Is your onboarding process the best it can be?

by Heat Recruitment

A new employee’s first experiences of your company are absolutely pivotal.  The early days, weeks and months spent in a new role will likely shape the recruit’s commitment to, and loyalty for, your organisation in the long run.

Choosing to invest time in a strong onboarding process always pays long-term dividends – and it starts with the first interview.

Creating a good onboarding process in three easy steps

Making a strong first impression

The interview stage is your business’ first chance to establish a fruitful long-standing relationship between prospective new hire and the organisation.  As well as, of course, identifying the right candidate for the vacant post, it is also the opportunity to build rapport and employee buy-in.

Use the interview process to sell your organisation’s culture, team, vision and values, and convince the candidate that your business is a great place for them to build their career.

Follow up, follow up, follow up

Once an offer has been made to – and accepted by – your candidate, it pays to keep the momentum going. Don’t go silent: a recent survey found that 45 per cent had heard absolutely nothing from their present employer between being offered the job and their actual start date.

The period of waiting before a new hire officially comes on board is a golden opportunity to make your new employee feel part of the team. Be sure to share background reading material with them to familiarise them with your business, introduce them virtually to new team members (if appropriate) – and potentially even arrange a team social event with them to meet their new colleagues in advance of coming on board and alleviate the pressure and nerves of the dreaded first day.

A warm welcome

The official first day should be welcoming: where possible, this day should focus on your new hire getting to know team members individually and understand how they will be working together and supporting one another.  Informal one-to-one meetings with each team member are a great way to achieve this.

The new starter should also be assigned some introductory tasks – ideally, under supervision – that they can independently complete during their first week, to give them an immediate sense of ownership and responsibility within your organisation.

How to create an onboarding process

Regardless of sector, the onboarding process for a new role should always cover a few key elements, tailored to fit your business’ unique specifications:

  • Pre-arrival preparations: Provide your new hire with all of the background information they need about your business, values, clients and team to enable them to hit the ground running
  • Workplace introduction: A walk-through of the premises and all necessary health and safety and data security precautions is an essential element of safe onboarding
  • Team meetings: Individual check-ins with other team members is recommended – this can be proactively organised in advance of the new hire’s arrival
  • Set clear goals and responsibilities: Issue your new recruit with specific targets and tasks early on. This will immediately engender commitment and a sense of responsibility, making them feel part of the team
  • Review meeting: It is vital to carve out time at the end of the first week and/or month to make sure that the employee is happy with the introduction they have received – the aforementioned survey found that 41 per cent of respondents quit a job within the first six months, with 15 per cent claiming it was because of not feeling welcome.

Dedicating time to prioritise the onboarding process, answering any questions and alleviating concerns, is a sure-fire way to bolster retention and productivity, and address any potential issues early-on before they become real causes for concern.

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