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The importance of new employee ‘onboarding’

Why don’t people stick around? – the importance of new employee ‘onboarding’


Yellow sticky note saying 'I quit'

Back in the day, the promise of your salary paid correctly and on time was enough to keep a decent and loyal work force in place. It seems that people these days are looking for so much more from their employers. A good pay packet just isn’t cutting the mustard when people are looking to change jobs or careers.

High staff turnover is a problem that can affect many areas of a business. It adds strain to fellow employees; additional costs for recruitment & staff cover; it impacts moral and overall productivity; and those are just some of the downsides.

Companies with high staff turnover will often see the majority of employees leaving during their probation period. Why?

Imagine you have just secured a new job!

The interview process went well, the company is promising and you feel you can really add something to the business. You received an email saying “You are hired! Congratulations! We would like you to start next week” and you are excited and looking forward to your first day.

The way you feel on the first day of new job, and how that progresses through your probation period, can make a huge impact. If that feeling is one of disorganisation, lack of planning or disorientation you will be left deflated and wondering if the move from your old job was the right choice to make after all.

When should onboarding start?

As an employer, you have painted a picture and made an impression during the recruitment phase. Now you have to live up to those expectations as much as the candidate has to live up to their CV. It’s not all about the package on offer and the benefits awarded for reaching targets or longevity. Those things will pale in significance if your new employee feels they’ve been mislead or simply left to get on with it without any guidance!

To provide the best experience for all new employees and to keep that excitement alive, a good onboarding process should start from the moment the job offer is made. It’s not a process that begins with a H&S induction or the first Teams meeting you remembered to invite them to. Or on the first pay day when they ask why they haven’t been paid and you realise you haven’t told payroll they’d started yet!

What does good onboarding look like?

The process should be like a well-oiled machine, waiting to kick in as soon as a candidate says ‘yes’. The process should ensure that your new employee is made to feel welcome and receives relevant information at the right time. Once an offer has been made the candidate should not be left lingering, wondering if a written offer is ever going to arrive. Lingering uncertainty may lead to losing a candidate, even after a verbal acceptance has been given.

This doesn’t mean that contracts have to arrive an hour after an offer has been accepted, it just means that the candidate should be told when to expect the written offer, making sure that whoever has job of putting that together (myHRdept usually) has agreed the timescales. An  onboarding process mapped out with timescales ensures that all parties, and most importantly the candidate, no what to expect and when.

At the start of employment there should be an induction which introduces them to the business, their role and areas or people that can support them and answer any questions. As well as meetings and buddying opportunities, a good induction will include structured information delivery in a variety of forms – we find videos here can be particularly effective, not least in terms of time.

Don’t have time to design your onboarding process?

Don’t panic!

myHRdept have helped countless employers form onboarding (and offboarding) processes, and this can be a great way to get even more value from the support hours that come with most myHRdept outsourced HR packages.

We can review your current processes with you and help you build a good onboarding process that works for your organisation, thinking through what you and the employee need before they start, and then during those first few days, weeks, and months.

Need to build your HR agenda?

Our team of HR Business Partners & Learning & Development specialists can help you build and deliver a meaningful HR agenda for your organisation. 2023 is our 21st year of HR outsourcing, and we’ve added full-service outsourced payroll to our HR services too – co-joined quality payroll and HR with no duplication (handy for onboarding!) and a single point of contact.

Do your people managers need training?

See our 2023 management (and staff) training schedule here.

myHRdept clients can redeem support hours against all of our scheduled training programmes without spending another £. Our exclusive member’s area contains free video training resources too, just for our retained clients.

If you’re thinking of outsourcing your HR, payroll or employment law needs, why not contact myHRdept? Call us on 01628 820515, email us at to discuss your requirements, or contact us via our website and we’ll call you back.

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