A vital yet often overlooked part of The Recruitment Process
How would you want your new hire to feel on the evening before they start working for you?
Slightly apprehensive and a little nervous because they don’t know what to expect?
Or excited and engaged because they do know what to expect?
The period between resigning from a job and starting in a new role is a stressful time for soon to be new hires. Concerns about “have I done the right thing?”, “what can I expect?” and “what will the job really involve?”, are all natural thoughts to have.
A personalised Onboarding and Induction programme prepared specifically for your new recruit will allow you to take steps to lessen the new hires first day nerves, share company values, and build at an early stage a platform for positive engagement.
How can I work for you?
During my career I have recruited over 500 new hires, at different levels of seniority in various business sectors. And I have prepared a similar number of individual onboarding and induction programmes.
Every new recruit and the expectations their employer have of them are different and the programmes I prepare reflect this.
So how would my preparing an onboarding and induction programme work for your business? I would adopt a five step approach –
We would have an initial “no obligations” meeting to discuss your objectives. I’ll ask a lot of questions about your business, the expectations you have of your new hire and we’re agree the outcomes you would expect to see from the onboarding and induction programme.
I’ll prepare a proposal and If you want to proceed, I’ll start work on the programme immediately; I will have gathered enough information at our initial meeting to enable me to prepare a first draft.
The programme I prepare will address the onboarding period before employment commences and the new hires induction period covering the first three months of their employment.
We’ll then meet again to review and discuss the draft. Any required amendments and adjustments will be made. At the end of that meeting you will have an agreed plan.
Finally, I will contact you at the end of months one and two to ascertain if any “on the job” adjustments are required, and at the conclusion of the programme at the end of month three.
Clients questions answered
WHAT VALUE WILL AN ONBOARDING & INDUCTION PROGRAMME ADD TO MY BUSINESS?
The purpose of the programme is to ease the process of transition for your new recruit such that they are able to become effective and “up to speed” as soon as possible. The sooner they know all that they need to know to do their job, the sooner they will become productive and add value to your business.
The saying “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” could have been written about onboarding and induction programmes.
DO I NEED TO HAVE BOTH AN ONBOARDING AND INDUCTION PROGRAMME?
No, but it makes sense to do so. The two should not be seen as being mutually exclusive of each other. In my experience the best programmes run seamlessly as one.
HOW MUCH OF “MY” TIME WILL IT TAKE TO INTRODUCE?
Our initial meeting should take in the region of an hour as should the subsequent meeting during which we will discuss the draft plan I will have prepared.
Thereafter the time required to introduce the programme will depend on the programme itself. In my experience simplicity works best.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
It depends on the amount of work that will be involved in developing the programme. This is usually influenced by the size of your organisation, the objectives set for your new hire and their role in the business.
ONCE I’VE HAD A PROGRAMME PREPARED CAN I USE IT FOR OTHER NEW HIRES?
Yes, you can. I’ll prepare a template that will allow you and your team to prepare comprehensive and engaging onboarding and induction programmes to use for future hires.
Whilst working in-house as an HR Director, a decision was made to relocate part of our client base from the West Country to London. The brief was to recruit a new team of Account Executives and Account Managers in a three month period.
As well as the recruitment brief, we also faced the challenge of preparing a large scale and intensive onboarding and induction programme. We realised how important it was for the new hires to feel part of a team within the business as soon as possible because they had to start managing client accounts from day one.
Before they commenced the CEO and I took them out for dinner one evening, along with their soon to be Manager and a number of their new colleagues. It allowed them to get to know each other in an informal setting and for their colleagues to talk about the company and the roles they would be taking on; all in a relaxed informal setting.
The feedback we received, anecdotal, actual and in terms of work performance showed that it was a good decision to make because the new recruits all integrated into the business seamlessly. Twelve months later they were all still employed and two had been promoted.
One of my consultancy clients had a major problem they wanted me to investigate; employee turnover. The new hires they were recruiting were not staying. 7% were leaving within the first month, 15% within the first three months and 35% within their first year of employment.
The candidate experience during recruitment was positive and the managers who undertook the interviews were all experienced in interviewing techniques.
The problem lay with what happened after the new hire had been recruited, or more precisely what didn’t happen. My client had no formal onboarding or induction programme. There was no contact with new recruits before they joined and the induction programme, such as it was, involved being introduced to (unprepared) new colleagues who were asked to spend 20 minutes or so explaining what they did.
No wonder the new hires felt disengaged from the business. They were literally left to “get on with it”. Conversations with the recent recruits who were still employed highlighted their frustrations with the comment frequently made “I don’t know if what I am doing is right because nobody every tells me”.
Fast forward twelve months and we now have a comprehensive onboarding and induction programme in situ. And turnover has reduced considerably.