Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Word of the day

Today's word is onboarding. This is a term from the IT industry, where it is now well-entrenched. Wikipedia defines it as "the process of interviewing, hiring, orienting and successfully integrating new hires into the organization's culture. The best onboarding strategies will provide a fast track to meaningful, productive work and strong employee relationships." As you can see, the term, like other IT terms, is a magnet for a wide range of similar kinds of terms. IT meets HR.

A nice example is a product called
RedCarpet - the spelling reflects the IT industry uneasiness about spaces between words. Here's a nice quote about their "onboarding and life events solution", advertised on the SilkRoad web site:

The recruitment process is just the beginning of a new employee’s experience with your company. To ensure that the investment you are making in them will benefit your organization quickly, you must immerse them in corporate policies and culture while providing them with the tools they need for success. But it doesn’t stop there...

Employees experience multiple events and changes throughout their careers that can result in anxiety and loss of productivity, such as transfers, promotions, mergers, medical leave, relocation and offboarding. SilkRoad’s completely Web-based, hosted onboarding and life events solution, RedCarpet, helps both employees and HR professionals effectively manage change for all critical employee transitions . . . .

If you guessed that the term "offboarding" might also be used, you were right. Both terms are also available in alternative spellings like OnBoarding and On-boarding. The management end of the IT is rich source of neologisms with a particular flavour, of which "critical employee transitions" is just one. Enjoy!

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