Recruiting & Hiring

David Parsley Gives 5 Steps for Onboarding Excellence

Beyond Insurance (BI) is happy to welcome back David Parsley, president of Parsley Performance Solutions, a strategic business partner of Profiles International, to discuss a report published by Profiles International, “Onboarding Excellence: Everything You Need to Know.”

BI: David, you’re considered an expert on identifying the right people for the right job.  You have been helping agencies within the Beyond Insurance Global Network assess and identify job applicants who exhibit the qualities of top performers in many roles including sales, customer service, and account management.   Once an organization has hired a new associate, what’s next?


David: Finding the right talent who has the marks of top performers for any company is a critical first step in the process of building a successful business.   Once you and your candidate have agreed on your offer for employment, it is essential for you to have an effective onboarding program.  The first 30-to-60 days on the job are critical to a new hire’s success.   The program should not only make the person feel a part of a team but also educate him/her on what tools and resources are available and what the organization’s culture looks like.

BI: Does onboarding really make a difference?


David: Profiles International publication “Onboarding Excellence: Everything You Need to Know”includes findings that every organization could apply within their unique setting.   In this publication, we reference authors Mark Stein and Lilith Christiansen, authors of Successful Onboarding, whose research revealed “that nearly 1/3 of new hires are searching for a new job in less than six months of employment, while another 1/3 of newly hired executives fail to meet the organization’s expectations during their first two years.  Retention is a huge problem – most organizations face a 10-15% annual employee attrition rate, which translates into losing about 60% of their entire talent base within four years.”

BI: How does effective onboarding improve talent retention?


David: Putting a solid onboarding program in place makes a significant impact on retaining the talent you worked hard to hire in the first place.   Our report quotes a study by the Aberdeen Group that “organizations that implement an effective onboarding program during the first three months of a new-hire employment experience 31% less turnover than those who don’t.”

BI: Can proper onboarding save an organization time and/or money?


David:  Absolutely!  Onboarding not only equips your new hire with knowledge of the organization’s culture and expectations, it also helps the employer measure how well the new hire fits within the team, department, etc.   The combination of hiring better-fitted employees in part through what you learn from in-depth whole person assessments, like the ProfileXT, and investing in a quality onboarding program will help any organization retain employees who contribute significantly to the success of the organization.    Our report also shows that “onboarding will show an employer if the new hire fits with the organization’s culture, and that alone could save the employer from prolonged investment in the wrong employee.”

BI: What steps should an organization include in a successful onboarding process?


David:  Our report focuses on the five factors an onboarding process should have are:

  1. Team involvement – Onboarding a new associate should involve the entire team.  It’s not just the HR department or the hiring manager’s concern, but all team members should be involved in welcoming new hires.   Taking new employees to lunch or assigning a mentor will help build relationships and show the new hire that the organization values them.
  1. Consistent structure – Whether you’re onboarding a new administrative assistant, associate, or top manager, the process needs to be consistent for all associates and reflect the organization’s values.  A set structure helps the associates, as well as the team and administration.  Remember, it’s all about making the transition as smooth as possible.
  1. Prepared desk and equipment – In addition to structure, make sure that everything – from the desk, office supplies, security badges, computer passwords, phone numbers, and access keys – are prepared for the new hire.  You want them to feel at home!
  1. Information – The most important part of the onboarding process is making sure the new employee has access to all the information they need to succeed in their position and become familiar with the organization.  It’s a good idea to set up meetings with subject-matter experts so the new associates can grasp the organization’s goals, policies and practices.
  1. Check-ups – The onboarding process doesn’t stop after the first day or first week.   It’s important to check in regularly with your new associates, ensuring they are comfortable and offering them the support they need to be successful.

For a complimentary copy of the full report, “Onboarding Excellence: Everything You Need to Know,” email:

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