5 ways to effectively onboard new employees

The day has arrived: your new employee has got up from a night of restless sleep, gathered everything they need and made their way to their first day at work. They're ready, but are you?

Many HR managers may be wrong about how they effectively bring in new recruits.

According to some startling statistics from Robert Half International, only 50 per cent of surveyed HR managers would call their onboarding process "very effective". Whether they're stretched for time or simply unaware of how important this step is for a new recruit, it leaves plenty of room for improvement.

However, more than half (54 per cent) of all employees surveyed by Robert Half said they have experienced an onboarding mishap – showing that many HR managers may be wrong about how they effectively bring in new recruits.

Efficient onboarding can boost staff engagement and retention, as well as allow new recruits to acclimatise to work and reach their full productivity quicker. When we consider that the cost of a bad hire is often 150 per cent of the employee's annual salary (according to research by Dice), it's more important to bring new recruits successfully into the fold.

So, what should you do during the onboarding process? Here are five things to add to the list:

1) Be ready with technology

The most common reason new employees had a tough first day, according to Robert Half, was because the technology they need wasn't up and running, such as computers, phones or security access cards. One-third of all respondents have experienced this at some point.

While it might be time consuming to get such things sorted, it can be easier should employers start making onboarding arrangements sooner.

2) Get their tools together

Similarly, a further 22 per cent of new employees said the necessary supplies weren't provided on their first day. Those taking on a new trades job, for example, might not have all the tools they need to get going straight away. For office workers, it could be something as simple as a pen and notebook.

No new recruit wants to stand around wasting time; it's likely that they'll worry about giving off the wrong impression by not working, so stocking them with the right supplies on the first day comes highly recommended.

What do you need for your employee's first day?What do you need for your employee's first day?

3) Educate them on company policy

Do you have company policies? According to 16 per cent of the Robert Half survey respondents, their first-day mishap occurred from not getting a rundown on the rules of the workplace. It could set them on shaky ground if they don't understand dress codes, break allocations or the rules around internet usage, for instance.

If you need to create or redraw your employee handbook, take a look at our recent blog post on getting one started.

4) Make introductions

It's difficult for a new worker to remember everyone's name on the first day, but an employer should set some time to break the ice and introduce them to the whole team regardless. Unfortunately, 15 per cent of the surveyed workers said an employer had neglected to do this, leaving them feeling isolated from their peers.

5) Show them around

While making introductions, it's also useful to show them around the workplace. Helping new employees acclimatise is good from a health and safety point of view (they'll know where the fire exits and first-aid kits are located) and will help them feel more at home.

And yet 14 per cent of respondents said they have started a job without being shown around!

To find more tips, tricks and advice, take a look at our recruitment services, and contact our expert team with any questions.