Candidate –> Can do

You know the feeling when the new recruit who you and your team have carefully selected, set up and organised training for…just isn’t there in the morning? If you don’t, your hiring managers probably do. Because (and it’s a worrying thought) around 4% of new hires leave after a disastrous first day. [1]

And if they’re still there on day two, it still doesn’t mean they’re there for good. Those early days can make or break a new hire’s career. 86% decide whether to leave or stay within the first 6 months [2].

At first glance, a recruit who leaves early on is irritating and costly, but little more. However, Tony Lasocki, Talent Acquisition Lead at Microsoft suggests that the potential damage can go deeper than that. As he says, “Get [onboarding] right and you’ve a productive, happy employee who’s a lot more loyal to the organisation…Get it wrong, and you’ve got an impact on your brand equity.”

How can onboarding help convince people to stay?

At present, only around 9% of HR people believe that their onboarding process doesn’t need improvement [3]. There are three distinct areas to be considered. And they need to start making a difference from day one.

First of all, organisations need to have both processes and culture in place that offer the recruits emotional rewards in the shape of recognition, praise and understanding. Helping people to feel valued can be as simple as managers making sure they’re readily available and teeing up frequent 1:1s from an early stage. Even making sure that their computer and software are ready and available from the first day can contribute.

Secondly, hires clearly need to have a firm grasp of what is expected of them and how they can operate on a day-to-day basis. This should cover their roles and tasks, as well as pay and benefits, rules and procedures, and any paperwork that needs completed.

Thirdly, the onboarding also needs to be built around “soft knowledge” areas – who is in their team and where they sit; who to contact about specific matters; how to find the stationery; where the local shops are and so on.

Doing this will create a great employee experience which will:

  • Make recruits feel welcome.
  • Create consistency in hiring processes and experience.
  • Help people feel they’re able to contribute early on.
  • Promote the brand from first point of contact and make the organisation appear an attractive one to join.

Creating employee relationships that last longer

There remain several challenges that must be overcome if the recruit is to feel part of the business and willing to stay.

Getting new hires immersed in the culture. For HR, it’s essential that new recruits buy into the culture and are happy with both the job and the company environment. With the right culture, it can prove an easy fit – 62% of millennials say they want a career with social purpose, for example. However, it’s not always that easy. Creating a single onboarding process that can apply to a multigenerational workforce at the same time can be a problem. [4]

Covering the expectations and key skills the employee is expected to possess. 26% of recruits leave because either the role is unclear, or it differs from what they were led to understand during the recruitment process. [5] This failure is not that uncommon: 42% of companies don’t identify clear job titles/expectations. [6]

Making sure the right people are involved in onboarding. Onboarding isn’t simply a task for HR. Nor is it one for hiring or line managers. It’s a joint project, and everyone involved needs to be aware of their responsibilities. Orientation, for instance, should mean the employee meeting with the HR manager, hiring manager, line manager and even a member of the board. Involvement at this level can give a clearer view of what KPIs should be set and whether they are likely to be achieved without further training.

7 things you can do to ensure successful onboarding:

  1. Establish a role-based workflow
  2. Personalise a welcome, share an onboarding guide, and track milestones
  3. Suggest networking and mentoring opportunities
  4. Share communities and social groups
  5. Provide an onboarding buddy
  6. Set up systems training
  7. Use a dashboard to track progress

It’s simpler than you might think to develop a powerful and successful onboarding process. Visit our website to learn how Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Talent can help your business create personalised onboarding that improves engagement, cuts down on paperwork and minimises the time before recruits are up and running.

Find out more about Dynamics 365 for Talent





[4] Jenkin, Matthew. Millennials want to work for employers committed to values and ethics, The Guardian, 5 May 2015