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  • Nicky Webster-Hart

Why is your employer onboarding process so important?

The importance of onboarding

They say that first impressions count - they really do and in fact last well beyond that initial moment. If the onboarding process is a negative experience for an employee then the perception of a new employer becomes negative and then that becomes the reality. The psychology behind it tells us that this is thanks to something called the primacy effect. This means that when someone experiences something before other things, in a sequence, they remember that first thing more. In the end, the perception you construct initially will become your reality.

Therefore, for an employee joining an organisation it makes sense that the onboarding process be positive and reflect the organisation; its culture, ethos and working practices. In a candidate led climate with businesses struggling to retain talent a good onboarding experience can make all the difference between retaining key talent and improving overall performance and high staff turnover and loss of revenue from constant hiring and training. It can even help ensure that they join you.

Start your onboarding process from the moment they accept

Competition is so fierce right now, in what is being dubbed 'the war for talent', you need to start the onboarding process with your future employee from the moment they accept your offer. Go quiet, they'll go cold, disengage or go elsewhere. It is not uncommon for new hires who accept an offer, yet fail to show up to their first day of work (a whopping 22% of job seekers in one Indeed survey).

What does onboarding success look like?

Gather opinion and be creative. There are platforms that support the onboarding experience and can show you how engaged your future hire is, but the most successful will be one which involves a personal approach. Start with a video congratulating them from the hiring manager about how excited they are to be having you on board with them soon. Put them in touch with future colleagues and any mentor that you might be providing as part of the onboarding. Share with them anything that might be useful to get them onboard. Make sure it is easy to consume, so anything under 5 minutes in total. It is easier to break things down into smaller chunks and maintain regular contact, rather than sending a load of information in one go.

Identify how you can deliver an onboarding experience with a lasting impression

The most important factors in those initial experiences within an organisation are those that can set up a long working relationship. You want to tailor those first few days so that they close match your culture and ethics and leave a lasting positive impression. As starting point, here are some pro tips:

  • Don’t overload, give time after each part of training for your new hire to get used to the system they have been trained on.

  • If you can, offer a range of onboarding options; instructional videos, online training, knowledge guides and perhaps a scheduling link so that if they need or feel more comfortable with live training they can book this (keep in mind we all learn and process information differently).

  • Make sure their tech works before you send it to them - try out their passwords/devices and make sure everything is set up for them correctly (don’t set them up for failure before they have even started).

  • Get an idea of what level of training they will need - you may have someone who is tech savvy and has used similar systems in a similar business in the past so may not need the full breadth of training but others may need a little more time - keep in mind that both are equally valid.

  • Check in on what level of support to offer - are you inclusive to their needs? Ask what you can do to help them learn, understand and feel included in their new environment.

  • Give them a workplace training buddy, someone they can check in with if they have questions or just who can call upon for a zoom coffee and a chat (if not in the office - getting to know people is really important to establish working relationships and team building).

  • Give them opportunities to meet the team they are part of individually (either in person or via zoom) so they can feel comfortable and included.

  • Once the onboarding process has completed ask for feedback and be prepared for it not always be positive and to use that information to continuously improve. Give your new employee the freedom to express how things are going, good or bad.

These would give someone who is new to your organisation a positive introduction where they are left feeling included, wanted, supported and valued. This in turn provides a positive experience with strong employee engagement which is important in terms of talent retention and why the onboarding process is so important. It can help to boost retention figures and often many of the reasons that candidates leave in the first year are down to the lack of support and onboarding.

Use a specialist recruitment partner to support with onboarding

When you partner with a specialist recruitment partner, you will gain an extension to your team and they can shoulder some of the onboarding process. They will keep communication channels open with your candidate and help to build the excitement about this new opportunity.

Partner with Auxeris

Auxeris the 15% agency will help you save on your recruitment costs. You can expect to receive support in both permanent recruitment as well as extended services in our temporary staff solutions, including payroll management, timesheets and identifying employer costs. We’re powered by experts, with a network of specialist experienced consultants who work with clients across a number of sectors and roles. We understand the importance of partnering with hiring teams for large recruitment briefs, particularly across a number of sites. We'll work with you to understand the culture of your business and how to create engaging recruitment briefs that will identify the type of candidates you are looking to hire. In doing so, we can help you to reduce your employee attrition rate. Find out how much you can save using our online calculator here.

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