Do you know the most effective way to onboard new talent?

“Give a Grad a Go were able to find and match incredible engineering graduates for 360App, that were diligent, passionate and with a growth mindset – that truly helped our team and to shape our product and culture.”

Matthew Snowden, 360App.

Whether you are new to recruiting for your business or looking for new ways to improve your current recruitment process, a well-structured employee onboarding process should be a factor you are prioritising.

Onboarding is the procedure of integrating a new employee into a company and training your new hires. Having a plan will allow your new hires to be fully integrated into your business, giving your hires the structure and tools, they need to succeed, both in the short-term and the long-term.

CEO and Founder of Give A Grad A Go, Cary Curtis has worked with over 1000 businesses over the past 10 years and recognises the importance of implementing proper onboarding practices; “a solid employee onboarding process will allow your new hires to be fully integrated into your business and equipped with everything they need to get straight into their new role and help your business grow.”

Books with words 'Successful onboarding strategy' on beautiful white background.

What are the benefits of having an onboarding plan?

1. Increased productivity of your new hires.
2. Stronger employee experience and increased retention.
3. Help you attract top talent.
4. Promote better company culture.

What are the best onboarding practices?

When planning your onboarding process, it is important to consider what your hires really need from you. The graduate recruitment process does not end when the candidate accepts your offer.

1. Initial post-offer preparation

  • The first and one of the most important steps in your employee onboarding process checklist is to send out offer letters, contracts, and welcome packs.
  • Keep your new hires in the loop about how often they can expect to hear from you in the time before they start and include them in company-wide emails – a great way to make them feel involved before they have even started.​
  • If they will not be starting for a few weeks after accepting the offer, it is great if you can invite them to a social event to keep the momentum up and curb first-day jitters!

2. Pre-start date – before your new hire arrives

  • Organise technology and other logistics during the week leading up to their start date, set up their email address, and ensure that all technology is in good working order.
  • Make sure you have your employee’s desk set up and ready for them. Ensure their workplace is clean and tidy, stocked with stationery and business cards if they are going out to clients straight away, and maybe some company swag.
  • Then, contact the candidate via phone or email, make sure they know what they need to bring (passport, bank details etc.), and who to ask for on arrival.
  • One of the best ways to onboard new employees is to have a mentor to support them. Assign a member of your team who will act as your new recruit’s buddy.
  • Create an induction plan so that your graduate’s first couple of days are not a lonely mix of refreshing their temporary inbox (nope, still just the automatic email welcoming them to Outlook) and looking around in the hope that someone will ask them to do something.

3. Plan an introductory first day

  • On their first day, introduce them to the team and take them on a tour of the office/building/surrounding area (showing them some of your favourite places!)
  • Arranging brief induction sessions with members of your team will help a new starter settle in, understand more about your business, and get started on tasks that will be of value to them and to you.
  • Then, take 10-15 minutes to sit, have a tea or coffee, and explain what will be happening on their first day, and what they can expect from their first week.
  • Throughout the day, encourage them to ask as many questions as possible. Finally, we think it is a nice touch to take them out for lunch or for a post-work drink – showing your graduate hires how much you value them from the start.

4. Create a first-week agenda

  • In their first week, create a clear and structured agenda for your new hire. If they are training, sitting in meetings, or working on projects, tell them when, where, and what they should bring to each one.
  • Then, encourage them to sit down with their line manager or supervisor to discuss their goals, ambitions, and where they see the role developing. Finally, why not kick off their first week by getting them to work on a meaningful task with other team members? This will give them great insight into what the role is going to involve.
  • Manage your and your team’s expectations. Even though your graduate hire or new employee may have some previous work experience under their belt, the chances are they may be new to your industry.

5. Gradually increase workload and organise first-month check-ins

  • Giving ownership of a task, no matter how small, can boost your graduate hire’s confidence and engagement.
  • Consider how you can enhance your graduate’s soft skills too. Could they be responsible for manning the phones for a few hours a day to improve their communication skills, or be working on multiple projects to strengthen their time management?
  • Then, at the end of the month, organise a check-in to ensure that they are enjoying their new role. The check-in does not need to be with a HR team – and can be conducted by a line manager, a team lead, or a mentor. Make sure to use this time to listen, too. The feedback they give can provide a real insight into your company culture, onboarding process, and management styles.

6. Let employees know your support is ongoing

  • Moving forward, you can retain your new hires by providing ongoing support, scheduling regular reviews and catch-ups, provide clear and constructive feedback, run through their achievements to date, and set some objectives in place so they have clear goals to work towards.
  • Think about opportunities for growth and development, rewards and salary reviews, further mentoring schemes, and company-wide perks.

Virtual onboarding – how to virtually onboard new employees

With many offices working from home and using technology to virtually communicate when working remotely, it is important to know how to onboard employees and keep the remote onboarding process proactive, engaging, and productive as possible.

1. One-to-one meetings are vital
This is a great opportunity for your hires to ask questions, and for you to get feedback for the virtual process for onboarding new employees.

2. Create an online community
Creating an online community or virtual hub is a great way to boost morale in your company and provide support. This could be an online chat room like Slack, Teams or WhatsApp group.

3. Use online tools
Use remote training tools such as scheduling software, internal communications platforms, and videoconferencing.

4. Offer ongoing support
Ensure that you regularly checking in with your remote employee to ensure their happiness and success from home.

Conclusion

From the moment a candidate accepts their offer, to your new hire’s first day, week, month and year, the onboarding process is a vital part of graduate recruitment and key to ensuring that they integrate into your business seamlessly and effectively.

Get in touch with Give A Grad A Go if you are looking to recruit graduates in Australia. Their award-winning recruitment services help companies employ staff as quickly as they need to grow and succeed.