholdsprodusent
Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Routines for hiring processes are becoming more and more important for creating good conditions for new employees. At the same time, onboarding has become an established term for "best practice" within recruitment. Frida Altemyr has extensive experience within HR and recruitment and tells about her own experiences as a new employee at Simployer.

"I have worked with HR for several years, but this was the first time I had the opportunity to actively contribute to my own onboarding process. Even before I started in the new position, my manager called to clarify my preferred way of learning. This made her set up a training plan adapted to this preferation from the first day of work. I found the whole process to be very inclusive," says Frida Altemyr, Talent Acquisition Manager at Simployer Norway and Sweden since March 2022.

Rapid exploitation of potential

Good onboarding is about facilitating the new employee's needs at the new workplace.

"For me, it was positive that Simployer asked direct questions about how I learn in best way. During my HR career, I have never experienced a similar approach, a win-win for both employer and employee. It allowed me to use my full potential much faster in the job.

Altemyr says that before her first day of work, she was able to familiarize herself with the onboarding schedule she was supposed to follow.

"The plan was adapted to what I had previously said was important to me, including the desire to be quickly included. No one knows everything from day one, and it was important for me to have the opportunity to get to know each other, to get involved, and to be able to listen and learn the first days.

Close follow-up from own buddy

It was important for her to have access to a mentor who could answer questions about the new workplace.

"I was assigned my own buddy, with the same position as me in another country, who I could ask questions. I found it reassuring to be able to easily contact her if needed. This arrangement made me feel appreciated from the first day of work and sincerely welcomed.

"As a new employee, you don't know how to best collaborate across departments, whether it's a specific dress code, or where the canteen is. These may seem like small trifles to an employer, but can be perceived as big questions when you are new. The buddy was able to answer all these questions," she says.

In addition to her own buddy, she had weekly follow-up meetings with her new manager.

"After getting to know the organisation, I got a thorough introduction to various tasks and processes. There has always been a low threshold for contacting immediate superiors or colleagues to clarify how tasks are solved in practice. In short, I am very happy in my new role and with my new employer," she says.

Altemyr says that she has had several employers throughout her career, and that onboarding has not always been as good.

"I've had employers who have only given me an hour of training, and after that I had to learn most things myself. It creates uncertainty and leads to taking longer to get comfortable in the position. Good onboarding is a prerequisite for the new employee to thrive and succeed in the role, but also to reduce turnover," she says.

The importance of relationships

Today, she has worked three months at Simployer and already feels comfortable and confident in her new position.

"I think security in the workplace arises when you have gained basic knowledge and established close relationships with those around you. The management has acted as a support system and facilitated my success. In addition, I have a team of colleagues who want my best. This combination has created a safe environment for me in the new role.

She believes that well-being in the workplace is about professional competence and development, but also largely about cultural understanding.

"For me, well-being is twofold. Although I have the right qualifications to do the job, there are many informal cultural conditions that you may not think about when changing jobs. Then it becomes important to ask what they are so that you can understand both the written and unwritten rules of your new employer more quickly. This will help you find your place in the role more quickly. 

Altemyr has seen how a new generation of workers have different workplace expectations.

"Preboarding is important for creating engagement from the time the candidate signs the contract until the first working day. New employees today expect closer follow-up before they start their new job. I believe preboarding is a unique opportunity to build a good relationship, as well as clarify expectations for the new role. I recommend sharing relevant documents and facilitating individual learning well in advance of start-up, as far as possible," she says.

Invite to dialogue

She emphasises that employers must set aside time to understand the new employee's need for learning and inclusion to a greater extent by inviting dialogue shortly after the employment contract has been signed.

"As an employer, we don't have all the answers to what is best for the individual. We must therefore have a dialogue about this and clarify preferences for learning and inclusion. A good onboarding process starts already when the new employee has signed the employment contract.

"My advice is therefore to have an ongoing dialogue with the new employee before the start date, invite to social gatherings, share documents so that they can read up, send pictures from, for example, department meetings and tell them that you are looking forward to it. Make sure to keep the new employee's motivation and commitment up in the time between signing the employment contract and the start date," Altemyr concludes.

See also:
Simployer as an employer