How-To Onboard New Hires in Just 10 Steps

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A great induction experience for your New Hires, will definitely help them settle in, and avoid workplace issues in the future.

An employee’s first impressions of an organisation have a significant impact on their integration within the team and their level of job satisfaction. For an employer, effective induction may also impact turnover, absenteeism and employer brand. It’s an opportunity for a business to welcome their new recruit, help them settle in and ensure they have the knowledge and support they need to perform their role.” Source: CIPD

Your employee induction process is often what makes or breaks an employee’s experience at a company. Here are 10 tips to make it great!

1. Introduce your New-Hire to his/her team before s/he starts work!

The moment that your employee comes and signs the employment contract (yes, make it a personal experience instead of an email or regular post; it also saves time & money for the organization, having the employee go through his/her contract with you before s/he is on your payroll), introduce him/her to the rest of the team.

This will result in your New Hires having a clear mental image of their work environment, their desk (or work space) and a first impression of who their colleagues are. That creates a “warm” human feeling that they are joining a great company where they are welcome even before they commence employment.  It also creates a de-facto acceptance feeling/perception by their teammates – avoiding any unforeseen surprises. And yes, there is a chance that a prospect employee might decide not to join you after all; that is ok – it’s not a major business risk nor does it have any effect on the moral of the teammates s/he has met.

This suggestion above, you are not going to find in book and possibly not in google!

2. Send him/her a company brochure and an Employee Handbook.

We all love receiving relevant stuff in our emails or postal boxes; there is no way that one will not be excited by a glossy brochure.

If you have ever received any Company Literature (it can be annual reports for senior or finance new hires, brochures, catalogues, press releases and other pertinent material), then you know that this creates a “magic” moment; a magic feeling that you already are part of a great company.

Same effect has the Employee Handbook: now you -the New Hire- can read and know both your rights and obligations as an employee! And you also feel that the company is both a serious one and you are taken seriously too; they just made sure that you know both what to expect and what is expected from you. And the organization, always benefits from having people commencing employment with clear notion(s) as to what is expected from them.

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Those 2 steps above, ensure a great on boarding experience for your next New Hire- please try them!

3. Plan it – Prepare an induction checklist.

Like anything else, Induction of New Hires, is an activity made of many tasks so you should plan for it. Does your HR Department has a simple induction checklist with all items that you need to take a new employee through?

Yes, a clear checklist – so you can check off what items have been done/are closed (e.g. new laptop and phone, email and other application – accounts set-up, uniforms, planning of safety and other training, etc.) and see what tasks need still to be performed and by whom (e.g. show employee around/introductions, identify all emergency exits, etc.)

By the way, checklists do not need to be pages and pages-long. It defies the concept of a check list.

In you need inspiration, the Internet is full of such checklists.

And remember: any plan you make, unless you communicate it and distribute it within your organization, it will receive minimal support and will affect the success of your induction process.

4. “Who” is your organization?

Plan for a clear formal (but friendly) presentation of the organization, it’s history, vision, mission, what is does, its culture etc.

Also, provide an organizational chart and ideally communicate the logic behind it to your New Hires; if you recruit (e.g. you got 10 new employees starting on the 1st day of the month), have if possible the Heads of the various Department either dropping by and spending 2-3 minutes introducing themselves or even better spend 5-10 minutes on a mini-presentation of their departments.

Obviously, you need to focus more on their team or sector “ ask their new team members to assist in the induction, so it becomes both relevant and pragmatic.

Some technical or specific skill training could be part of this step.

5. Provide them with their Role Description.

Now that they know all about the organization, the logical next step would be to know what they are needed to do for the organization. So, please provide them with a full role-description.

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A lot of people (unfortunately HR professionals too), seem to confuse Job Description and Role Description; even more confusing is that people (HR professionals we are people too) do refer to Job Adverts as JDs (Job Descriptions).

All semantics aside, please provide a clear description on what that role is about, what it entails, what are the required skills, the expected duties and how/what will be the assessment method for the performance of any particular role. This also sets up the stage for Performance Management from Day 1 of the New Hire

A JD is usually 1-2 pages long; a proper Role Description is 10-30 pages long (on the average, we/ HIREghana usually writes Role Descriptions of 10-15 pages).

A Role Description it is also used for the Development/Career Planning of every employee.

By the way, Role Descriptions should get updated periodically since any organization is a living evolving entity, so change is unavoidable.

6. Make them feel genuinely welcome.

That is self-explanatory. Examples?

  • One of our clients has business cards of the New Hire, waiting on their new desk.
  • Another one has a little gift box with a variety of chocolate & candy.
  • Another pays for a long nice team lunch every time a New Hire comes on board.
  • Another posts in all hallways (and corporate social media) a photo and a brief introduction of who the New Hire is.
  • Another provides simply a T-shirt or other merchandise with the organization’s logo.

7. Introduce them to as many people as possible.

Show them around and introduce them to as many people as possible- don’t overdo it of course.

Also, if possible -assuming that your CEO is on premises that day, interrupt him/her for literally 20 seconds and introduce the New Hire(s) to him/her.

You can understand what moral boost those few seconds would be for all your New Hires. And a Great Leader, will make a 20-second time to welcome his/her new employees even if s/he is in the midst of an extremely important meeting.

Think how powerful a message that gesture sends to all employees in the organization!

8. Allocate/Assign a Mentor to every New Hire.

Yes – that simple!

9. Add a personal note at the end of the 1st Day.

That simple – spend 5-10 minutes with the New Hire before s/he goes home and inquire about how their 1st Day was, what they like, what information or even tools they might be missing, and any other feedback you think is relevant/applicable to your organization.

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What you are actually doing in a subtle way, you are kicking off employee satisfaction and employee engagement from Day 1!

10. Follow-up/don’t abandon your New Hires.

Unfortunately, most HR and Hiring Managers, think that induction is a 1- time/1-Day event.

Schedule a few face-to-face support meetings with the new employee after a few weeks, or at the end of the 1st, 3rd, 6th or even 12th month too. These are to be support- type meetings and not performance management ones! Just -please- find out for example how they are doing, how they are integrating with their team, your whole organization and its culture, what challenges they might be facing, etc. Actually, that kind of follow-up indirectly supports great Performance and Progress Evaluation meetings.

Web-based Onboarding Software?

There are plenty of Web-based Onboarding solutions for your intranet and/or extranet; that does not imply that a given solution is cost-justified and it would add value to your very own organization.

But if you decide to go down that path, make sure that this is not result into a lazy (for the HR and Hiring Managers) and impersonal induction process; that can be such a turn off for any New Hire.

In Conclusion

An Employee Induction can be overwhelming- do not overload them with too much information.

Golden Tip: Explain to them the purpose of every piece of information you have provided them with and why they need to learn all that.

All New Hires need to feel at home, it is a basic human need to feel welcome and part of a group.

Help them feel so and they will become very productive in the shortest possible amount of time.

What we have suggested here, it just involves a little bit of planning and also an equally little effort from management, and all could reap the rewards of a fully inducted productive New Hire.

A good induction should be lots of fun, interactive and involve disseminating information in a variety of formats. Don’t turn it into Death- by-Powerpoint!

Thank you and Good Luck with your next hire,

Irene welcomes your feedback/comments/ remarks/ suggestions via your email message to

© 2017 Irene Gloria Addison and © 2017 Human Intelligence Recruitment

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