A fresh take on ideas and trends in Human Capital

All Aboard! The Importance of Onboarding

You’ve just ran an extremely intense recruiting campaign, great effort has gone into finding t

(image source)

You’ve just ran an extremely intense recruiting campaign, great effort has gone into finding the right people and the right roles for them, taking a lot of time and money. Once more it was your idea to push the campaign and you’ve delivered a great success of candidates. Well done, pat on the back, let’s celebrate with cake and age appropriate drinks because that’s all done and wrapped up. Well I won’t say no to some cake but it’s far from done.


Your organisation has just put all that time and effort into that recruitment cohort now it’s time to make them feel welcome, engaged and challenged. Despite employers having confidence in their ability to recruit and retain graduates attrition rates for them can reach 86% after 3 years; the main factor for it being a lack of return on their investment. With the millennial generation there is expected a back and forth between them as the employee and the organisation, they’re looking for a mutually beneficial relationship and to be frank that’s what organisations should facilitate.


The process to lower attrition of new hires is called Onboarding and it starts the minute a potential candidate gets an impression of the organisation. By forming this opinion and view of the organisation they’re imagining how they can engage with it and be a part of it, if the organisation then figuratively is all open arms and wanting that individual to be involved then the onboarding process has started. If an organisation makes the candidate feel like they’re jumping through hoops constantly that they need to prove themselves, rather than reveal their potential, then that company is alienating that candidate and if they are hired don’t expect they to hang around for long. Candidates love being challenged but it’s all about the appropriate challenges. If you ask me to do work related assessments such as an assessment centre where I do a trial client meeting I will be engaged, if you ask me to do a repeat of my Maths GCSE I may be sceptical.


Practically speaking onboarding really starts in the first week of orientation. Traditionally this is where the new recruit gets to know the ropes and gets trained for the role, but now it’s becoming more and more common for onboarding methods to be incorporated into these orientations. Having a mentor assigned to the new guy or the boss taking them out for lunch are nice little ways to get a friendly feel to the organisation but what after that? Is there a training plan for progression in place for that individual? Are they being valued for the work they are doing? Are they recognised even after 4 months?


Onboarding is more than just the first week it’s about engaging with employees across their entire employee life cycle. Yes, there can be a drop in the intensity as they get into the roll and the amount of time to monitor onboarding will depend on the job role (consider the difference of a sales executive and a solicitor); it’s all about what is suitable for the individual and how they onboard. The trick to all of this is monitoring and measurement, having the right method in place to see if the individual is being onboarded to the organisation. This doesn’t mean hooking them up in a Clockwork Orange style to analyse them, it means having a record of the efforts the organisation has made towards them and vice versa. This will allow the employee know that a return on investment is being made for them which in turn will benefit the organisation with their efforts. This mutually beneficial relationship is a clear method to higher performance and success within a company.

Have you heard about Employee Implementation?