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The 5 Cs to Onboarding New Talent

Why is onboarding important? Why should I pay attention to this?

Onboarding. New hire training. Employee orientation. It can be overwhelming, and if it is done poorly, it can lead to a risky new hire and a huge loss. According to Indeed, employee onboarding costs an estimated $5,000. Factor in the cost of recruiting, human resources and other expenses associated with acquiring and training new talent, companies spend up to $20,000 to recruit and onboard - you cannot risk them not being the right fit for your organization. Let’s discuss some onboarding best practices according to NABA: the Five C’s to successful onboarding.

  • Clarity
  • Culture
  • Connection
  • Compliance
  • Check-In

You want to ensure that your employee feels welcome, comfortable, valued, and productive within their new team. Starting off a new hire’s experience with clarity, introduction to company culture, meaningful connections, transparency regarding compliance, and a consistent check-in plan is the road to employee retention and satisfaction.


  • Set expectations by outlining your goals for the internship, or new role, and how this relates to the overall company
  • Share how YOU prefer to communicate - and what your expectations are on emails, texts, Slack, in-person check-in meetings, etc.
  • Ask them their top 5 goals for the role and put a plan together on how to address these goals with bi-weekly check-ins on how they are working towards these accomplishments


Make employees feel at home in your organization from the beginning by:

  • Explaining the mission and vision of the company
  • Why are you in business in the first place?
  • Set the stage for why you come to work each day
  • Connect them and their role to the overall impact of the organization

Discuss the employee benefits that each new hire values in their first week

  • How to take advantage of flexible scheduling and remote work
  • Ways to get involved in company volunteering events
  • Best practices for taking mental health days
  • Ensure they know how and when to utilize these benefits


Building connections with new employees can go a long way in the early stages of onboarding

  • Publicly welcome with a shout out on social media, a welcome lunch to meet the team, and even gifts of company swag and business cards
  • Ask them questions about life outside of work and get to know the ways they best like to work, be recognized, learn, and more
  • Make sure your new hires get to know their colleagues and teammates in other departments; providing new hires with a company directory including headshots and fun facts can be an easy way to do this

You don’t necessarily need to go as big as Leslie Knope did on Ann’s first day at the Pawnee Parks Department, but any gesture to welcome your new hire will make them feel appreciated and important.


Most important --yet often overlooked or skimmed through-- company protocols. Follow these tips:

  • Don’t just give them a hard copy of the employee handbook with a link to company policies!
  • Take time to explain why these policies exist to ensure your new employee understands the nuances of the company
  • Prevent embarrassing or dangerous mistakes that could impact the company. Don’t skimp or breeze through the compliance policies


Be sure to check-in regularly with your new hire. They probably have questions and it is reassuring when their management takes the time to check on them. After the new hire is done with orientation and training, ensure: they understand their role and how they fit into the overall big picture at the company; they’re not overwhelmed or misunderstanding anything; they are getting acquainted and communicating effectively on their team. A Check-In plan should include:

  • A progress check-in to make sure your employee understands their role and is working towards the assigned goals
  • A mental wellness check-in to make sure your new hire is not overwhelmed with the tasks or information given
  • A team check-in -- How are they working with their colleagues? Is there someone they're struggling with? or anyone they would like to get to know better but need your help?