For those of you who are not aware of this term “Onboarding”, – to quote Wikipedia, is the “mechanism through which new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and behaviours to become effective organisational members and insiders”. It is important to note that, to carry out this process effectively and maximise the chances of this employee remaining with you long term, it needs to be far deeper than a 2 day induction and showing someone where the fire escapes are. It is essential that this process starts at the beginning of any recruitment campaign to ensure that you attract quality candidates, secure them in the position, retain them for the long term and enhance your company culture.

However you choose to recruit, whether it be an agency or in house, it is essential that brand, values and culture are clear throughout the candidate attraction process. Ensure that your website reflects your culture and make some reference to what it is like to work for the company. If an agency is involved, do spend the time to let them visit the office, meet some of your team and get to know your culture. When they discuss your role with potential candidates, you want them to act as an extension of your own company, be enthused and get buy-in from the candidate. In a candidate driven market, which is what we are currently experiencing, they could be looking at numerous potential employers and you want to stand out to ensure you engage the talent in your business.

Ensure that every candidate is fully aware of your recruitment process from the start and confirm how many stages there are. If presentations or role play activities are required, don’t spring this on people at the last minute as this can reflect badly on the organisation. Be timely with feedback; if you like someone, don’t leave them hanging on for days to hear back from you, make sure you continue to keep them interested.

Once an offer is made and accepted, be sure to complete the necessary paperwork quickly and efficiently and ideally prior to the member of staff starting on their first day. A first day in a new job can be daunting and a mountain of forms is not going to ease this feeling. If it’s all done and dusted prior, the first day can be enjoyable and allow the focus to be on introductions and training.

You also need to make sure that enough preparation goes into a new member of staff joining; make sure they know exactly who they are meeting on their first day and leave them feeling as if they are expected and planned for. Have the tools that they require to do their job organised and have a full induction planned, including proper introductions to key people in the business and people who they will come into contact with regularly. Joking aside, make sure you do show them where the fire escapes, rest areas and photocopiers are and if you have a dress down day regularly, make sure they know about it! There’s nothing worse for the “newbie” than turning up in their suit when everyone else is decked out in jeans! Consider giving the new hire a “buddy” or go-to person so that if they have queries they know exactly who to ask.

If using an agency it would be worth asking whether they keep in touch with their candidate, periodically, during the first 6 months. This can help to identify any early issues with “onboarding” and allow you to nip it in the bud. Equally, if carrying out all recruitment in house, ensure that someone, aside from their line manager, is keeping in touch with the person in a similar way.

There will undoubtedly be occasions when new recruits don’t work out for the long term, for a host of reasons, but if you apply a process to help them become embedded in your business, you will find that the potential for drop-outs will lessen.


For more help and advice on this or any other recruitment matter, please contact Emma at Elite Staffing Solutions on 01823 429566.