Do not try to get line managers to focus on onboarding
It is futile to try to get line managers to care about onboarding. They do not think they have time for it. They think it is HR’s responsibility. If pushed they oppose the effort either directly or with passive-aggressive behaviors. They just don’t care. And that’s OK. So, stop trying to get line managers to focus on onboarding.
Focus on business results
Instead, support their focus on delivering business results. Now, it just so happens that delivering those busienss results generally requires them to have strong team. Guess what. The first step of building an ADEPT team is Acquiring talent (ADEPT: Acquire, Develop, Encourage, Plan, Transition). And a critical piece of Acquiring talent is onboarding those new team members. Here’s the rub, focusing on onboarding is a distraction from delivering results, but focusing on business results, requires onboarding well. Onboarding is a tool, not a result.
The hiring manager is in charge
This is why the hiring manager should be in charge of onboarding their new team members. Not because they are the process experts. (Process ownership should rest with HR.) But because onboarding new team members well is a critical input into building the team required to deliver the desired business results. The hiring manager does not have to do all the steps of onboarding. Recruiters should recruit. Logistics managers should manage the logistical side of accommodation. Orientation managers should orient. But the hiring manager has ultimate responsibility for the success of their new employees and, therefore, for everything that goes into it.