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Category Archives: Triad Talent

Blog series by Walter Farabee, Director of Talent Retention and Recruitment, covering issues related to developing the talent pool in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.

Onboarding: Do Your New Employees Feel Welcomed?

So you have identified the best talent around and have taken the time to create an awesome recruiting experience to match them to available positions. You have selected the applicants that you can’t live without and they have aptly signed on the dotted line to accept your offers. As the hiring manager, what do you do now?

Your recruiting strategy should not end at the job offer. The onboarding process not only affects the employee’s perception of the company, but impacts how productive they will be in the role. Onboarding is the second more important HR practice behind recruiting. We all have experienced watching outdated training videos and reading textbook-sized policy handbooks. To improve your onboarding experience, here are some key things to keep in mind:

1. Keep the Enthusiasm High

Recruiters love to court candidates early on in the hiring process, learning about the candidate and sharing information about the company. Their enthusiasm throughout this process makes candidates feel wanted and helps them decide whether to accept an offer. The new hire wants to continue to feel this excitement through onboarding to reinforce their decision. Some companies create GIFs and videos of the entire team welcoming new hires to the company. Everyone’s dancing and handmade signs may be cheesy but they are humorous and ease the terror of the unknown when starting a new job.

This may be extreme for some businesses but can start with simply extending a welcome to the new hire pre-onboarding and letting them know that everyone is excited to meet and work with them. Also, the hiring manager should let them know what to expect during onboarding and connect them to whomever will lead that process. There is nothing worse than feeling handed over to a complete stranger.

2. Schedule 1-on-1 Time with Direct Managers

LinkedIn’s recent study, “Inside the Mind of Today’s Candidate”, found that the majority of new employees agree that time with their direct manager was the most important aspect of the onboarding process. This helps the new hire better understand the company’s mission and their manager’s vision, as well as how they fit into the greater organization. This should be scheduled early in the onboarding process as it sets the tone for other activities and helps the new employee better understand what is expected of them. This also allows both parties to get to know each other better and create natural connections.

3. Make an Agenda for the First Few Weeks

The first few weeks after starting a new job can be very awkward for new employees. Extensive time is often spent trying to figure out exactly what work to do, where the office supplies are stored, how to use the phone system and who to go to for help. Plan an agenda for new employees for the first several weeks. Schedule meetings to introduce the new employee to key staff members and clients, and plan tours of the office and important facilities. Providing an agenda helps give the new employee direction until they establish their own routine. It also prevents them from feeling neglected or lost which could dampen their outlook on the job and the organization.

4. Introduce the New Employee to the Community

Starting a new job can be scary, especially if it involves moving to a new city. Winston-Salem is a great city but to a newcomer it can be difficult to find your place in the community. Employers must take the time to introduce new hires to local points of interest, neighborhoods, and watering holes. Take them to lunch or dinner, and give them a tour of the community. Invite them to events like “Welcome to Winston”, recently held by the Chamber of Commerce at a Dash baseball game, to connect newcomers to local organizations and businesses.

We have an amazing community that has something for everyone and we all must work together to ensure that new and relocated workers feel welcomed in Winston-Salem and see our companies as places for them to prosper. If your company needs extra help or direction with recruitment and retention, please remember to utilize the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce which is dedicated to supporting local businesses and growing our employment base.


Walter Farabee, Director of Talent Retention and Recruitment, covers issues related to developing the talent pool in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. He’s a part of the collaborative working group, Piedmont Triad Talent Alignment Strategy.

Triad Talent | What Your Job Candidate Wants From You

The hiring process is very different from how it used to be. In the past, you would put a job posting in the newspaper or on your website and then the applications would flood your inbox. Not today. It takes a lot more deliberate planning to hire the best talent. Believe me, the candidates you want are out there but you must put forth more effort to connect with them. Candidates have higher expectations of a company at all stages of the hiring process.

Professional networking powerhouse, LinkedIn, recently surveyed 14,000 professionals from around the world to find out their attitudes and habits when job-searching. The study identified statistics of how they find jobs, what motivates them to pursue opportunities and what they want from the employer throughout the process. Here are some of the key takeaways that you may want to consider for acquiring talent in the future.

Photo by William Stitt on Unsplash

Candidates Want to Hear From You

Job candidates are a lot more open to learning about new opportunities, even if they aren’t the best fit for them. Candidates suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) even when searching for jobs.  Therefore recruiters should not shy from cold contacting potential candidates to share information about opportunities or just to learn more about the individuals. Candidates really appreciate it and are highly flattered when recruiters reach out to them. It makes them feel in demand and boosts their ego while job searching, which can be a very daunting task.

Open communication is key in many aspects of business, especially in the media-driven world we live in. Hiring managers and recruiters need to be connected in their community to make themselves and their companies more visible. This may include going to a Chamber networking event, chatting with strangers at your neighborhood coffee shop or posting updates on LinkedIn. Share news about yourself and your company, especially when looking for new talent. Post job listings on multiple platforms and give detailed descriptions of the position.

Tell Candidates What They Want to Know

A candidate’s job search starts well before their first contact with the organization. Candidates spend 1-2 months, on average, gathering information before ever applying. Having a solid online presence is key for a company.  If your website looks dated, doesn’t have recent information, or is less than aesthetically pleasing, you may have just run off your ideal candidate. Word of mouth is important, but it doesn’t compensate for a poor virtual image.

To ensure that your online identity is adequate and appropriate: Google your business and job postings. Are you having trouble finding your business or job in the search engine? Imagine that potential candidates are probably having difficulty as well. Also, make sure that your job descriptions are optimized with good keywords.

Utilize social media to not only expand your virtual presence, but also to share information about new opportunities. Many of your followers are likely following you for research purposes should you ever have an opening. Posts about new hires and employee success stories help potential candidates see themselves in your organization.

Candidates Want the Interview Process to be Brief

For some companies, maneuvering the hiring process is like being hazed to join a secret society. Nobody talks about it but we all know it is happening. Long, drawn-out processes are tiresome for all involved, especially the candidate. On average, candidates have three interviews over a two to three month period. Anything beyond that is likely too much, depending on the position. Keep the process as short as possible but ensure that the time spent is valuable for you and the applicant.

Keep the candidate informed and make sure they know what to expect. They want as much information as possible about the application and interviewing process, as well as the responsibilities of the position. Surprises can be off-putting and send the wrong message. Also, candidates greatly appreciate office visits and opportunities to learn about company culture. It helps them determine if they are a good fit for the organization.

Overall, it is important to always imagine yourself in your candidate’s shoes. What information would you like to know and what experiences would provide you the most value when looking for a new opportunity. Whether the candidate is or isn’t chosen for the position, have honest and open conversations about how they thought the process went. The more you know the better you can make the hiring process for the next candidate.

For reference and further reading, access the “Inside the Mind of Today’s Candidate” report by LinkedIn Talent Solutions.


Triad Talent is a blog series by Walter Farabee, Director of Talent Retention and Recruitment, covering issues related to developing the talent pool in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. He’s a part of the collaborative working group, Piedmont Triad Talent Alignment Strategy.