What is Onboarding?
Onboarding is when a company provides their new employees with training and information to help them adapt to their new position. A successful onboarding program makes sure they understand their role, their employer’s expectations, and the company’s culture.
Benefits of Global Talent Onboarding
Without communicating clear expectations, your workers would be confused about what their roles and responsibilities are. It is important that each employee understands the company’s goals and values so that they know how they can contribute. A personal development plan should also be set for each employee so that they could challenge themselves in fulfilling different goals and grow as they work in your company.
Compliance with the law
When hiring international employees, most companies have legal concerns such as payroll, taxation and labour laws. It is important to utilise talent onboarding as an educational resource to familiarize employees with the local rules and regulations. A comprehensive onboarding guide should also inform employees of the standard operating procedures of your company.
Social support system
For first-time workers in Hong Kong, they might not be familiar with the local working culture. With the diversity of Hong Kong, there is no one-fit-all working environment for local businesses. An onboarding process should help international hires in navigating the new environment. It also serves as an opportunity where you welcome your new hire and let them meet their colleagues.
Steps of a Successful Onboarding Program
Now that you understand the benefits of successful onboarding, let’s talk about ways you could help your international employees get acclimated to your company.
Onboarding begins whenever a hiring decision is made. The key to successful employee engagement is to make them feel welcomed and keep them feeling excited for their new journey. Here are some ways you can kickstart your onboarding process even before they arrive.
- 1-on-1 Expectation Setting
Expectations should be done before an international employee arrives at your local office. We want to make sure that they understand their roles and responsibilities before they start their job. For example, the new hire can start learning on their own if the job requires them to learn new software.We should also remind them of some unique cultural features of Hong Kong so that they can prepare themselves. For example, an international might be interested in the working culture in Hong Kong. Is working overtime common in your company? What is the dress code for your company? What time do people go for lunch? These might all be trivial questions but are crucial for first-time workers.
- Incoming Preparation
This is where we tell them about the technical details of living and working in Hong Kong. You might want to prepare an information package for your incoming international employees. Technical information such as Hong Kong COVID measures, taxation, banking details and housing should be addressed so that they could be mentally and financially prepared for their stay in Hong Kong.
- COVID Arrangements
As required by the HKSAR Government, all inbound travellers must fulfil COVID travel measures before entering Hong Kong. The international has to undergo a nucleic acid test before boarding a flight, to be fully vaccinated and secure a hotel for their mandatory quarantine. It is helpful to provide the international employees with a checklist of items they have to complete before entering Hong Kong.
It might be the international employee’s first visit to Hong Kong. It is important that we leave a good first impression of the city.
- Quarantine Engagement
Living in isolation could be difficult for someone who is just starting to get used to a new life. To cure the boredom, the company could organise some virtual engagement activities, or simply ask the new hire to work on some easy tasks that could be done remotely to get them onboard. It is also a nice gesture to send them some local food and snacks to show your enthusiasm to have them here!
After a long wait, your international employee is finally here in your office! Here are a few things you can consider:
- First Day Meet and Greet
Most employers often neglect this as they believe their employees are grown-ups who can just figure things out on their own. Yet, having a warm welcome would encourage someone getting used to a new way of life. Your company could organise a team lunch to show the new employee around and give them some time off work to get to know their colleagues. It would be useful for the international to know where to get the best coffee in town or where to go for happy hour!
- Feeback and Check-ins
New hires want to know how they are doing. You can provide feedback and guidance in regular touchpoints. Discuss their adaptation process to unravel some difficulties they could be encountering so that you can answer any questions they may have about their new way of working.
- Buddy System
A little help and support could go a long way. Especially to an employee who is acclimating to a whole new culture. Social interaction is crucial for anyone, let alone international employees who are new to the city. Existing team members could clarify the responsibilities and expectations of the international. This also serves as a good team-building exercise as it builds up momentum and encourages peer feedback.
Onboarding for your Remote Workers
Virtual onboarding could be drastically different from those working physically in an office. Working in an office with your colleagues means you could observe social cues and learn through instant conversations. Although it can be difficult to implement an onboarding process without face-to-face elements, employers must pay attention to your remote workers. You should make space for social chats to check in on everyone to encourage idea sharing.
How can AIESEC HK help you with international talent onboarding?
With a global presence in over 120 countries and territories and 4000+ tertiary institutions worldwide, AIESEC has access to a large pool of distinguished international youth talents. Our international hiring programme helps companies in Hong Kong to expand globally through recruitment and selection, talent onboarding and cultural immersions. Book a meeting with us for a personalized onboarding consultation!