Talent Development Centre

Tag Archives: onboarding

Quick Poll Results: Is Onboarding Easy for IT Contractors?

As an independent contractor, you experience more “first days” in your career than a typical permanent employee. That means, you’ve probably seen the best of onboarding and the worst of it. Some IT contractors arrive at a new client site to see all paper work finalized, workstation set-up and a complete plan prepared allowing you to get started right away. And other times… not so much.

Given the onboarding process can be an indication of how your new project will play out, it’s in everybody’s best interest to get it right. Although a large chunk of this is beyond your staffing agency’s control, we’re always eager to make it run as smoothly as possible.

In last month’s contractor quick poll, we asked you how smoothly the onboarding process generally is based on your experiences. We had a good number of responses which in turn, provides great input for our industry and our clients. Only about a third of respondents said that their onboarding is almost always smooth.

 

Quick Poll Results - How Smooth is the Onboarding Process?

Contractor Quick Poll: How Smooth is the IT Contractor Onboarding Experience?

There are great clients and awful ones, organized staffing agencies and scattered ones. On a contract, your experience with both is created from the first communication right up until the last payment for your work arrives. There are several elements that form an IT contractor’s experience, such as the people you work with, how easily you get paid, the type of work you do and the initial onboarding process.

While 99% of your contract experience may be amazing, we occasionally hear from independent contractors that their first few days on a tech gig were rough. Receiving documentation, clearances, equipment and desk space are all tasks that need to happen quickly so you can hit the ground running and get started on your project.

In this month’s contractor quick poll, we’re curious to know how often your onboarding experiences go smoothly for you. Could our staffing agencies and/or clients do a better job at improving it? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

How You Can Contribute to an Awesome Onboarding Experience

Alison Turnbull By Alison Turnbull,
Delivery Manager at Eagle

How You Can Contribute to an Awesome Onboarding ExperienceWe’ve all been there – starting a new job always means lots of uncertainty, heightened levels of stress and a general sense of discomfort.  Clients and employers have come a long way to ensuring the onboarding of both permanent employees and contractors is pleasant. In doing so, they strive to mitigate the stress that starting a new job tends to have on the vast majority of people.

Back in the day, it was common to have someone point to an empty desk, hand you a bottle of Windex and say “Off you go, figure it out!”  Luckily, companies have since recognized the importance of a robust onboarding program including socialization, training, wide spread introductions and announcements – all of which go a long way to fostering a feeling of inclusion.

As an IT contractor, independent professionals are accustomed to starting new positions on a fairly regular basis so tend to roll with the punches more so than most.  A good agency understands the importance of you having all of the tools and information you need to start an assignment successfully, and will do everything that they can to assist with that process.  But the contractor has a role to play in that as well.  In speaking with our back-office onboarding team, we asked what some of the common misconceptions or missteps were.  They confirmed that if you focus on just these four areas in the days leading up to your contract start date, it will ensure a much smoother onboarding process for all.

  • Have all requested paperwork completed. More importantly, complete all required fields, on time, and submitted as requested.
  • Ensure that all business paperwork is accurate. Everything you provide needs to be clear and correct. For example, confirm that your HST # is valid and that your chequing account is under business name rather than personal.
  • Know where to go for information. Your agency cannot (and should not) act as an accountant, a lawyer, or a business assistant. Be sure you have your own business considerations covered
  • Realize that staffing agencies can have different processes. Just because the recruitment agency you worked with last did things one way, it doesn’t mean it was the “right” way. You may have to adapt to a new (and potentially better!) way of doing things.

When you start a new contract it’s your job to get acquainted as quickly as possible and to hit the ground running.  Ensuring that all of your i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed from an administrative perspective will go a long way in allowing you to focus on what is important — doing a stellar job for your new client.

Is Your Contractor Onboarding Process Hurting Your Projects’ Success?

Frances McCart By Frances McCart,
Vice-President, Business Development at Eagle

Is Your Contractor Onboarding Process Hurting Your Projects' Success?One of the biggest complaints I hear from contractors starting a new contract with a client is the poor onboarding process.  Far too often, a contractor’s first day of work, and even sometimes their entire first work week, is spent chasing down access to technology, security passes, and access to critical documents that enable them to understand the project and their role.

Onboarding processes in many organizations are geared towards full-time hires and many of those components are transferable to contract hires.  Like a full-time hire, contract hires want to feel that the organization they are working with are happy to have them on board, are organized with their internal processes to make the transition into the organization quick and smooth, and most importantly, welcomed into the work and team environment.

Onboarding goes beyond just passing along security cards, access to technology and showing a person where they sit.  Key components of a contractor onboarding program should include:

  • An overview of company culture;
  • A review of corporate policies (security, HR policies, etc…);
  • A personal introduction to members of the team;
  • The project’s goals and the current state of the project;
  • A review of the contractor’s role on the team – setting expectations of deliverables; and,
  • Who they can go to ask questions/support.

Starting any new role, whether you are a full-time employee or a contractor, can be daunting.  The easiest way to set a new person up for success is to spend the time doing a proper, thorough onboarding.

This article from HRPS shows that people make a decision to stay with a company rather quickly and often, the onboarding process is the basis for part of their decision.

  • 4 percent of employees quit after a bad first day (Bersin by Deloitte)
  • 22 percent of turnover occurs in the first 45 days (The Wynhurst Group)
  • 90 percent of employees decide to stay at a company within the first six months (Aberdeen Group)
  • 31 percent of people have quit a job within the first six months, with half of those coming in the first 3 months. (BambooHR)

Technology talent is becoming harder to find every day.  It is critical that clients spend the time up front with hires to ensure they are properly onboarded and see how they fit into the team and the organization.  The cost of replacing talent is huge – whether contract or full time.  Resources that depart an organization months or even weeks after starting have a devastating negative impact on the team – financially and emotionally.

It is important that companies take the time to develop a solid on-boarding process for employees as well as contractors.  Of course, coupled with a great on-boarding process, is a thorough off-boarding process, which I will expand on in a future post.