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Our onboarding best practices

The onboarding process is one of the last stages in the recruitment process. Onboarding practices can be different for each employer in terms of structure and formality, but a good one will really benefit both parties. It will ensure that new hires adjust smoothly to the skills and attitudes required in their new role and begin contributing to your organisation as quickly as possible.

Here are our best practices for getting it right:

Communicate regularly

It is important to keep your new employee engaged during the time between the acceptance of the offer and their first day. It can help to ease their anxieties and to get enthused about your company and department. Consider whether there's anything they could be doing before they start with you which would be of benefit to them in their early days in the role - the best candidates will naturally want to hit the ground running. Plus it helps contribute towards a positive workplace culture.

Consider online onboarding

There are many benefits to using an online process. Instead of spending the first day filling out forms, these can all be done in advance and entered directly into your system, thereby allowing the new employee and their manager to get down to business more quickly. If you are hiring a full-time remote employee, your onboarding process may differ. Read our full guide to remote onboarding.

Know the arrival date and prepare ahead

The last thing a new employee wants is to turn up on their first day only to find that either they are not expected at all, or that their manager has under-prepared for their arrival. This gives a bad impression of the company and one that is disorganised and uncaring. Make sure you are aware of their date of arrival and that all passes, work stations, computer software, accounts and clearances are ready.

Prepare an induction

A basic role-specific induction outlining their key responsibilities and company orientation should be given on the first day. Consider other necessary knowledge such as health and safety protocol, as you have a legal obligation to make sure your employees are aware of matters such as these. Your new employee should also be introduced to their colleagues and shown how to use any company-specific software to allow them to start work. Don't forget to show them where the toilets, fire exits, and staff kitchen/canteen are. Remember that their first impression of their manager and the company will likely affect their attitude and performance. If you are attentive and enthusiastic, the new employee will feel looked after, develop loyalty towards the company, and be more productive.

Appoint a 'buddy' or mentor

Consider appointing a 'buddy' or mentor if this is not already part of your onboarding process. A more experienced peer is ideal for this role as the new employee will feel comfortable asking 'everyday' questions they might not want to ask their manager.

Go the extra mile

Some managers will invite their new employee out for a lunch or social event before they start so that they have met some colleagues in advance. Others will make the first day special by inviting them to lunch. In all of this, simply treat your new employee in the manner you would wish to be treated.