Creating an engaging employee onboarding process

By Eventus Recruitment Group

23 May 2024

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There’s a famous saying – first impressions count – and this couldn’t be truer for when people start a new job within a new company. The first days and weeks of a new job set the scene for things to come and are vital to ensuring that the new employee settles into the company. A key part of making new employees feel welcome in your company is your onboarding process.

Recently we placed a candidate into a new firm. Every time we checked in with them after starting their new job, they always told us how great their firm’s onboarding process is, even weeks into the role.

Why is your onboarding process important?

Jo Hood, principal consultant at Eventus Recruitment commented: “I feel so strongly that the onboarding process is a critical part of the recruitment process and needs to be viewed as part of the recruitment process. Sure the candidate has accepted and started. However, a lot could still go wrong if these early days are not handled with the same level of professionalism and care that the employer has portrayed at interview stage.”

So, how can you be sure that your onboarding is welcoming?

There are many ways to enhance your onboarding process. An engaging and successful onboarding process should go beyond completing paperwork, communicating role expectations and setting up workstations.

Decorating their desk

Ensuring they have everything they need to get started with their new job is a must. Provide them with stationery and ensure they have everything they need to do their job comfortably. See if they have a preferred brand of technology or if they need a monitor.

Some extra things you can do to make your new employees feel welcome include:

  • Decorating their desk area with a welcome sign, balloon or gift.
  • Put small gifts on their desk at the start of each day on their first week.
  • Ask them if they require any adjustments to their desk / working area and purchase these for them. For example, footrest, back support etc…

Introduce them to everyone within the business

Beyond introducing new starters to colleagues who they will be working with, it’s best practice to also introduce them to all managers and other teams within the organisation. On top of this it’s important that they are also introduced to clients, key customers and suppliers who they will be working with.

Ideas for introducing new employees to the team

Here’s some ideas for introducing new employees to your existing team and clients:

Before they start:

  • Send a welcome announcement to your company announcing the new employee and their start date. Another notification the day before the someone new starts to all employees can prepare them for some positive change and remind them to be on their top form. Also, an announcement to the team once they arrive for everyone to introduce themselves also helps.
  • Hold a ‘meet the team’ day prior to their start date would bring a gradual introduction to the team, meeting colleagues before getting straight to business. This would also help for the new member to see the team culture. Also, if there is a team meet up/social event planned near the time of them starting, why not invite them along? This way, the new start can meet everyone in a more relaxed and open setting, with less pressure. By the time it comes to the start date, they have met everyone, and the first day nerves are much more settled.
  • Inform key clients relevant to the new employee that a new person will be joining the company. This will be appreciated by both the client and new member of staff, as it shows you value the client’s relationship, and it will help embed the new person into the team. The employee can then follow up with the client when they start.

When they start:

  • Arrange an induction and meetings for the new starter with the heads of each department and key personnel they will be working with.
  • Take them out for lunch or pay for them and the team they will be a part of to go for lunch together.
  • Show the new starter around the office and introduce them to all teams.
  • If there is a games or staff room give them a longer lunch in their first week to help them to get know other people within the company.

Goal setting and Check-ins

Starting a new job is always difficult with there often being new systems and procedures to learn. In addition, new starters need to know what is expected from them from the get-go and have support in place… So, employers need to make sure new members are welcomed and included from the get-go. From their first day, goals should be set so they have achievements to chase. As well as this, regular check-ins, every few days but if not then certainly weekly, should be made. 

Having a meeting to see how they are settling in and finding the workload can help to see if they are on the right track, or if adjustments need to be made to be more suitable to the individual. A candidate who recently placed said that they found the meetings they were having with their manager every other day were really beneficial to them settling into the firm. Personalising each staff members career development is crucial for motivation and productivity, and will only help a new start feel at ease.

Welcome kit

Just before they start, or on their first day, a welcome kit is a nice gesture to new starters. This could include maybe a company mug, a pencil case, office necessities or even some snacks! Importantly, this a great opportunity to showcase the company values by reflecting them in a welcome kit, and it introduces them to the culture. For example, one of our core values is Fun, so an office desk toy would reflect this.

Other things to do to make them feel welcome include:

  • Tour of the office on arrival and how things work around there, including the little things like making brews or washing up.
  • Share all the group activities/culture/plans with them before starting to get them excited about working in a great team and looking forward to starting/reducing nerves.
  • Make the documentation/employee handbook engaging and fun instead of just listing off all information because you have to. Make them excited to read it and learn.

Buddy programme

Partnering a new starter with an experienced member of the team can be extremely helpful. The original staff member can act as a buddy and be there for the new start to help with whatever they need. Whether this is teaching them how to use the new software, or just showing them where the bathroom is! It’s the little things that make someone feel involved from the very beginning that really boosts a new members confidence. Resultantly, they are likely to feel part of the team much more quickly.

About the Eventus Recruitment Group

We work closely with our candidates to find out what they want from their employers. So, if you require advice on your onboarding process, we have a thorough understanding of what works best.

We recruit in all jobs within Law, Finance, Accountancy, and Financial Services as well as support functions within firms. With over 90 years combined recruitment experience, we recruit for you to the highest standard.

Don’t hesitate to contact us for a confidential discussion about your recruitment and onboarding processes by emailing [email protected] or calling 01524 34400.

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