Every HR team knows that getting the onboarding process right is critical when it comes to giving new employees the best chance of succeeding in their new role. And perfecting your onboarding process can also make a real difference to staff retention rates, as 22% of staff turnover occurs within the first 45 days of employment.
Clearly, many new starters decide whether they have a future within an organisation within the first few months of joining. So if you want talent to flourish in your company, you need to ensure you’re giving new employees everything they need to settle in to their new role quickly.
Here’s our three top tips for giving your new employees a solid start…
1. Be prepared for their first day
Whenever someone new joins the team, there’s a fair amount of admin to be done, but nobody wants to spend their first day filling out forms and waiting to be set up on your systems. So take a proactive approach and get as much of this admin out the way before your new employee arrives. Making sure they have their own employee login, getting their workspace ready for them, and giving them all the equipment they need to do their job will give them a far more interesting and productive first day.
You should also stay in regular contact with your new employee after they accept the job, as engaging with them will show them how excited you are for them to join the team and hopefully calm any nerves they may feel. Sending an email answering some of the questions they may have - such as what they should bring on their first day, a brief agenda for the day and your dress code - can make a real difference.
A good applicant tracking system will make this easy, as it should give you the ability to send out automated emails to collect the information you need from your new starters before they arrive. With Reach ATS, you can customise these emails to specific roles, so you can ask new employees anything from whether they’d like to join your private healthcare scheme to their uniform size. Our system then sends the relevant information to the right departments - we’ll tell your procurement team to order the right size uniform, for example, and inform your finance team about employee benefits. This way, you can be sure that everything’s ready for their start date.
2. Make them feel welcome
On that all-important first day, your main focus should be on making your new employee feel welcome. Their manager should be there to welcome them when they arrive in the morning and set time aside to answer any questions they may have, as in a recent survey 96% of new employees saw one-to-one time with their direct manager as crucial to a good onboarding process. As hiring managers are typically busy people, be sure to remind them about their new starter;’s first day at least a day in advance, so it doesn’t slip their mind. Reach ATS sends an automatic reminder to the hiring manager for you, so you can be sure that you won’t forget either!
If possible, you should also give them a mentor - ideally someone within their team - who can show them around, take them to lunch and introduce them to others. Choose this person carefully - this should be someone who’s got good interpersonal skills and can really bring your new starter into the fold. By giving your new employees a warm welcome, you can help them to overcome one of the biggest challenges of starting a new job - fitting in with the culture and the team - so they can focus on getting to grips with their new role.
3. Provide ongoing support
How long is your existing onboarding process? While three months is typically accepted as the optimum length of time for onboarding, extending your program could benefit both your business and your new starters. Because in today’s competitive job market, one-third of new hires search for a new job within six months or less of joining a new company - so no matter how good their first day is, it’s clear that employees need ongoing onboarding support to ensure they grow in their role.
You can provide this support by regularly checking in with them to see how things are going, so they have an opportunity to share any challenges they’re facing or voice any concerns they have about any aspect of their role. Their manager should also meet with them often in those first few months to review their progress and make sure they have all the support they need to meet their performance goals. During these meetings, managers should aim to help them understand how they’re contributing to your organisation’s wider business goals, so they know that they’re a valued member of the team.
Simplify your onboarding process
We know that when you’re constantly recruiting for new roles, ensuring those that you’ve just hired are settling in and reducing their time-to-productivity can slide down your list of priorities. So our top tip is to automate processes wherever possible - Reach ATS, for example, can help you to create templates for every step of the onboarding process, so you just need to fill in a few details to stay in touch with your new hires from their application to their first day.
To find out more about Reach ATS, call our team on 01527 574408 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.