Do You Have a Strategy for Transboarding?

November 30, 2016 Nicole Klemp

Most organizations have some kind of recruiting strategy and onboarding process for finding and training new talent. But while many of these employers are spending a good chunk of time and money finding people to fill open positions and train new hires, the best people for the jobs might be right under their noses.

Recruit from within

Transboarding is a buzzword that’s been popping up in the human resources blogosphere lately. And while the idea of setting up employees for success in new roles and recruiting from within is nothing new, many companies just don’t have an official strategy in place do so. Instead, they focus most of their resources on new talent.


By looking inward first, HR professionals can find quality candidates who have already bought into their organization. They won’t have to sell those individuals on the company culture, values, or mission — existing employees are (hopefully) already living them every day. They’ll also know more about current employees (i.e., skills, work ethic, personality) than they would about a new hire. And employees who are given more opportunities for advancement and career development will be more engaged and productive, which is good for the bottom line too.

Keep people (particularly millennials) from leaving

Hiring/promoting from within is not only a good way to save on recruitment costs, but a way to cut down on attrition too. Ryan Holmes, CEO at Hootsuite, wanted to figure out why so many of his millennial employees were leaving, even though satisfaction surveys showed they were seemingly happy with the company. What he discovered by talking with them was that the main reason most of them change jobs is because they want to be challenged with something new.

“Great employees are great employees,” Holmes writes, “It’s not the particular skill set that sets them apart, as much as their intrinsic attitude, focus, and dedication. And all of these things can transfer readily from role to role. So why not give these exceptional employees a chance to try out new positions within the company, rather than risk losing them altogether?”

Onboarding isn’t a one-time thing

To increase the chances of success in their new roles, transboarded employees should be treated like new employees (for the most part). But while many companies have a great onboarding process for new hires, most lack any kind of strategy for existing employees. Sure, a transboarded worker may already know how to submit a vacation request or access the company wiki, but consider all of the new responsibilities they’ll have — especially if they’re moving into a leadership position. It may even be beneficial for company veterans to go through orientations or new employee workshops again; they can brush up on the company history, learn about some new resources they may not be familiar with, and recommit themselves to the mission and values. Their presence can also be a great way to showcase the company’s commitment to promoting from within to newbies.

Even if an individual has been with the same company for 10 years, expectations still need to be set before they transition into a new role or department. And anyone who is moving up from contributor to people-manager needs to receive some kind of leadership training. It isn’t fair to them or the people they will be managing if they’re sent into their new role without the tools and guidance they need to be successful. There are many interaction points on the typical employee journey — especially when you add transboarding into the mix — that must be considered when creating an onboarding strategy or training program.

Employee-centric technology is a must

To make transboarding work, organizations need to provide intuitive, collaborative Human Capital Management (HCM) applications that employees can use to find new growth opportunities and learn new skills. It should also be assumed that mobile will be the primary way that employees will be consuming the technology, and that self-service capabilities are a must. Social components also allow employees to collaborate, and can give would-be transboarders unique insight into other roles or departments they might be interested in down the road.

People, processes, and technologies all must be considered when creating a transboarding strategy. If done right, it can reduce recruiting spend and turnover rates, increase employee engagement and satisfaction, and lead to a better overall Worker Experience.


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