Thursday, January 13, 2005

Buzzword Alert: Onboarding

Anyone have any idea who is in charge of creating HR industry buzzwords? I really want to have a talk with him or her.

The word I'm thinking about today is "Onboarding." What is employee onboarding? It's what we used to call the hiring and orientation process. I'm not sure exactly why we need a new word to describe this but I bet it will make it easier to sell products and services related to this function.

If I was the HR Buzzword Creator Czar I would have come up with a more friendly term to describe this process. Onboarding sounds a little like what you do when you get onto an airplane. It has a cold, cattle-call ring to it, doesn't it? If I was the buzzword czar, I would have chosen the word WELCOMING instead of onboarding. That would still cover all the things we must do in the hiring and orientation process but not feel so institutional.

Since I'm in the exit interview business, I think I better work quickly on coming up with a good word for the termination process. Otherwise we might end up with a word like DEBARKING to describe the termination paperwork, collection of company property, deletion from the HRIS, goodbye party and exit interview. I hope the current buzzword czar comes up with something better than that. Anyone have his or her phone number?

PS. To read a previous Buzzword Alert, click here.

2 Comments:

Blogger Dub Dubs said...

I don't know who is in charge. I ran across this (http://ontalent.typepad.com/ontalent/2005/03/collaborative_h.html) on "talenteering." Seems to me they were talking about compensation analysis and position control, but what do I know. My response to Talenteering here http://hrtech.blogspot.com/2005/03/talenteering.html

I think "onboarding" used to be called orientation which IMO is more friendly a term and insinuates integrating a person into the new culture ASAP. again, what do I know....

8:21 AM, March 24, 2005  
Blogger B. N. Carvin said...

Dub - in answer to your question, "what do I know?" I would say a lot. I thought your response to the talenteering article was right on.

Recruiters have been doing what the article has referred to as Talenteering forever. A good recruiter always works direcly with the operations areas to anticipate and understand their needs.

Talent is a nice word but I tend to associate "talent" with extraordinary abilities. In the workplace you don't necessarily have to have talent in order to be a successful contributor.

Beth C.
PS. Dub, nice blog yourself.

11:05 AM, March 24, 2005  

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