In the ever-changing landscape of higher education recruiting and onboarding, the Office of Human Resources has been hard at work to assess the value of our current orientation session, Organizational Introduction (O/I), and re-designing the experience where new employees can utilize O/I as an ongoing resource rather than a “one-and-done” session.
As you may remember, when we started working remote during in March 2020, we had to move quickly to re-design our in-person orientation process. We’ve been holding the virtual Organizational Introduction since March 2020, and attendance at the current O/I sessions has continued to decline – only about 30% of employees invited to the sessions attend. So, we got to work.
We started with a series of focus groups held in July 2021. Some comments during those sessions related to the time employees needed to spend away from their work to attend the O/I session and that the information received during the session was not available after the session was completed. Based on this, and all of the feedback we received, we have designed an interactive, self-paced series of modules welcoming new employees. These modules will be available prior to and as employees start their employment with UT. The information will also be available after they start so it can be a resource that can be referenced as necessary. Sounds great, right? Well, we needed to ensure the concerns we heard from the focus groups were being addressed, too.
One concern discussed in moving to self-paced modules was, “Are we taking the human element completely away?” To answer that question, these modules will enhance the current communication points for new hires:
- Welcome email from a Recruiter
- Welcome call and follow-up emails with new hire by the Onboarding Specialist
- Email from HR after about one week of employment reminding them of deadlines
- After employees have been here for about 45 days, they will receive a call/text/email from the Onboarding Specialist
- Ready, Set, Connect within about the first 6 months of employment
To address the “time away from work” concern, there will be a time savings of about 20 minutes for new employees and can be done before employees begin work. This type of interactive resource will be compatible with the experience new employees will have once DASH is implemented.
This re-design of the content is just the start. We’ll continue to add things that may be helpful/beneficial to new employees.
April 17th will be our last virtual, in-person O/I session and the invitation to that session will include employees hired through April 3rd, anyone hired after this date will be sent an email to view the new self-paced modules.