Each New Year brings a new intention for the next 12 months. This is the start of fresh growth for many businesses, after what has been a challenging year. More than likely, you’ll spend some of Q1 reviewing your operations and core processes, maybe including onboarding, as well as working out what worked well (and what didn’t!) and improving the overall effectiveness of your recruitment pathway. So, which part of the process can improve your staff retention rates by roughly 82%*?

“Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit” – Aristotle

It wasn’t much of a guessing game once you referred back to the blog’s title!

Welcoming a new employee into your organisation, regardless of their position, can be a difficult and daunting process for both sides of the operation. There are lots of things to learn and adjust to, so actually creating a space, or period of time, for this to happen is really important. It’s also crucial to have a more structured approach to your onboarding process. This can really set you apart from your competitors, especially if you consider that:

Around 2 in 3 of employers do not have this approach to welcoming new starters (source: Exploding Topics>

It’s important to bear in mind that onboarding begins well before they accept your offer of employment, but we’ll start there for today’s blog.

What should onboarding look like?

The first step towards having an effective onboarding process is to : PLAN. You need to understand what the individual needs to know immediately, what they can master after a few days, and so on and so forth. In order to guide someone into your business, however, you have to know your existing processes yourself. Going through this process will help you to identify potential areas where their input can make significant improvements and create a resource that can speed up this onboarding exercise in the future.

You should work out what equipment this individual needs, what access they should have, what mandatory training should be booked, what documentation needs signing etc.Ideally, this all needs to be mapped out, walked through and finalised before they’ve attended an interview. (You can find an excellent checklist and guide to this part of the process on Workable.com)

The process should be informative, welcoming, engaging and well paced. But here’s a statistic to bear in mind:

“81% of new hires say they feel overwhelmed with information during the onboarding process”. (source : Exploding Topics)

There is A LOT to learn, and it’s easy for a new person within your organisation to feel lost or out of place. So create a program that is self paced and can adjust to the individual’s capacity.

How long should the onboarding process take?

It’s often recommended that onboarding should take a minimum of at least 3 months. Sadly, many organisations really only plan for a day or two, expecting the individual to draw upon previous experience and start delivering immediately. This might have some part to play in the fact that “30% of new starters leave within the first 90 days of starting a new role”.

As mentioned previously, this may need to adjust slightly depending on the individual, as well as the complexity or scope of their role. You should try to do everything within your power to make this transition a smooth and supportive one. That means establishing a good line of communication from the very first interaction.

What is our approach to onboarding?

At ACJ Search, we’ve seen the importance of getting this right. Employees feel more supported, are able to adjust to their new surroundings quicker, and are more likely to stay with their employer over a longer period of time. So, taking care has never been more important. Before we even start headhunting for a vacancy, the team at ACJ Search work hard to embed themselves within our client’s organisation. We’re keen to get a feel for the culture, become better acquainted with the senior leadership team, and review personal requirements for the role in question. For this, we use techniques such as psychometric testing and work closely with a careers coach through the onboarding process.

If you would like to work with a recruitment agency that takes the future of your resourcing seriously, why not get in touch for an initial consultation? You can give us a call on 0121 396 1181 or complete our online form at your convenience.

* – The Circular Board