Consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton is projecting to add 5,000 jobs by the end of 2009. They hired a similar number the year before even with the current economic climate forcing many companies to freeze their hiring or even lay-off employees.
With growth in personnel, Booz Allen has taken a new approach to replace the traditional training methods or, more specifically, traditional time frames for training. Over a year ago, Booz Allen decided to overhaul their training process and introduced what Booz Allen executives call “preboarding”. The idea of “preboarding” is to begin the procedure of introducing newly hired employees to the company’s climate and culture before ever walking through the door on the first day of work.
“ ‘Preboarding’ is all about getting someone engaged and excited about being here, prior to their actually showing up for their first day,” said Aimee George Leary, Booz Allen Hamilton’s director of learning and development.
The program gives new employees access to an internal web portal with access to company information, “early activities”, and even messages from senior executives as soon as they accept their offer. It is also a way for recruits to start making their first professional connections at Booz Allen before actually being in the office.
“Previously we just had a one-week training program and that was it,” said George Leary. “We just trained people on the [functional] skills they needed to be successful, which meant they would go to a client site and maybe not have all the information they need.”
The purpose of the “preboarding” program is to make newcomers have a better understanding of the company and their role within it before a required week long orientation on their first day, making them more ready to contribute much sooner.
After the completion of this year’s hiring, Booz Allen Hamilton will have over 20,000 employees, most within the United States. They are based in McLean, VA.