‘Onboarding and orientation have taken on a whole new light’
Onboarding has stepped into the spotlight among K-12 leaders, and for good reason: Done right, this vital talent management process can position new hires — as well as the entire school — for greater success
As noted in What strategic onboarding is and isn’t … and why you need to know the difference, published by PeopleAdmin, when onboarding becomes strategic and not just “operational,” schools benefit by seeing employee retention, satisfaction and production measurably increase.
Schools can make that shift by adopting the right tools to improve their onboarding process as part of a larger effort to advance their talent management practices.
“Onboarding and orientation have taken on a whole new light,” Jason E. Romero, assistant superintendent of human resources at Del Mar Union School District, said shortly after implementing PeopleAdmin’s automated recordkeeping solution, Records.
The solution allows new hires to electronically complete their required paperwork from home, which frees Jason and his team to “spend the initial contact time during orientation getting new hires familiar with the district, their position and our processes — as opposed to just doing the menial task of checking whether forms were signed correctly.”
This is a vast difference from traditional K-12 onboarding methods.
“There was a time when onboarding was basically orientation. You brought new hires in, you sat them down, they filled out a bunch of paperwork, and they were done,” said Melva Cárdenas, regional strategic advisor at PeopleAdmin and former school district HR executive director, principal and teacher. “But onboarding is so much more than that.”
Jackie Floyd, assistant superintendent at Fort Zumwalt School District, recalled how disorienting new hires found orientation-focused onboarding practices.
“They would get confused,” she said. “When they sit down and meet me, they’re excited about being hired. Their mind is going a mile a minute. I’m giving them tons of information, and they think they’ve got it all. But they walk away from me, and they can’t remember exactly what they’re supposed to do.”
Fortunately, Jackie said, Records has allowed her and her team to eliminate any confusion. “When we set up new employees’ onboarding paperwork in Records, we have an explanation for every item.”