Need help choosing an ATS?

employee onboarding: 8 ways to 'wow' your new hires.

Adrian McDonagh

Stop posting offers of employment to your new hires. Go digital, with low cost (sometimes, free) e-signature software, you’ll save days and weeks.

Great, you’ve made your awesome new hire - but did you know a staggering 28% of new hires leave just 6 months into a new job?

Yet, 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experience great onboarding.

And that, in 2 simple stats, is why getting your employee onboarding process up to scratch is an absolute key to improving your employee retention and overall recruitment efforts.

Now, don’t panic. Employee onboarding doesn’t have to eat up all of your time (or budget!). As long as you’ve got a streamlined and personalised process - you’ll soon be on track to setting up your new recruits for success. And, in turn, preventing those premature resignations from coming through HR’s door too.

Here are hireful’s top tips when it comes to building an employee onboarding strategy that works for you.

#1 automate the paperwork

pile of recruitment onboarding paperwork

Stop posting offers of employment to your new hires - or even worse, getting them to come into the office. Go digital, with low cost (sometimes, free) e-signature software, you’ll save days and weeks when getting your new hires to sign on the dotted line.

Most e-signature products will automatically send a copy of the signed contract straight back to their email address too, so you don’t have to worry about this part.

Why not gather any other information you need from your new hire before their first day too? Online form builders are a great solution for this. Gather details like their uniform requirements, payroll information or emergency contact details all in one place. Saving time on their first day for more valuable experiences.

Don’t forget - If you do decide to use any new software, you’ll need to make sure they’re GDPR compliant and meet your privacy policy guidelines - especially if you’re gathering personal information on them.

Alternatively, you could look into using employee onboarding software, that automates and streamlines all these things for you. Plus, you know they’ll meet all the legal requirements for you and you’ll have every single onboarding detail in one place - a bit like hireful’s onboarding platform!

our software recommendations:

There’s a lot of e-signature software on the market so you shouldn’t struggle finding a reliable solution on a budget, but here’s a free one we just found that might be worth checking out.

At hireful, we use JotForm for a lot of internal forms. They’re based in the EU, so GDPR compliant and they have lots of integrations with other software. Plus, it’s free for your first 5 forms!

#2 offer some optional training courses before their start date

lady on e-learning platform

Now, you can never be certain what your new hire has going on in the build-up to their start day, so stress that this is purely optional for your new employee - it’s important not to come across as too demanding.

However, if they do have some free time, offering some training courses you feel may benefit them in their new role will really show you’re invested in helping them to succeed and that you’re a supportive employer who encourages personal development.

This doesn’t have to eat into your training budget either, there’s plenty of free, impactful training out there. It could be as general as the free Unconscious Bias in the workplace course on the hireful academy. Or, you can go specific to the role too, for example, Marketeers have access to the likes of Google Digital Garage, HR professionals have webinars from HR Grapevine and many more, like us! (click here to hireful’s upcoming webinar schedule) Don’t forget the 900+ free courses available from the Open University too.

#3 create an induction plan

And make it tangible! Giving an induction plan to your new hire on their first day (or even before) gives them expectations on how you plan to settle them into their new role.

It’s proven that the best employee onboarding programmes extend to the employees first 90 days - some, even longer. When making your induction plan, you need to think about what resources, skills, knowledge and experience your employee needs to be exposed to in order to succeed.

It’s important not to overlook things like:

  • An in-depth introduction to the organisation’s purpose. At hireful we follow the Golden Circle theory, which really breaks down the what, why and how we run our business into digestible pieces - making it easy for everyone to understand, from Apprentices’ to Senior Management.
  • Set goals for your new hire to achieve. Initially for the first week, first 30 days and finally the first 3 months. You could go even further if you like.
  • Meeting and understanding each team in the organisation.
  • Try to get new staff time with senior management. Even if this is as a group. Many organisations do this as an open Q&A session for all new members to attend.
  • Make sure that there are some social activities to help welcome this person into their team. This is commonly a team lunch but other options are available.

Most importantly, create a schedule that has a balance of meetings, tasks and social activities - information overload will do more harm than good.

#4 send a welcome gift!

welcome gift wrapped up

And no, we’re not talking about sending them the latest smartwatch or Macbook. We love the idea of giving something that represents us and our values.

At hireful, we pride ourselves on being knowledgeable - so we’ll get our team manager to pick a selection of books, that’ll help our new hire move forward in their career with us. They can then choose which one they’d like us to purchase and we’ll pop this on their desk, so it’s ready for them on their first day. This leads us on nicely to our next tip…

#5 do something special on your new employee's first day...

Something that shows you have made the effort to welcome them into your organisation. Things hireful organise for any employee’s first day are:

  • Decorate their desk with balloons
employee first day calendar
  • Take them out for a “meet the team” lunch
  • Give them a physical handout like their induction plan. We also throw in our onboarding book, which includes all the logistical things like:
  • The best places to get their lunch
  • H&S information
  • Information about the local town - where the shops, pharmacists, cinema and gyms are… Hey, even the best local pub!
  • Organisational chart with pictures
  • “Meet your team” section - giving a few details about the people they’ll be spending everyday with

#6 assign them an onboarding buddy

work buddies

It might sound a little cheesy, but assigning your new hire an onboarding buddy could be a great way to make sure they’re feeling welcome and a part of the organisation from day one.

Essentially, it’s someone who can check in on your new employee regularly to see how they’re getting on, make sure they know where they need to be and when, show them around the office and/or local area and be on hand to answer any questions about the company.

You’ll want to make sure their onboarding buddy is someone who really lives the organisation’s values and has a welcoming personality.

#7 remember the induction plan? Stick to it!

We’re serious. You created this plan for a reason, don’t let it go out of the window after week 1.

Seeing out the induction plan to the end sets a great example to your new hire, not to mention, it showcases your continued investment in their success.

There may be times you’ll need to rely on others to commit too. Try to give these people as much notice as possible and set expectations on how much time and information you need from them. This will minimise the risk of anyone not committing to the plan. We were all newbies at one point, so it’s important we invest the time in others that we’d expect to have invested in ourselves.

#8 ask for feedback

onboarding experience feedback

The best way to find out if your onboarding process has been a success? Ask your new employee for feedback!

Conduct a ‘new hire’ survey at the end of their onboarding and induction to find out what they enjoyed about joining your organisation, what they didn’t enjoy, what they felt like they could’ve had more (or less) of etc.

Don’t leave it there either, investigate ways to survey your hiring managers too. After all, we need to make sure that we’ve made a good two-way organisational fit. Otherwise, we may never find out if we’ve made a quality hire.

This is a tough one to measure, but after 90 days, we ask something simple like “Would you rehire this person?”.They should be given 3 options: yes, no and maybe.

Finally, take all of this feedback on board and use it to make both your recruitment and onboarding processes even better for the future.

read our other blogs


creating an inclusive interview process: tips and best practices

Annie Snyman
Partner and Product Marketing Assistant
Read more
Purple arrow

nine ways to write more inclusive job adverts

Annie Snyman
Partner and Product Marketing
Read more
Purple arrow

transforming your recruitment process: practical tips for fostering diversity and inclusion

Annie Snyman
Product and Partner Marketing Assistant
Read more
Purple arrow

start to see the benefits of using hireful today.

book a demo15 min intro call
Call to action ATS