Onboarding new employees with Anna Gerold

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Article by Horizontal Team
Oct 19, 2022
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Reader’s note: This is a partial transcription from the first episode of the 10-Minute Talent Show. To hear the full episodes (it’s only about 10 minutes), click the podcast embed above.

What do 5th grade teaching and the staffing industry have in common? Anna Gerold. Horizontal Talent’s Learning and Development Lead talks all things onboarding, whether you are a new on-boarder or new hire.

How did you get started at Horizontal?

I was previously a teacher and was talking with a friend who was a recruiter. I didn’t want to be a teacher long term, so she told me about the ins and outs of staffing. I wanted to feel like I was giving back in some capacity and finding people jobs does just that. I ended up talking to my mom, of course, and she was actually placed through Horizontal. Hearing that she felt valued, cared about and like an actual person showed me the integrity of the organization. After hearing from my mom and feeling the same support she felt in the interview process, I knew I made the right choice.

How do you approach people on the first day of their job?

There is so much uncertainty, especially during the pandemic. One of my goals is to make new hires feel really comfortable throughout the process, whether through email communication ahead of time or just being a warm, friendly face. I’ve loved working here over the past 6 ½ years so I like to talk about what their future looks like here. I get to share my story and talk about the company culture which makes people really excited. Being part of their excitement in joining an organization is really fun.

How do you engage new hires when onboarding?

There’s always going to be content that’s a little less flashy. I think providing the context of why this is important and how this impacts their job is helpful to making it feel more relevant and less boring. People learn in so many different ways so by providing options, whether it’s completing a task in the system or providing additional resources afterwards, is helpful. Every company is going to have some mundane information. It’s really just about providing it to them in an effective way.

How has remote work affected onboarding?

I think that remote work has played a huge impact in training. For example, there can be un-comfortability with being on video, or taking cues when other people are talking. Virtual meetings have been challenging and it’s been a cultural shift for Horizontal. People didn’t have Zoom meetings every day and now they do. Also, you don’t necessarily get to have those random conversations because people are on mute. It’s different for sure.

What is the follow up process for hires 6-12 months down the road?

I’m invested in every person I train, and I love to see their growth. Not only do I check in and provide support, but I celebrate their wins. When somebody makes their first placement, I’m here to help them during the process and celebrate with them. Being that person that can train but also be their cheerleader is something that I really enjoy!

What tips do you have for someone starting a job in training/onboarding?

Onboarding has such a huge impact on the employees’ experience at the company. For somebody in my role, I believe that setting up a weekly schedule when they join has been super impactful. When we show that we’re excited and waiting for them, new hires get a good feeling. Setting up a schedule has been huge. As you’re bringing on new employees, I showcase the company values on day one. Ultimately, just make sure you’re providing them will all the tools and resources. By providing them with their logins, tools and technologies, new hires can hit the ground running.

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