What is Career Planning and when should it start? Career Planning in its most basic form is displaying an organizational chart and showing a new hire where they fit into the total picture. When the on-boarding program extends over a period of time (90 days to one year), Career Planning can be a well-thought out event that becomes part of your employer branding. Career Planning may include these key components:

On-boarding Program: New hire learns compliance rules and regulations, understands job clarification and expectations, learns organization culture norms, participates in socialization events to establish relationships and information networks, and develops knowledge and skills through training.

Performance Appraisal: Once the new hire’s performance is measured, he/she the supervisor discusses the development gaps with the new hire.

Individualized Development Plan (IDP): The supervisor and employee work together to determine a plan to close the performance gaps and develop the competencies expected to move up within the organization. This includes determining the support (coaching and mentoring) they will need. This is where “career planning” starts.

Career Development: The organization provides learning interventions to close the gaps and prepare the employee for the next career level. The employee may also attend learning interventions independent of the organization.

Career Management: This is the responsibility of the employee but can include the organization in some cases. The development plan should align the employee’s competencies with the job competencies required at each level for career advancement.

Helping your people shine.
Many companies believe that employees make their decision to stay or leave within the first 6 months of employment. Adding Career Planning as a component in your on-boarding program adds value, helps to engage the employee, ensures new hires that there is a long-term plan for them with the company, and may influence their decision to stay with the organization.

Integration of Career Planning in on-boarding is a good approach. However, for it to work effectively, an upfront and continual needs analysis is required, as well as, documented procedures of all functions and an effective training and development program.