In this month’s interview, the spotlight is on Sofia Arisheh from Upskill Consulting, which is a Human Resources (HR) consulting firm. During the interview, we discussed the importance of onboarding and how it has a positive impact on a new hire within a company.  Sofia shares the strategies that she employs with her clients for pre-onboarding, the first day, first week, and first year. She even shares important insights for onboarding and staying engaged with virtual team members.

What does Upskill Consulting do and who do you serve?

We offer the full spectrum of HR services and support for the entire employee life cycle from onboarding to offboarding and everything in-between. We work with companies from many industries and that’s a testament to the importance of Human Resources.  HR transcends all industries and each industry might require different types of HR support. A lot of my background is on professional services such as public practice accounting firms but we serve clients from many industries even manufacturing and farming.


What exactly is employee onboarding?

Employee onboarding is a process to integrate a new hire into an organization. It helps them understand the company, the culture, the people, the processes, the systems, and the expectations of them in their new role and the organization. It is a way for a company to set up a new hire for success.


How big should an organization be before they create and implement an employee onboarding process?

Onboarding is important to any size organization. It doesn’t matter if you have five employees or 1000. It is going to look different. For larger organizations, it will look more robust whereas for smaller organizations it might look like a checklist. At the end of the day, the onboarding process is the organization’s brand and having the new hire and the employer relationship start out on the right foot.


Is there an ideal length for an onboarding program?

It takes a while for a new hire to get accustomed to the organization. The first day and first week are really important but beyond that, the onboarding process is really up to the first year of being with the company.


Is there anything you can do before the employee is hired?

That first interaction with the new hire starts in the recruitment process. Pre-onboarding is making a new hire feel welcome before they start such as a welcome email, team announcement, or setting up the person’s workspace. New hires are often nervous on their first day and a welcome email helps an employee telling them where we are located, where to park, or what to wear to make them feel included. A team announcement is also important so that everyone in the company knows who the new hire is so they can welcome them. The third piece of pre-onboarding is setting up the new hire’s workspace whether it is their desk or office.


What is the most important part of the onboarding process?

The first day is the most important part of the onboarding process because it is the new hire’s first impression of the organization and they need to feel welcomed. The first day and first week for the new hire focuses on building rapport, relationships and understanding the operations of the company.


What do you consider as those year-long components for the onboarding process?

The 30, 60, 90 check-ins are key to understanding how well the new hire is adjusting to the company and checking to see if they have any questions or need anything from their employer that will help them with a learning curve or their role in the organization. Those check-ins are not only used to get feedback from the employee but to check their performance too.


What is your favorite inspirational quote?


“100% of clients are people. 100% of employees are people. So if you don’t understand people, you don’t understand business.” – Simon Sinek

This quote really resonates because we help businesses to strengthen their people practices. Once you start focusing on the people it creates a happy workforce and a successful organization because it’s your people who are serving your clients.


My chat with Sofia sparked some great new ideas around employee onboarding! I especially love all her ideas for pre-onboarding experiences for new hires.

For more information about Upskill Consulting, make sure to connect with Sofia!


If you are creating an onboarding program for your team, check out some of our other articles:

What is onboarding + how new hires feel about it

Exciting ways to incorporate online learning into your new hire onboarding program

How your new hire program is like a school ambassador

Have you ever had an amazing onboarding experience? What made it special? Please comment and share your ideas!

Wishing you inspiration, innovation, and continuous learning.

Lorena and the Learn to Flourish team

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