What is a “Golden Unicorn” you ask?  This is the slang term we use for someone that fits the organization and role so perfectly that it almost seems magical or too perfect.  Whenever we find the Golden Unicorn, regardless if it’s on the temp / staffing agency side or through direct placement, we generally get the same question shortly thereafter.  “Any advice with onboarding?”  Here is that advice. 

Most of the time when we ask someone when they think onboarding starts, they naturally answer, “On the first day”.  While this is a common misconception, onboarding starts much earlier. 

Onboarding starts with your first contact.  Keep in mind three things.  Set clear expectations, make sure you deliver on those expectations, and Golden Unicorns are only attracted to the best.  Great companies recognize top talent is highly sought after and they focus on serving the candidate immediately.  Be understanding and accommodating.  Long gone are the days of, “they are lucky to have a job”.  Here’s a simple piece of advice.  Complete the entire interview process in less than 2 weeks unless absolutely necessary and communicate more than you think you should.   

Now that you have both agreed on an offer, there is still work to be done from that day to the start date.  Every time a big purchase is made, there is some kind of buyer’s remorse.  Changing careers is bigger, to many people, than buying a house or new car.  Make the candidate feel the love immediately.  Stay in touch.  Ask questions.  Reinforce why they decided to make the move and clearly outline what they should expect day one and beyond.  

The big day is here.  Is the office prepped for their arrival?  Clean, organized, and their workstation/office prepped?  Is the team prepared to represent your brand well or are they surprised when the new hire shows up?  Every part of their experience sends a message.  It's up to you to ensure the right words are on paper.  Think about a world-class hotel.  How do they make you feel?  Are you rolling out a red carpet or is the new hire wading through the trash.  Unicorns will quickly fly away from trash.  Don’t be afraid to drape them in your best and give them a letter welcoming them with signatures from adoring fans.  Make the important introductions and make them feel at home with a tour.  Put everything in writing.  People fear the unknown.  Get rid of the ambiguity immediately.  Everyone plays a role in this and its up to you to assign those roles. 

It’s no surprise they made it through their first week.  After all, you made them feel like a rockstar.  Now we give them a runway to take off and carry the organization to new and greater heights.  Make sure they have a mentor.  Dive deep into feedback and make sure they know they are on the right track (unless they aren’t and then it’s really important to find out where the challenge is).  Reinforce your values and their future.  After all, that is why they are there. 

Someone worked hard to find the Golden Unicorn, why wouldn’t we want them to shine their brightest.  Some even believe that if you give a golden unicorn everything it needs, one day it will become the sun that will create nourishment and warmth for your organization to thrive.