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Whilst employment and retention is vitally important to the recruitment process, finding the best candidate and signing the contract is only the beginning. It’s simply not enough for our new generation of workers to be welcomed to their new job with admin tasks and filling in forms. It’s not uncommon for candidates to go through lengthy recruitment processes only to leave a couple of days later as they didn’t transition through a consistent onboarding program. Here’s how to ensure this doesn’t happen:


Successful onboarding starts with preparation and planning well in advance. Most new employees have already bought into your company’s story and want to be a part of that journey but they need to know there is a plan in place to allow them time to absorb what is in store for them. Prepare effectively by tackling administrative matters in advance and setting up their new workspace, logins and equipment to encourage them to integrate into their new surroundings as early as possible. This then frees up the first few days of their role to begin engagement and relationship building with their new colleagues.


Onboarding is a chance to channel the enthusiasm of a new starter into engagement with the team and connecting to the company culture. This engagement leads to employee commitment and could ultimately be the deciding factor in whether they decide to stay. This commitment will mean they have bought in to what your company is about and they are ready and willing to achieve big things. That’s why it’s vital to hold on to your talent in order to unlock people’s full potential.


Make it personal; introduce them to their new team and colleagues, show them their work station and make sure that they are familiar with the company facilities and guidelines including dress codes, lunch arrangements and social media policies. At this stage any guesswork and extra stress should be minimalised. Explain what they need to know before they need to know it, assuring new and existing employees that they are valued and have all the necessary tools to succeed. This clearly shows that you care about your employees, and makes it less likely they will look elsewhere.


A new employee needs to know how their role relates to your company’s overall structure and the big picture. Have regular catch-ups during the initial three month period to ensure they are on track and becoming competent in the role. These should then become more frequent as time progresses and expectations are met. Whilst it is important to let your new employee know your door is open, in reality due to business needs many managers may not be available as much as they would like, in which case, many companies offer a buddy/mentor within the business that can help entrench new employees and ensure a good onboarding experience.


According to the CareerBuilder study, seven out of ten workers admit that they search for jobs as part of their “regular routine” and 35 % are searching for a job within weeks of starting a new position. In essence, retention of staff for many companies is a key focus and by getting the onboarding process right you will help increase your retention rate and reduce your cost per hire. Turnover is expensive so it’s important to protect your recruitment investment with consistency, engagement and information, without being overwhelming. A report carried out by Oxford Economics revealed that replacing members of staff incurs costs of up to £30,614 per person for employers: and that’s without taking into account the risk to productivity and morale of your existing staff.


Create goals that cultivate retention and from these create the metrics for which to measure the success of your new hire, and your adjusted onboarding process. Start with measuring your six month and twelve month retention rates of new hires and compare the results to when you had a manual, inconsistent, or less individualised onboarding process. The most important metrics to measure the success are usually employee engagement, retention, and time to productivity. However you decide to do it, proper onboarding gets employees up to speed quicker and develops them into a valuable asset, embedded within your company.

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