How To Create An Effective Employee Onboarding Process

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How To Create An Effective Employee Onboarding Process

Help your new hires settle quickly and reduce your staff turnover with our guide to creating an effective onboarding process.

From several stages of interviews to tasks and even psychometric testing, many businesses employ a range of recruitment tactics to match the best talent with the right role; however, new research from Korn Ferry has found that as many as 25% of new joiners leave their new role within the first six months, costing companies between 100 to 300% of the leaver’s salary.

What’s going wrong?

For many of us, few things are more nerve-wracking than starting a new job, with the desire to make a positive impact countered by the need to navigate an alien environment of new people and processes. Supporting a new employee through this adjustment period with a proactive and structured onboarding process can significantly improve the experience and speed up the time it takes to embed a new employee into your company culture.

In addition, with one study reporting that 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for at least three years after having a positive onboarding experience, implementing an effective new employee onboarding process can reduce staff turnover, cutting down the time and money your business spends on recruitment.

The key features of a successful onboarding process

Early integration

Over a third of new employees leave within the first three months because their role was not what they anticipated. This shows the importance of detailed job descriptions and person specifications, so candidates can get a good feel for the role prior to attending an interview.

Emphasising your company culture in interviews will also clearly set the scene for candidates as well as give you the opportunity to assess whether a candidate is a good fit.

Melina Jacovou, Chief Executive and Co-founder of digital recruitment company Propel, believes it’s critical that businesses hire staff that are united by their belief in a company’s culture: “[T]he best companies really understand their culture, where it comes from and how important is to live and breathe it from the chief executive to the shop floor […] This can be very evident when it comes to recruiting staff. Great companies will give you a detailed breakdown of their values and the sort of behaviours they like to see in the staff. ”

Starting your onboarding process during the interview phase can help ease your new recruit into your company culture before their first day. Once an offer has been accepted, start building a bond with your new team member by sharing a welcome video or inviting your new recruit to meet their team in a social setting prior to their start date.

Make a positive first impression

According to research by Deloitte, 4% of new hires leave after a disastrous first day, so making the right impression is crucial.

Getting the basics right will ensure a positive start. On day one, make sure that someone is available to meet and greet your new employee, introduce them to the team and show them to their clean desk where they have all the relevant equipment and logins set up and ready to go.

Providing a company branded welcome kit can make a big impact and can help your new hire settle quickly. Combining useful information such as key contacts and your employee handbook with practical items such as a branded mug, water bottle and stationery will help your new employee feel part of the team.

With a little extra effort, your welcome package can offer an excellent means to bring your company values alive for your new recruit and start developing their loyalty from day one. International advertising agency Ogilvy and Mather’s eight-layered ‘Induction Box’ offers an impressive example. Each layer contains an item representing one of the eight habits that have formed the company’s ideology. Fun and thought-provoking, highlights of the box include a copy of founder David Ogilvy’s book and a slinky.

If you would like more information about branded welcome packages for your new employees, our PrintTeam can help – contact them here.

Structure the induction process

Research from the Allied HR IQ Workforce Mobility Survey found that it takes up to eight months for the average new hire to reach peak productivity.

Speed up your return on investment by proactively removing or reducing the obstacles your new employee will face. A structured induction process will allow you to quickly and clearly cover off the necessary housekeeping items early on, as well as ensuring your new recruit has got to know their team members and key individuals from other teams.

In addition, with a structured process in place, you can discuss and agree performance expectations and set clear objectives with set deadlines that will enable your employee to start adding value straight away. Regular reviews of these goals at key milestones, such as at the end of the first week, month and three months, will not only give your new joiner clear direction, but will also allow both parties to identify and address any issues that may arise during those crucial first months.


Mentoring programmes can also be hugely beneficial in supporting new employees. The Korn Ferry Survey found that while 98% of respondents believed mentor programmes would help new employees, only 53% had implemented a formal scheme.

A mentor doesn’t have to be someone that is going to work with your new employee closely, but a good personality fit is crucial to ensuring the relationship is open and supportive.

Train mentors to offer support and give insight into the business while demonstrating the correct company behaviours to ensure your new employee has a great example to follow.

Take feedback on board

Capturing the views of your new employees’ experiences of your recruitment process can provide valuable information that can be used to improve recruitment and retention strategies. First impressions are lasting and can significantly impact your new recruit’s integration and satisfaction in their new role, so use feedback to continually drive improvements and see your new recruits settle in quickly, reducing turnover and saving your business time and money.

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