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How To Improve Your Onboarding Process

08.07.21 | Candidate Engagement

I liken recruitment to the early stages of romance, when you are trying to impress each other and everything seems rosy… then you make a commitment, tell everyone and meet the parents. Then the cold-harsh reality hits when you move in, they stop making an effort and you realise they squeeze the toothpaste from the middle. (Just kidding – I’m not that judgmental) 😉

This is the recruitment > onboarding experience that many companies have.  Which is crazy, given that 90% of people will decide within 6 months to stay… or go.  Organisations need to inspire the hearts and minds of their employees, and quick.

Companies are so focused on the “process” element of Onboarding, that they have forgotten the emotional journey of their new hires.  The companies that are truly nailing it understand this fundamental aspect.

Designing your employee-centric Onboarding process

So what are some things to consider when designing “employee-centric” Onboarding?

  • Knowledge is power – explore with your recent hires, your stakeholders:  What is working well?  What could be improved?  Pain points/challenges?  What is the vision?  How do you want your employees to be feeling after their first 6 months?  What are others doing?
  • What resources – time/ money/people are available to you.
  • Get the team involved – the highest performing companies are those that create an Onboarding “culture” where every employee sees the value of welcoming & supporting new employees, and how they can contribute.
  • Communicate-communicate-communicate!  Immerse your new hires in company purpose, culture and values… and where they fit into the big picture.
  • Start Early!  Keep the romance and excitement alive with cool content from recruitment > “pre-boarding”.  If you are starting on Day 1 you have missed a massive opportunity.
  • Use tech to streamline the process, create consistency and communicate.  Freeing up time for stakeholders to invest more of the human element of welcoming new employees.
  • Take time – Onboarding is not a race.  The average employee takes 8 months to get up to speed. So think past 1 week.


Key areas to include in your Onboarding strategy/processes:

  • Compliance – the tick-box side.
  • Culture – Convey the company’s values. What is the work environment like? Company mission? Company “personality”?
  • Social – help them make connections, meet the team.
  • Learning – how can you support and accelerate their learning curve?  Clarity in role and structured roadmap.  Buddy/mentor.


The world over Leaders are looking at how they can improve areas such as Engagement, Retention, Productivity and wellbeing.  Well, Onboarding is where it all starts!

Written by Jenn Fenwick. Jenn is a Career Transition & Onboarding Coach with a special interest in Onboarding Leaders and preventing employee burnout. Having spent 14 years supporting start-ups through to Fortune 500 organisations with Talent Attraction and Career management strategies, she has seen first-hand the challenges faced in finding and retaining top talent.

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