By Duncan Miller

Most people start a job feeling excited and enthused about the future. The challenge is maintaining this feeling through the critical first few months…

Unfortunately it often doesn’t last - nearly 1 in 3 new employees leave in their first year of employment, according to research from Saratoga and Global Best Practices. How many of the organisations resources then go to waste? You may not have even started reaping the rewards of your investments before the employee has gone elsewhere.

Organisations with a formal onboarding process achieve 50% higher productivity, 2 x higher engagement and 50% higher retention for new hires.

Investment to support the process via technology therefore seems like a clear win-win business case.

We have outlined 5 essential tips for effective Onboarding:

  1. Know that it’s a journey, not a static process.
  2. Done right, onboarding can slash your attrition and keep your high performers working for you, not the competition. Start from what you’re trying to achieve and finish with what can help you do it most effectively. Consider investing in purpose-built technology that supports the delivery of critical processes, from form-completion, equipment allocation and initial socialisation and schedule setting, in order to offer candidates a transparent and personalised transition into their new organisation. This will help to make them feel at home faster and improve their time-to-productivity.

  3. Start the journey as soon as the offer is accepted
  4. For the uninitiated, onboarding is the process of integrating new employees into an organisation. Best-practice onboarding starts as soon as a candidate accepts their job offer (known as pre-boarding when it starts this early) and continues right on through that critical first year of employment. HR can learn from their marketing colleagues by introducing keep warm strategies that can get some of the more mundane form-filling out the way, whilst maintaining buy-in with the candidate and protecting their investment from potential counter offers.

  5. Include a mix of activities: Tasks, Forms, Socialisation.
  6. Good onboarding will cover essential admin activities such as simple task completion and form management; making sure all key information is in place before day 1. Automating this process ensures considerable time and resource savings for organisations. Delivery is also important. Organisations looking to engage an increasingly connected workforce must offer key messages/information via channels they use (mobile, social, face-to-face), in a way they like to consume, for instance, OnDemand. By developing a mobile optimised portal, organisations can connect with new hires every step of the way, delivering a personalised experience with multiple touch-points, tailored content and transparent scheduling. Automation through workflows and dashboard reporting can also help the HR team become more productive, sometimes by as much as 30%, by reducing the need to print and ship documents.

    One last area is Socialisation. It’s vital you think about socialising newbies into your organisation; helping them to understand the culture and values of your business and make the relationships that drive belonging.

  7. Check in with your new hire often.
  8. Don’t leave it too long to check that newbies are happy – or it could be too late! Research by talent management experts, Bersin by Deloitte suggests 22% of employee turnover happens in the first 45 days of employment. A whopping 4% of employees don’t even make it past day one.

    That’s why it’s so important to engage with employees before they have even set foot in the door. Make them feel welcomed and wanted and prevent that last ditch attempt by the current organisation to keep them. Embed, Connect and Socialise through rich media content; company history, key messages, values, believes and culture. Connect them with their team and deliver personalised content for each new hire. All of this can be achieved by leveraging social (internal) and knowledge sharing platforms.

  9. Get everything ready in advance.
  10. Be prepared and ready for their first day. With good onboarding, people know what to expect and what the company expects of them. The best onboarding, factors in training, assignments and networking events at regular intervals throughout the first year. By investing in new employees straight away, you will find them easier to retain. They will be comfortable in their future career development and opportunities to progress. It’s what everyone wants.

    PWC estimates that turnover costs can be 50-150% of the roles annual salary. Coupled with the five reasons outlined above it makes a great case to take onboarding seriously.

For more information about Onboarding and the role technology plays - visit our 'Onboarding Resource Library'



Duncan Miller is a B2B tech-marketing geek with more experience in HCM software than he ever dreamed he would. As UK Marketing Manager of Lumesse, he helps to enlighten HR and Recruitment professionals as to the potential of technology for revolutionising their processes, performance and way of thinking! Whether it is onboarding, offboarding, mergers and acquisitions, or internal moves, Lumesse Onboarding by SilkRoad offers a highly flexible way to automate all of your manual onboarding workflows and processes, allowing you to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time.