You attended your interview, and everything went well. Now you’ve been asked to attend an orientation session, and you’re wondering, does orientation mean you got the job?
It’s frustrating, isn’t it? Employers aren’t always clear about the steps in the hiring process, and because of poor communication, they leave you wondering if you’ve been hired or if you’ve got some more hoops to jump through.
So let’s straighten things out.
When Does Orientation Mean You Got The Job?
Usually, if an employer asks you to attend orientation, then you’ve got the job. But that’s not always the case.
Most employers send out a conditional offer of employment once they decide to hire a candidate.
The job offer is conditional because they often want to carry out further checks before they make a final offer.
The most common pre-employment check is a background check, and many employers also carry out drug tests. The conditional offer will tell you what checks they need to do.
Once you’ve passed the pre-employment checks, your employer invites you to attend orientation.
If this was the process you went through, then orientation means you got the job and your orientation session will be on your first day at work.
When Is Orientation Still Part Of the Hiring Process?
Sometimes, an employer will ask you to attend orientation before they’ve carried out those pre-employment checks.
This is fairly common in the trucking industry, for example, where candidates are asked to attend a residential orientation where they learn about the company and the job responsibilities, have their driving abilities tested, and undergo a background check and drug test.
Then, if they pass the tests and checks, they’re offered the job and they go through to the next part of their orientation. If they fail the checks, they’re sent home.
If you haven’t received a conditional offer of employment, then your orientation could be part of the hiring process, rather than your first day on the job.
The easiest way to find out if you’ve already been hired is to call the employer and ask.
Do You Get Paid For Orientation?
Yes, if you’ve already been hired, you’ll be paid for the time you spend during your orientation session. Your orientation is your first day at work and you’ll receive your regular rate of pay.
If the orientation session you’ve been asked to attend is part of the hiring process, you may get paid for your time, but there’s no guarantee. However, if you’re asked to do some productive work during your orientation that would otherwise be done by an employee, then you’re entitled to receive payment for that work.
Some employers will offer travel expenses or provide meals and refreshments during unpaid orientation.
What Happens At Orientation?
Think of orientation as your welcome session. When an employer runs an orientation session, they want to accomplish several things.
- Provide an overview of company culture
- Introduce new hires to supervisors & colleagues
- Explain job responsibilities
- Give a tour of the workplace
- Onboard employees
1. Provide An Overview Of Company Culture
Orientation usually starts with a history of the company and an explanation of its current objectives and values.
Company values often come in the form of a mission statement and outline what the company does, who its customers are, and how the company wants to serve its customers.
2. Introduce New Hires To Supervisors & Colleagues
You’ll be introduced to your direct supervisor and to any other managers you’ll need to report to. There’s often time to start getting to know the other new hires at the orientation session, and you’ll get to meet some of the current employees as well. Once you’ve met a few people. You’ll feel more at ease, and less like a fish out of water.
3. Explain Job Responsibilities
Your manager will run through your main duties, tell you what they expect from you, and explain how you should behave. Most employers show you the employee handbook and employee code of conduct, which cover all the policies they expect you to follow, and you may be asked to watch a series of training videos.
Specific job training may take place during orientation or during your first days and weeks in your new job.
4. Give A Tour Of The Workplace
The type of tour you’re given will depend on the type of workplace you’re in, but the key features of orientation tours are fairly similar.
You’ll be shown the staff entrance if it’s separate from the main entrance, and you’ll be taken to the employee break room or lounge, bathrooms and changing area, clocking-in station (if applicable), manager’s office, and first aid station.
You’ll also be taken around the workplace to get an idea of how the entire operation works. And of course, your manager will show you where you’ll be working.
5. Onboard Employees
Onboarding is when you sign your employment paperwork, and provide your ID and social security number so HR can get you set up in the system.
As part of the onboarding process, you’ll also need to supply your bank details so you can be paid by direct deposit.
Some employers require a photo of your ID badges and if so, they’ll take the photo during your orientation. Make sure you’ve got a comb and anything else you’ll need so you can tidy up before your photo.
All employees are legally required to fill out Form I-9 on their first day of employment. This form asks you for some standard personal details, and then your employer will fill out the rest of the form. Another form you need to take care of is your W-4 for your withholding allowance.
What Should You Wear For Orientation?
Unless you’re working in a sector where everyone wears a business suit, smart, casual attire is usually fine for orientation.
Pants or a skirt worn with a shirt, blouse, or polo are safe choices. Don’t wear jeans, yoga pants, or joggers, and make sure your clothing is clean and tidy. Wear long sleeves to cover tattoos, and keep makeup and jewelry to a minimum until you know what the company dress code allows.
What Should You Bring To Orientation?
Your employer has a legal obligation to establish your identity and your right to work, so you’ll need to bring a suitable ID to your orientation.
A U.S. passport, passport card, or permanent resident card establishes your identity and your right to work. If you’re using a foreign passport, you’ll need a work visa and your arrival record.
The documents you can use to establish your identity include:
- State driver’s license
- Federal, state, or local government ID card
- School ID card
- Voter registration card
- S. military ID
- School report card (under 18)
- Doctor or hospital record (under 18)
- Daycare or nursery school record (under 18)
The documents you can use to prove your right to work include:
- Social Security card
- S. birth certificate
- S. ID card
Your employer will need your social security number for payroll purposes, and your bank details to get your direct deposit set up.
During orientation, you’ll have a lot of new information to take in, so it’s a good idea to have a notebook and pen, or phone with a note-taking app with you so you can make notes.
Since you won’t know what refreshment facilities are available at your workplace, take some snacks and a drink with you.
Do You Need To Clock In For Orientation?
If your employer wants you to clock in for orientation, they’ll tell you when you arrive and they’ll show you what to do.
Your employer should have given you instructions telling you where to go when you arrive, but if they haven’t, go to the reception desk, customer service desk, or security desk, give your name and specify that you’re attending orientation. Then they’ll tell you where to go, or call someone to come and get you.
How Long Is Orientation For New Employees?
New hire orientation can take anywhere from a few hours to a week. It depends on the type of job you’ve been hired to do and the company involved.
For basic jobs, orientation usually lasts from half a day to one day. The employer wants to help you find your feet, complete the onboarding paperwork, then get you to work as soon as possible.
For more complex jobs or for managerial roles, orientation will take longer because there’s a lot more information to cover.
If you need time off from your current job, or you need to arrange child care, call and ask the employer how long orientation will take so you can make the necessary arrangements.
Wrap-Up: When Does Orientation Mean You Got The Job?
When you’ve already received a conditional offer of employment and passed the required pre-employment checks, it’s safe to assume that being asked to attend orientation means you’ve got the job.
If you haven’t received a conditional offer of employment, then the orientation could be part of the hiring process. Call the employer and find out.
When you attend your orientation, wear smart clothing, and don’t forget to bring your ID documents.
Robert Eric (a lover of Cats and Dogs) is the co-founder of HireFelonsJobs. In our search for a better life, after… A platform was created for the purpose of easing the search for ex-convicts.