Elevate Your Tech Talent Onboarding with These 5 Tips

Companies in all sectors are struggling to find technical workers to implement everything from required automation technologies to digital workplace solutions. A Gartner survey found that 64% of IT executives see a talent shortage as the single most important barrier to embracing emerging technologies, compared to just 4% in 2020.

It is often debated why there is a shortage of technical talent. He blames a lot of universities for not training graduates in the advanced skills that are in demand today. Others point to retirements and resignations, COVID accelerating the need for virtual solutions and rapid advances in technology making it difficult to keep skills up to date. There are also retention issues that begin with formation and continue throughout the employee’s lifecycle. Usually, it is a combination of challenges that contribute to the problem.

An often overlooked factor in the lack of technical talent is the role of the employer itself. Business leaders are often like today’s consumers, wanting everything in real time and expecting every employee to be “turn-ready” — or ready to get down to business right away. But people are not products. It takes time to adjust to a new company and role, especially if it’s not actually in the office.

Best practices to raise the level of qualification

When employees leave a job, they often report that a poor onboarding experience influenced their decision. Getting off to a bad start can create tension that lingers after the first few weeks. Even a late start date can set a negative tone. According to Glassdoor research, a robust onboarding process can improve new hire retention by 82%. To attract employees, companies need to provide competitive wages, first-class incentives, training programs, and flexible work options. To keep them, they need to invest money and time in preparation.

For companies looking to provide tech talent with a rich onboarding experience, there are some short and long-term solutions that can make a big difference.

  1. Create a setup diagram: Essentially, the outline should include information about the company’s mission and values, organizational charts, reporting structure, contact information, systems and processes, and state and local laws. It can provide resources and tips for navigating the company and should be customizable for different roles. This is also a good time to hire a peer to provide the new employee with guidance on small issues they may not want to bring to a manager.
  2. Mastering technical preparation: One of the biggest red flags for new employees is that they don’t have the right technology on day one. It is essential to ensure that every new employee has a working laptop that includes all necessary access passwords, security codes, and software so they can get started right away. They should also have a point of contact with knowledge of their specific role on the project to help troubleshoot any technical obstacles.
  3. Rethink the office: Distributed teams are not new to the tech world. But now, some people are away completely, others may return full time, and still others are promiscuous. The biggest challenge in this environment is to put expectations first. To do this, companies need to rethink the purpose of the office and communicate priorities to bring people together. It can be helpful to do the setup and training in person, but hold all SCRUM meetings online, for example.
  4. Promote company values: An employee value proposition (EVP) is critical throughout the employee lifecycle, from interviewing to separation. During the onboarding phase, you can help new hires understand internal culture, work-life balance, career advancement, training opportunities, and social responsibility, to name a few. It’s also an opportunity to talk about the affinity groups the organization has created that help underrepresented communities feel welcome.
  5. Conduct security training: A recent study on Tenable revealed that 80% of security and business leaders said their organizations are at greater risk today as a result of remote working. While companies need to make investments in cybersecurity to help combat the problem, many breaches can be avoided through employee training. Cybercriminals often gain entry through phishing attacks or by targeting personal devices. Spending time during the setup process reviewing security practices can help avoid an unfortunate and potentially costly mistake in the future.

To attract and retain tech talent, business leaders need to expand their access to a more diverse pool of candidates, including emerging talent, and provide more flexible working arrangements for employees. In this environment, preparation is more important than ever as companies strive to help new employees adapt quickly, and understand that this can take longer for some than for others. In the end, it is not about the total time taken to hire a new employee and more about the effectiveness of the onboarding program.

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