Onboarding and mentoring are not just for the inexperienced.

We talked about the onboarding process recently and I wanted to come back to a point that I think is very important: the target population for such devices.

Who should attend mentoring and onboarding programs? A priori, all new employees. But in reality, these programs are often lighter for some people.

A few weeks ago one of my contacts told me “for experienced profiles we do the minimum, they don’t need it“. Which is in my opinion a mistake.

I will deal here with two objections that I have frequently heard.

1°) He knows his job, he is experienced

Yes he knows his job but he knows the way it is practiced in the company. There are as many ways of doing a given thing as there are companies, as many tools and processes to achieve it.

Just because a skill exists does not mean that it is applied in the same way.

You can be a good recruiter in the abstract, but that doesn’t prevent you from not knowing instinctively how a given company recruits.

You can be a good developer on a technology but not know the processes and way of doing things of a particular company.

You can be a pro at agility and not know how it’s done at your new employer.

These are only micro discrepancies, that is to say, but discrepancies that will quickly become apparent since, precisely because they were experienced, these people were let loose in the operational area, often without a net and with responsibilities, and therefore their mistakes due to the lack of knowledge of the company’s context can have immediate consequences.

2°) No need to integrate a 40-year-old guy

Concerning all that relates to the values and codes of the company I also heard “no need to follow up and mentor experienced people, they know how to live in a company”. Well I say no, no, no and a thousand times no.

Given the little importance that too many companies give to soft skills during the recruitment process, one is never safe from importing a toxic person and only realizing it once the damage is done.

Secondly, because every company has its own culture. Behaviors that can be tolerated or even well regarded here will not be tolerated there and vice versa.

Finally, because the more experience a person has, the more they have ingrained habits that will be difficult to move around, so it is important to start early and make them aware of the points they need to be vigilant about. Unless you consider that competence and experience exempt you from respecting the codes and culture of a company, but experience proves that this is a mistake!

What matters is the origin of the person, not the experience.

Onboarding and mentoring have one objective: to promote the human and operational integration of a newcomer into the company. What makes these systems exist is that a person comes from elsewhere, it is not his lack of experience, even if they can be lightened for certain profiles. But using a person’s experience to deduce that they don’t need integration is not the right criterion.

Image : onboarding by  iQoncept via Shutterstock

Bertrand DUPERRINhttps://www.duperrin.com/english
Head of People and Business Delivery @Emakina / Former consulting director / Crossroads of people, business and technology / Speaker / Compulsive traveler
Head of People and Business Delivery @Emakina / Former consulting director / Crossroads of people, business and technology / Speaker / Compulsive traveler
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