Tuesday 29 October 2019 5:58 am

How to ace the onboarding process for new recruits

Chloé Compérat is part of the UK launch team at HR software company PayFit.

Did you know that only 44 per cent of new employees report a positive experience after joining an organisation? The first day at a new job can be tough and, if done badly, downright depressing. 

New starters often report poor sleep  or even sleepless nights on the run-up to their first day – it has a massive emotional impact. 

But this doesn’t have to be the case. A good onboarding process can help ease anxiety and self-doubt. 

Perhaps more importantly, it has a significant effect on retention. A huge 90 per cent of new employees take six months to decide whether to commit themselves to their new employer over the long term. So if their onboarding period is a success, staff churn could be reduced. It’s a simple solution to an expensive problem. 

With that in mind, what can you do to improve your company’s onboarding process?

Forget onboarding, start with pre-boarding 

It’s crucial to begin the onboarding process before the first day. Research shows that businesses that have a pre-boarding process retain 81 per cent of their first-year hires.

Engaging your new employees will help them fall in love with your business, and stick around for longer. And this starts with the offer letter.

Think about tearing up the traditional letter. We’ve seen huge success in getting the design team to develop an offer slide or presentation. Keep it short, sweet, fun, and factual. Make sure to include the salary, start date, bonus structure, employee benefits, additional package information, company structure, and a timeline for their first day or week. Some companies even include a message from the chief executive or country manager.

Avoid a boring first day

Get the paperwork done before the new employee starts. It is boring, and could leave a sour taste. Instead, send out those forms and manuals ahead of time, or use HR software to create an onboarding checklist, and to collect personal details and documents. 

Also, assign the new recruit an office buddy before they join. The task of the office buddy is to help new recruits through the first week and make that initial experience enjoyable and memorable, rather than daunting and challenging. Questions that may have been left unanswered can be quickly remedied too. 

Start training early 

In the first week, 76 per cent of employees believe that training is the most important factor. So during this week, it is more than possible to begin training on time management, all common systems and processes, and brand, such as tone-of-voice workshops. 

Challenger bank Monzo has one of the most impressive onboarding first week experiences that we’ve seen. It makes sure that a new employee has received all the vital paperwork before they start. New starters are also set up on Slack, and their Monzo emails are ready before they begin, so that the recruit can dip their toes into conversations or watch from afar.

These simple and practical steps are designed to help employers give their new employee a great onboarding experience – and, crucially, increase the chances of retaining them.

Main image credit: Getty

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