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How to create a successful onboarding strategy

How to create a successful onboarding strategy

Hiring managers are all aware that one of the biggest challenges of recruitment is retaining talent once they have been placed. Onboarding plays a crucial role in the retention process; research by Glassdoor found that organisations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%. When invested in correctly, onboarding can serve as a cost-effective way to successfully engage with the employee from the very beginning, and employers are recognising the benefits of creating processes tailored to the individual.

5 crucial steps for successful Onboarding

Whilst there are a number of online tools and systems designed to facilitate the onboarding of new hires, ultimately the personal touch will always resonate more with a new hire.

Here are the top 5 steps:

Develop a bespoke integration and development plan

You can base this upon the assessment reports of your new hire (assuming you have utilised psychometric testing or personality profiling tools during the recruitment process), and / or the detailed feedback from all of the stakeholders that interviewed your new hire.

Whilst it is crucial to ensure key development areas are mitigated, it is equally important to capitalise on their strengths enabling them to deliver quick wins. This will not only provide them with an early confidence boost, but also positively enhance their profile with their new stakeholders.

Involve your new starter in the development of their integration plan

Keep in touch with the candidate throughout their notice period and get their input where appropriate in developing their plan before they start with you. 

Book meetings for your new starter with all relevant stakeholders across the business

Having the meetings set in place before they start ensures they can start establishing relationships and assimilating key aspects of your business’ culture as early as possible. Also consider appointing an internal mentor to help facilitate their integration.

Assign them to a buddy programme upon their arrival

Now quite a popular addition to the modern company’s onboarding process, the buddy programme ensures that the new starter is paired with a knowledgeable peer who can offer informal guidance throughout the first stages of their new role. According to HCI, 87% of organisations that assign a buddy to the new hire say that it's an effective way to facilitate their proficiency.

Set milestone integration objectives for your new starter

The integration goals teamed with regular sit down meetings with them in their first 3-6 months will help keep the momentum of progress. 

Such a tailored and individualised approach, particularly in conjunction with your organisation’s standard onboarding activities will send a clear message to new recruits about their value. Furthermore, they may go on to become your most valuable team member and in turn enhance your career prospects. 

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