MT Expert's Ten Top Tips: Help new employees get settled in

When you've got a business to run, inducting new staff sometimes comes second to daily tasks. Chris McCarthy explains how to get new employees up to speed, fast.

by Chris McCarthy
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
After several years of depressing statistics, figures out earlier this month showed that unemployment has finally started to drop, which can mean only one thing: businesses have started to recruit again.

That’s great news for jobseekers – but for businesses more used to delivering bad news than good, inducting new staff might be an unfamiliar experience. In fact, research for the Hays Journal has found that just three out of ten businesses back up critical appointments with a formal process to settle them in.

We asked Chris McCarthy, Director of Hays Senior Finance, to talk us through the steps companies should take to ensure new joiners are inducted successfully.

1. Keep in touch
More than a fifth of companies admit to little contact throughout a senior person’s notice period.  This is a wasted opportunity to start the transition process to a new company early on.

2. Offer information online
Giving candidates information to download during their notice period will help them get to know their new employer and save time on their first day.

3. Get the essentials out of the way
Ensure you cover things like health and safety guidelines and basic company policies in advance, so as not to waste time once a candidate arrives. Place any company and corporate induction videos online for the same reason.

4. Introduce them to the team
Give new hires access to employee or team profiles, especially for the people they will be working with. It might even be worth giving them access to chat facilities, too.

5. Review induction procedures
Nine out of ten HR professionals reviewed by Xpert HR felt their induction process was not up to scratch – so speak to your HR department to find out whether there’s anything they’d like to change.

6. Support line managers  
The same survey found while line managers were mainly left to carry out inductions, only a fifth were given prior training, with minimal follow-up to find out how the employee felt.

7. Take longer
Three quarters of people surveyed for Hays said a single day was spent helping people make the transition to a new workplace. Lengthening the process improves induction and reduces the chances of the new employee leaving. It also shows you care about new employees.

8. Set clear targets
Set your new recruit up with a diary and a full timetable for their first fortnight. Work together to set out a plan for their first 30 days, which both sides can then amend and develop if they need to.

9. Be prepared
Cover the basics before the employee arrives, stocking his or her workstation with everything from paper and pens to keys and, if possible, business cards. Make sure the phone and computer, complete with voicemail and e-mail accounts, are also set up

10. Remember: it’s a two-way thing
Organisations forget probationary periods are also about employees deciding whether they want to stay.  One in four senior appointments fail due to poor induction, meaning the process has to start all over again – so taking steps to ensure your new employee is happy will save you money and time in the longer term

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