Streamlining the Employee Onboarding Process (2023)

There's an insatiable demand for top talent in the heavy civil, heavy highway, and commercial construction world. This means that finding the right candidates in a market where there's a talent crunch is no easy task.

After devoting your energies to talent acquisition, the last thing you want to see is your efforts flushed down the drain. This can be due to a lack of a poor or nonexistent onboarding process.

New hires may choose to leave for greener pastures if they feel they don't belong to the current setup. Other times, candidates may accept offers you present to them, proceed to give notice to their current employer, okay the start date, only to back out, or accept a counteroffer at the last minute.

This can be particularly frustrating since you want your new hires settled and ready to take up new responsibilities in your organization.

As leading executive recruiters in the heavy civil, heavy highway and commercial construction industry, we're particularly well-versed about this phenomenon. While it's not possible to restrict your new hires from leaving, there's plenty you can do to make the onboarding process and workplace habitable for them to thrive.

What is Employee Onboarding?

This refers to the process of introducing your new hire to the company's expectations, knowledge, expertise, and culture.

As research by HBR shows, about 33% of new hires start looking for new opportunities within six months after getting employed. Worryingly, their numbers show that about 23% leave before marking the first anniversary.

Since it's costlier to hire new employees than retain existing ones, investing time and resources in new employees is a no-brainer.

Onboarding is divided into two types:

  • Informal onboarding – here, new hires are left to fend for themselves. They get to learn the job ropes without any meaningful help from the HR department and their supervisors.
  • Formal onboarding – a step-by-step program for new employees is developed to educate them on their responsibilities, the company culture, and policies & procedures.

In many instances, informal onboarding never works. You are likely going to experience high turnover rates without a system that spells out a method of approach.

With formal onboarding, you have a sure thing. It's been tried, tested, and proven to be the most effective way to retain top talent.


Employee Onboarding Best Practices

Make it a Rewarding Experience.

Social connections with colleagues can help new employees enjoy the work environment better. As an employer, you can facilitate communication between employees to boost productivity.

Instead of thrusting new employees into the deep end full of unfamiliar faces, we recommend a system where you get the new-hires work buddies. Having one employee guide a new employee on how to navigate about the workplace can help them acclimatize to the organization faster.

Having a mentor guide new hires can also help them establish new relationships with their supervisors and a host of people who may be under their wing and in other departments.

Given that most organizations are branched into various departments like finance, security, and safety, it's wise to embrace a system that favors the onboarding of construction employees into these as well.

Some occupations like operations managers need to be conversant and on more than a first-name basis with various departmental heads. Without proper systems to facilitate this, there's a good chance they will stutter instead of hitting the ground running.

Welcoming Party

Naturally, firms tend to think the world of themselves. While this is a great template to attract new hires, you want to do something that shows you appreciate their talents.

As part of showing your appreciation, you can initiate new hires into the team by organizing a low-pressure, informal gathering to socialize with new employees. This can act as a great motivator for them to learn about their responsibilities since they're a good chance they'll be excited about the job and their fellow employees.

For consistency, you can elect to make this become a tradition repeated regularly. You can choose to save some of the decorations and supplies to lower the costs associated with future gatherings.

Optionally, you can embrace minimalism and simply present them with a welcome card. It doesn't have to be a massive thing, a tiny banner to let new hires know they're welcome to the firm can do the world of good to their motivation levels.

Setup Logins and Access

To successfully onboard civil and commercial construction employees, the entire firm needs to in sync. The human resource department can collaborate with the IT department to ensure that employees enjoy access to company resources as soon as they foot in the door.

If there's a lag time between the time the employee accepts the offer and when they show up to work, you can have all their resources set up in advance.

Doing this helps new hires get a good impression of the company. Employee morale is going to be high with the right tools like a computer, email, business cards, and a mobile/cell phone at their disposal. Availing such amenities lets them know that they are valued members of a community.

Drug Screening as part of the Onboarding Process

Contrary to popular belief, pre-employment drug testing is not grounded on suspicion of the candidates. At the interviewing stage, employers don't know enough about prospective new hires to devise measures to stop them from being a member of the team.

