Advice for onboarding new starters

In the current recruitment marketplace, there is a great deal of competition for the best candidates,
which means that if you have managed to get one of them to the stage of accepting an offer, you
need to be aware that this will not stop other employers and recruiters from trying to tempt them
with alternative opportunities. Similarly, they will be vulnerable to counter offers as their employer
will know it will be a challenge to replace them.

That’s why it is more important than ever to keep in touch with candidates from the acceptance of
their offer, and while they work their notice period, so that by the time they join the business
formally, they already feel like part of the team.

This is particularly important if the candidate has a longer notice period, but it is still worth doing
even if it is only a few weeks.

Here are some suggestions as to how you can start to build a positive relationship with them ahead
of their joining date.

Practical tips

  • If your HR department is handling the administration of the contract to the new employee,
    make sure they send the contract out promptly. If it takes too long, the candidate may start
    to have doubts about joining the business, and as they haven’t signed anything, they may be
    tempted to attend interviews elsewhere.
  • Follow up with a call to make sure they have received the contract, and again when they
    have returned the paperwork, to welcome them to the team.
  • Pencil in another chat in a week’s time to talk about what the first few weeks will be like –
    aim to do this face to face or online.
  • If you are ordering kit for the new starter, give them a call to discuss what they need.

Personal tips

  • Keep in touch via email by sharing links to any news about the business, any emerging
    technologies that might interest them.
  • If you have reading materials that would be useful for them to get a head start on, ask the
    candidate if they would like you to send them over, so they can make a start, if they get
  • Invite them for a coffee so you can get to know one another in a relaxed setting.
  • Invite them in for a team meeting so they can meet others within the business and get a feel
    for what is happening.
  • If you have any social events planned with your team taking place before they start, make
    sure you give them the option of attending.

All of these ‘touch points’ will make a good impression on the candidate and ensure they start to feel
like they are part of the team. Reaching out to the candidate on a personal level demonstrates that
you care about the people that work for the business, particularly if they have come from a business
which does not!

It is worth bearing in mind that most candidates do not move for a salary increase – this may be part
of their reason for moving, but most people will also cite lack of career progression, an unpleasant
business culture or lack of recognition/training within their current role as reasons why they want to
leave. But it’s still a big step to change jobs, and they may get cold feet – it is always worth investing
the time in welcoming to the business, and making their decision an easy one.