Ronald joined LHC International in 2020 and was initially a Senior Consultant in our Finance team. He recently took over the position of Training & Development Consultant with us.
He talked to me about the importance of a structured onboarding and explained what is important to lay the foundation for successful motivated employees within the company.
Ronald, what exactly are your tasks at LHC?
I originally started as a Senior Consultant in our Finance team, but since February 2022, I now have a completely different position to take care of as a “Training & Development Consultant”. I no longer work externally, but I look after internal training and onboarding at LHC International.
My job is to design the onboarding and training processes for the entire company and the new team members. The short-term goal here is to ensure that each new team member receives all the information and tools they need to get started. This requires the establishment and implementation of certain standards for the induction of new employees.
In the long term, however, my job is not only to onboard new team members but also to develop processes and concepts for the continuous development of the skills of the entire team, including experienced consultants of many years standing.
What does your day-to-day work look like?
My work starts as soon as the new employee has signed his or her contract. Sofia, who is responsible for “People & Culture”, takes care of the entire recruitment process until the contract is signed. I then get the information I need about the new employees: their name, their role, their qualifications, etc…
I make sure that each new team member receives a welcome pack in advance; I talk to the team and the team leaders and choose who will be the new employee’s “buddy” (contact person for questions and problems). The organisation of the onboarding week also comes into play, where some of our senior consultants introduce the new employees to the tools we work with daily.
I juggle various schedules in the process, as on average 5–6 employees are involved in the onboarding. In addition, there is of course a round of introductions, where the new colleagues learn something about the respective employees and teams and the sectors in which they work.
What skills do you need to do recruiting, and how do you teach them to someone?
In recruiting, different roles require different skills and qualifications. For example, if you’re in a 360° recruiting role, it’s not just about recruiting and candidate retention. You also have to be able to place our service, the structure, and our processes behind it to a client.
However, if you are a researcher or candidate consultant, and you work mainly on the candidate side, you have to ask completely different questions for a successful process.
We provide our employees with guidelines and a code of practice, from which they can and should gradually develop their own way of working. At LHC, we prefer to focus on quality rather than quantity. For example, we do not specify a certain number of calls per day. But in the beginning, especially if you don’t have any experience in a job with a sales component, it is important not to let up and to keep going even after several unsuccessful phone calls. Because the routine you acquire automatically leads to more confidence and sovereignty, and ultimately to success.
Why is a structured onboarding process important for this role?
The purpose of onboarding is to give employees all the tools they need to become successful. We leave it up to the consultants, with growing experience, to implement their way of working.
But we give them guidance and an initial structure at the beginning, for example, a checklist of questions to ask each client/candidate.
However, onboarding is only the first part of the whole training process for a new consultant. We encourage everyone to take the time to listen to other colleagues in their daily business and get inspiration for themselves. Whether it’s a candidate interview or an acquisition call, everyone can learn from each other all the time.
That is also the reason we have an open office. So you can give and ask for feedback at any time. In this way, we are all constantly developing.
It is important to understand that despite all the input from colleagues, each consultant is allowed and should develop his or her style. Because, as in most other jobs, authenticity is one of the biggest keys to success.
And what does this onboarding process look like at LHC?
We have set up an onboarding process that starts with a casual welcome day to get to know the whole team. We like to have a team breakfast when several employees start with us on the same day. Furthermore, we also talk about the company’s values and history, and Garry, our CEO & Founder, explains his vision and gives a future look at what we have in store.
On the second day, we focus on the topic of “candidates”. How do I approach candidates? How do you build a network? What is sustainable networking? What does the candidate’s “journey” look like in a typical application process with us? What do we need to do better than competitor companies to retain candidates? How can I tell if a candidate really wants to change or is just looking around the market first? …
Then we explain the sales process to the new team members, even if he or she is not exposed to it in his or her role. I think it’s important to understand the whole process, both on the candidates’ and clients’ sides. If an employee wants to develop further in the company at a later stage, for example, and become a 360° consultant, we then of course still conduct appropriate sales training.
In the following days, we train them in the use of the CRM, our internal database, and discuss any questions that may still be open.
But onboarding doesn’t stop after these first days, of course; there are regular refresher training sessions and new topics that are discussed and trained; mostly based on concrete challenges of the colleagues.
I then continue to accompany the new employees until they become independent in their work. I listen to their first conversations without interrupting them and give them feedback. After that, we work together on optimisation and how they can integrate it into your workflow. I do this regularly until the end of the probationary period.
I am also already seeing the impact of this new process. We had a consultant who had some problems in his first few months on the job. Shortly after I started sitting down with him, discussing his processes and how he worked and giving him some tips, he placed his first candidate!
The interview was conducted by Margaux Sauvage – Marketing Manager at LHC International.