We feel Dictionary.com best defines onboarding as:

“an organization’s efforts to assist and support a new employee in developing the skills, knowledge, and attitude needed to be successful in the job.” Although the definition sounds simple enough executing those three parts: Skills, Knowledge, and Attitude seem to elude most I.T. departments.

Ever consider the cost of your I.T. Professional?

I.T. budget waste is rampant in corporate America.  There are 3.87 million I.T. Professionals in the United States alone (2.5% of the overall 2016 U.S. workforce). Notably, these individuals maintain an average salary 43% higher than the average American professional.   So you can see just how expensive the average I.T. Professional is to your organization.  Below are compensation figures for some of the more in-demand I.T. Professionals*.

Application Development
Lead Architect $123,000
Java Developer $102,000
C# Developer $92,000
PL/SQL Developer $87,000
Cloud and SaaS Integration
Cloud Integration Specialist $102,000
SaaS Integration Specialist $110,000
Cyber Security
Security Specialist (Senior) $125,000
Security Specialist (Average) $81,000
Security Specialist (Junior) $65,000
Database and Analytics
Database Administration (DBA) $93,000
Data Analyst $84,000
Hadoop Developer $102,000
* 2016 average salaries by Indeed.com

Budget Waste!

Now consider the cost to bring a new I.T. Professional onboard your organization.  In most organizations, this professional is going to sit idle for an average of two to four weeks before their basic setup tasks are completed. On a typical six month project you can expect a minimum of 15% budget waste before the project even begins!  Setup cost does not include the additional time it takes to learn the actual knowledge required to understand your organization’s business process, technologies, or even the ability to make a simple code push.

Do the math and calculate how much money is wasted as they sit idle!

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It’s a Gig Economy.

How quickly can your I.T. Department onboard?

Consider that over 1/3 of the Professional I.T. workforce are non-employees that on and off board quickly.

According to CIO magazine, from an article entitled “Hiring Trends for 2016: Welcome to the Gig Economy", around 35% of most company’s staff are non-employees. Additionally, it was noted that around 95% of the company’s senior management interviewed stated that a flexible workforce is critical to their strategy. Further research by an Intuit report "Twenty Trends that will Shape the Next Decade", shows that this number may increase to 40% by 2020. Based on this, and many other sources, we believe this trend is growing.

The number of contractual (non-employee) workers is even more significant when you factor in a rising millennial workforce that challenges old style management. Gallup recently released their most extensive study titled “How Millennials Work and Live 2016”. This study reveals how the millennial workforce rejects old style bosses who do not develop their strengths and growth opportunities. Due to this fact, millennials may frequently leave organizations for ones that best meet their career paths. All of this combined with the war on I.T talent and the globalization of the workforce, further solidifies that your I.T. staff is not stagnant.

Accept the fact that I.T. staff are fluid and will on/off board your organization more quickly!

SKILLS

Setting up an environment where the new I.T. Professional can integrate their natural talents and abilities (Skills) to perform work

KNOWLEDGE

Specific training on the organization’s Business Lines and I.T. structure that are required for the new I.T. Professional to function in their organization

ATTITUDE

The trust, commitment, and mutual respect that is required in order for an I.T. Professional to be effective in their job

Skills are defined as the ability to do work. They do include personal abilities that the I.T. Professional possesses but these abilities are unused in the early phase of a new I.T. Professional's employment until their environment is setup.

The candidate setup process entails a myriad of processes that are performed both before and after the candidate begins their first day of work. This processing requires integration with many different groups, several of which do not interact with each other. Yet their interaction is critical to the overall success of the setup process. This is the main reason that setup tasks are so poorly executed within an I.T. organization.

To better understand the process we have categorized these steps into these four functional areas. Although all of the steps are essential, we have found there is a sliding scale of difficulty among them. These are represented in this graphic.

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To further explore the onboarding definition we look at Knowledge. Each candidate has their own individual knowledge which should have been fully vetted in the interview process. However in this context, knowledge is the specific lessons the candidate does not yet have in order to perform their daily work within the organization. This requires the candidate to be trained on the specific practices and procedures of that organization. Only then will they be able to perform their daily work.

This training is hierarchical in nature and gets more specific to the individual as you continue down the spectrum. As one might expect this training becomes more complex to perform also as you move down the spectrum, especially into more I.T. centric areas of knowledge. We have further defined these areas of training into specific categories.

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Attitude or a “personal buy in” requires the candidate to be committed to the organization and their overall projects. Although some companies do have activities to “reinforce the employment brand”, it is not that quick and easy. Candidates begin to do this when they first trust that the organization has their best interest in mind. When they feel that their leaders are committed to them, they begin to be committed to the organization.

Trust and commitment however do not come easily, but grow over time as a level of respect is gained between the two parties: Candidate and Organization. By solving complex problems together each gains Mutual Respect for one another. The quicker this process occurs the quicker mutual respect is achieved. This is hierarchical in nature as the graphic shows.

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