Pro’s and Con’s of on-boarding?

Posted by Lawrence Bond January 20, 2020

The day that I started in recruitment at one of the UK’s largest agencies, I was thrown into the deep end. After being shown where the kitchen and toilets were (in that order!), I received my first task of my new career: “Call these clients and tell them about this candidate”! It was scary, I had no idea of the relevant skill sets, who I was calling or what to do when I eventually got through to the recruiters. I made a complete mess of it but I turned out ok (ish). As a result, I’m ashamed to admit that I used to think ‘on-boarding was just “fluff” that had little meaning.

Some years later, I was involved in running and growing a business where I was ultimately responsible for the on-boarding and training process – oh the irony!
When I did this, I insisted that the experience I wanted to create for new staff was relevant to our Company and created an insight for new recruits that sat with our ethos and vision.
The recruitment industry isn’t for everyone and like so many sectors, it’s incredibly incestuous. I wanted our new recruits, especially the trainees, to be so embedded in our Company, the people around them and our objective, that they would be ready for the challenges ahead and wouldn’t throw the towel in when things got tough.
I also realised that, from a commercial perspective, if we were going to invest time in training, we wouldn’t want to lose our newly trained team to our competitors who we knew would be circling.
Our retention rate was superb – This clearly wasn’t just down to the induction process as the entire search and interview set-up was vital too, however we had a cleat strategy and viewed the entire process as a ‘recruitment circle’ that encompassed, recruitment and retention.

What we did to help engagement:

I have always believed that the key to successful recruitment and retention is ‘engagement’, so that was always my first priority. I didn’t rely on the traditional methods of recruitment but aimed to provide a personal service with a human touch, ensuring that the values within our company were translated into my actions even before they started!

“Communication is key” – how many times have we all heard this but do we really do this well? This is one area that I truly concentrate on at every stage of the recruitment circle utilising all forms of communication to capture my target audience and maintain engagement.

Having been converted to the benefits of on-boarding, I set out to find the best way to ensure my new candidates were engaged with the Company and eager to get started. Whilst most induction processes are generic (and a lot of mine was), I was also conscious of the experience within a group of new recruits and adapted the process to fit them.

Our induction processes were generally between 1-2 weeks and normally involved presentations on the Company, meet and greets and lunches with key colleagues. By now the new recruits are on information overload and you have no idea what their thoughts are on the Company, so in line with my mantra – “communication is key”, I’d ask them and we’d hold a feedback session. This meant that if there were any concerns, they could be addressed at this early stage, or if everything was going well, we knew we were getting it right.

That said, there’s no time to sit on your laurels. It’s worth remembering that on-boarding, and integration into a company can take longer than 1-2 weeks and the initial induction is just the start.
Once your new starters have been with you for 2-3 months, ask for feedback on your induction, what would have been helpful to have known? what could you do better? And do they want to play a part in integrating your next new starters?

We know we’re all busy, it’s often the reason we recruit in the first place BUT please resist the temptation to throw work at your new staff too quickly or without managing expectations or gaining ‘buy-in’. Invest time and knowledge (and patience!) and 9 times out of 10, you’ll get a huge return on your investment. We all know the price we pay when we don’t do this effectively!

Given our experience, BondMoran are perfectly placed to offer free consultancy to clients (and perspective clients), to help improve your recruitment and on-boarding process.
Call or email us to have a chat.

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