To ensure that everyone is on board, these conditions must be met:

  • Notice – it's vital to inform candidates in advance that you want to undertake a drug test as a pre-condition for employment.
  • Consent – Have candidates put in writing the fact that they are okay with the testing procedures.
  • Protected Results – To encourage participation, you can let candidates know that the results are confidential and aren't going to be widely distributed.
  • Reasonable Process – the process needs to be reasonable and have minimal intrusiveness.

Importantly, you want the drug test undertaken before job applicants are hired. This does away with any confusion that may exist as to whether applicants need to be afforded the same privacy protections existing employees enjoy.


With new employees already introduced to the company culture and undertaking several responsibilities, you would assume that the job is done.

However, you need to periodically monitor the progress of new hires to ensure that they are right on track. This should be non-negotiable even when the employees feel that they don't need to have an evaluation conducted.

Other than checking on their progress, it's a fantastic opportunity to learn plenty about the onboarding strategies embraced.

You can ask them what they found great about the onboarding process and which activities didn't interest them. As you record this data, you can make tweaks here and there as you see fit.

Streamline Your Onboarding Process and Get Ready to See Positive Results

Successfully onboarding civil and commercial construction employees need plenty of dedication and time commitment.

Researching what your employees want can give you a useful framework of how to develop your onboarding best practices.

Since the first couple of weeks are typically the most influential in how new hires perceive the company, you must prepare the foundation early.

As heavy civil, heavy highway, and commercial construction executive recruiters, we trust that the pointers shared will help inspire you to make necessary changes to boost morale and productivity for your new employees.

If you'd like us to have a more hands-on approach, don't hesitate to reach out. We can help you formulate a system geared towards onboarding civil and commercial construction employees for maximum effectiveness.


What do you like the most about your onboarding process answer? ›

I have all the resources I need to do my job successfully . My goals are clearly defined . I have a clear understanding of my career path and promotion plan . I am happy with my career path and promotion plan .

How would you ensure a successful employee onboarding process? ›

Successfully Onboarding Your New Hires
  1. Create a Process. ...
  2. Take a Multimodal Approach. ...
  3. Seek and Incorporate Feedback. ...
  4. Give a Realistic Idea of the Job. ...
  5. Set a Comfortable Pace. ...
  6. Explain the Jargon and Culture. ...
  7. Get Involved.

What do you write in feedback of onboarding process? ›

Sample onboarding feedback questions
  • Do you have a clear understanding of what your job entails?
  • How does your role match up with what you were told during the recruitment process?
  • Do you have the resources and tools you need to do your job well?
  • What challenges have you faced so far?
Feb 10, 2022

How do I make my onboarding process smooth? ›

How to make the onboarding process smooth for new employees
  1. Make gradual introductions. One of the most overwhelming parts of starting a new job is getting to know all the new faces and names. ...
  2. Prepare all HR elements. ...
  3. Have a first-week plan in place. ...
  4. Keep training going. ...
  5. Implement a buddy system.

What are the benefits of streamlined onboarding? ›

The ultimate goal of streamlined onboarding is to avoid confusion and to increase communications. It is also important to maintain an open conversation about the new employee and their role in their position and business as a whole.

What are the 3 most important elements of successful onboarding? ›

There are three keys to a successful strategic onboarding program: people, culture, and milestones and tasks. A consistent, and repeatable onboarding process requires few adjustments and benefits all stakeholders involved. Plus, you're more prepared to set your new hire up for long-term success.

What are the 4 C's of onboarding examples? ›

How to Onboard New Employees Successfully: According to Dr. Talya Bauer from the SHRM Foundation, successful onboarding involves proactively covering The Four C's. This stands for compliance, clarification, culture, and connection.

How do you explain onboarding experience? ›

"Onboarding" refers to the processes in which new hires are integrated into the organization. It includes activities that allow new employees to complete an initial new-hire orientation process, as well as learn about the organization and its structure, culture, vision, mission and values.

What are the 5 C's of onboarding? ›

These have since evolved into the 5 “C's” of Onboarding: Compliance, Clarification, Confidence, Connection, and Culture.

How do you simplify employee onboarding? ›

10 ways to simplify the onboarding process for new employees
  1. Be ready for day one. ...
  2. Prepare necessary documents. ...
  3. Assign required reading. ...
  4. Prepare benefits package. ...
  5. Make the first day special. ...
  6. Assign a mentor. ...
  7. Visually represent your team. ...
  8. Personalize the experience.
Dec 29, 2022

What is a streamlined approach to work? ›

What is Streamlining? Streamlining refers to the improvement of the efficiency of a certain process within an organization. It can be done by automation, simplification of tasks, or elimination of unnecessary steps using modern techniques and technology.

