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How to Make the New Graduate Onboarding Process More Effective

College graduation season is over, and thousands of young workers, armed with degrees that the ink is barely dry on, are entering the big wide world of work. You may welcome some of them soon into your compony. Introducing them to the company – and the concept of a full-time job – can be challenging. Here are some great ways to make the new graduate onboarding process easier, simpler and more comfortable for everyone.

Let Them Do What They Do Best

In a perfect world college students would emerge into the world after graduation completely capable of doing any job their new degree qualified them to do. But college learning and real world learning are often two very different creatures.

You can however take advantage of the fact that they have spent the last 18 years or so studying to help them get up to speed faster,

If your company invests in internal learning tools and training modules that can be self-conducted, the recent grad hire will be right at home in having to study the ins and outs of your business and how your team contributes to it.

Explain the Basics

There are a number of things that come along with a first full-time job in their ‘real’ profession that a new hire may be a little unsure of as the new graduate onboarding process unfolds. How does a 401K work? What health benefits are now being offered to them, how do they sign up for them, and what do they cost? How does the life insurance work?

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These questions can of course be answered by an employee handbook, but few new hires have the time to do more than skim those for months. Instead, plan an orientation session – a nice, informal one over coffee in your office perhaps – to explain all the new benefits the new hire is now entitled to and how they work. This will make sure they can get the most out of them, understand their value and prevent them from ‘feeling stupid’ about asking questions.

Offer a Warmer Welcome

If there is one thing that most college students are used to its socializing as a way to connect, network and learn. As a part of the new graduate onboarding process why not arrange an informal introduction to the rest of the team in the form of a casual mixer rather than a formal conference room presentation? One that feels friendly, encourages casual interactions, and yes, maybe has beer, wine and music.

Give Them Time to Listen, Digest, Respond, and Repeat

The first weeks of a new job are daunting for even the most confident of new grads. You, as a manager, can help here by giving them more autonomy over how fast they pace their learning and how they execute it.

Some may be more comfortable going through online training alone then asking questions, while some may be do better if they can complete a few modules and then go back over them with a more experienced team member before moving on.

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Having this kind of control of their schedule allows them to understand how much time they need to digest the information they are reading and listening to, and which methods were best for them to fully understand and respond to what they are learning. In this way they are likely to grasp everything they need to know firmly, and become the valuable employee you envisioned they would be when you hired them.

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