So you are hiring.  Getting it right from the beginning is key to give you the best chance of nurturing an engaged and motivated new member of your team.

In our latest Pulse Check* in conjunction with Reuben Sinclair, a leading recruitment company we asked placed candidates to rate the interview and on-boarding process: 

Less than half (45%) rated their experiences as excellent.  40% said good and a combined 16% said not very good (8%) or poor (85).  In other words, 1 in 6 candidates have had a bumpy start to their new roles, which can of course impact negatively on decisions on whether to stick around in the longer term.

Here we list five top tips to best practice employee on-boarding based on employee experience Pulse Checks we have conducted among thousands of employees.  We also give you some questions to provide food for thought about what works well and what could be improved in your organisation.

  1. Wooing process: The recruitment and interview process set the scene. How you communicate with a candidate says so much about your employer brand.  From the style and tone of voice in the invitation to attend an initial interview, the welcome at reception to the vibe and set up in the meeting room all give your prospective employee evidence of how you treat your people. 

Q:  Are you clear what your employer brand is, and does your recruitment process reflect this at every touchpoint a candidate has with you?

  1. The employee contract:  Good housekeeping here builds trust and confidence. Being tardy with contracts is a big turn off. It looks as if you don’t really care.  A contract is designed to protect both parties and makes a clear statement that you care about your people. Ensure the contract and benefits package corresponds to all that was promised at interview stage and subsequently agreed in any final negotiations

 Q:  Are your staff contracts up to date, checked over by a legally qualified HR specialist from time to time and issued ahead of day one?

  1. The Welcome Pack: Ensure the new hire has received a welcome pack to orient them in their new workplace, ahead of their start date. Ideally this includes not only the company mission, a staff organogram, company processes and polices, but details of CSR initiatives and upcoming company social opportunities.

    Q: Do you have an inspiring welcome pack that is bang up to date and serves to inspire and excite as well as orientate a new employee?

  1. IT: One of the biggest bugbears among new starters is not having their email and access to the system etc. up and running on day one.  This is a no brainer if you want to have engagement from the off. 

Q: Is access to company IT a smooth process for your new starters? 

  1. Meeting the team: We all remember those first day nerves when starting school, college or a new job.  First impressions count.  Ensure everyone knows there is a new starter in the office and assign a buddy to show them the ropes for all the simple stuff from where the restrooms are through to kitchen etiquette.  Tee up relevant briefing meetings so that the employee has a really good sense of where they fit in and who they will be working with.

    Q:Have you reviewed the employee journey in granular detail by asking existing employees how they felt about their on-boarding process?

We asked Rohan Shah, Co founder and MD, Reuben Sinclair, a leading recruitment company to comment:

“The pulse check findings absolutely confirm what Reuben Sinclair have been seeing and experiencing when it comes to clients attracting, hiring and retaining staff. Over the years we’ve seen a real shift from people simply wanting to work for big companies to people wanting to work for great employers. This absolutely starts with the employer brand which should incorporate a compelling employee value proposition.

The interview process is certainly a reflection of what it will be like to work at your organisation including any feedback given. Ensure all hiring managers are congruent in their messages and try not to be indecisive along the way. Be clear and consistent on contractual discussions and don’t see any negotiations on contract as a sign of difficulties to come; different people have different requirements and so always try to understand their reasoning.  

Retention of staff starts on day one and so from feedback we’ve received and in-line with the pulse checks; ensuring your new employees feel a sense of belonging helps them to integrate with employees and clients quicker and in particular allows them to focus on producing their best work. Naturally that will not come if they do not have the relevant resources and infrastructure to produce this work, so do ensure that all available resources and technology are discussed at interview stage and ensure that meticulous new user training is delivered across all tech when they start.

Finally, the first few months can be daunting for any employee, so having a welcoming team with strong inclusive values demonstrated from the beginning is the start of a winning formula.” 

*The one question Pulse Check was conducted in October 2019 among a sample of Rueben Sinclair placed candidates and achieved a 16% response rate.


Annabel Dunstan, ceo and founder, Q&R