Why do we need a smooth onboarding process? ›

Onboarding is important because it acclimates employees to their role, the company's philosophies, and what the company has to offer. It also engages employees, creating workers that are committed to the company's success and helps retain new hires by making them feel like a member of the team.

What is efficient onboarding? ›

Onboarding should focus on relationships. Engage people together and in teams so the culture can seep through; point out good practices so people can track what success looks like; and promote feedback loops throughout the process rather than abandoning employees to a schedule of meetings.

What are the 6 C's of employee onboarding? ›

Officially, the 6 C's of employee onboarding are Compliance, Clarification, Connection, Culture, Confidence and Checkback.

What are the 6 C's onboarding? ›

The 6 C's are: Compliance, Clarification, Confidence, Connection, Culture, and Checkback. This framework will help you create an onboarding process that sets your new hires up for success and helps your organization retain top talent.

What are the 3 P's of onboarding? ›

The 3 P's are People, Performance, & Paperwork. The below graphic illustrates what you should be focusing on in your own onboarding plan.

What is an example of good onboarding experience? ›

Taking the new hire around the office and introducing him/her to other employees. Taking the new hire out to lunch on their first day. Checking in with the new hire regularly.

What is an example sentence for onboarding? ›

Examples of onboarding
  • A poor onboarding program, for example, may produce employees who exhibit sub-par productivity because they are unsure of their exact roles and responsibilities. ...
  • Some evidence suggests that in-person onboarding techniques are more effective than virtual ones.

What are the 4 phases of onboarding? ›

4 Phases of Employee Onboarding
  • Phase 1: Preboarding. Once you've accepted your offer letter and you're starting off day one at a new job, there's a lot to learn. ...
  • Phase 2: Onboarding and welcoming new employees. ...
  • Phase 3: Training. ...
  • Phase 4: Transition to the new role.

What is an example of an onboarding flow? ›

The onboarding flow is the sequence of steps that new or existing users take when they open your product. An example of a flow includes a welcome page, two informational splash screens, and a login and registration page.

What is employee onboarding checklist? ›

An onboarding checklist is a way for hiring managers to organize the steps involved in guiding new hires through their first days and months at a company. The checklist ensures that each critical stage of the new hire onboarding process is complete. It provides a starting point for procedures specific to a job role.

What do employees look for in onboarding? ›

What is required for employee onboarding? Aside from the new hire onboarding paperwork, your onboarding checklist should also include information about new employee orientation, giving an introduction to company culture, mission, and values, and reviewing the role and responsibilities of the employees.

What are the 4 C's of effective onboarding? ›

The four Cs are Compliance, Clarification, Connection, and Culture.

What are the 5 C's of the onboarding process? ›

These have since evolved into the 5 “C's” of Onboarding: Compliance, Clarification, Confidence, Connection, and Culture.

What are the 3 things that we could have done differently to improve onboarding process? ›

Onboarding best practices
  • Start before the first day. ...
  • Fill the first day with activities. ...
  • Address essentials first. ...
  • Make them feel welcome. ...
  • Have fun with the process. ...
  • Give adequate time. ...
  • Keep a planned schedule. ...
  • Involve senior leaders.
Aug 12, 2022

What are the most important parts of the onboarding process? ›

Here are five essential components of onboarding to implement at your organization.
  • Start (But Don't Stop) With Logistics. ...
  • Show Them How Things Actually Work. ...
  • Make It Personal. ...
  • Take the Time to Go Beyond the Basics. ...
  • Establish Real Relationships.
Jul 26, 2021

What is the 4 step onboarding process? ›

Phase 1: Pre-Onboarding. Phase 2: Welcoming New Hires. Phase 3: Job-Specific Training. Phase 4: Ease of Transition to the New Hire's New Role.

What are 3 key components of a new employee orientation? ›

8 must-haves for a new employee orientation package
  • Welcome message. A welcome message from the company president tells the employee they are a valued part of the team. ...
  • Offer letter or employment contract. ...
  • Company background. ...
  • Policies and procedures. ...
  • Organization. ...
  • Needed work items. ...
  • Welcome gifts. ...
  • Updates.


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