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Onboarding: 7 best practices for integrating new recruits

Published on :
26 Sep 2023
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Did you know that failed onboarding costs an average of €7,000 (Workelo study)? While this figure speaks for itself, the consequences go far beyond the financial. With 45% of resignations taking place in the first year, it's the company's brand image, its level of attractiveness, its retention rate and its performance that are threatened by poor onboarding.

When employees are properly integrated, however, the benefits are immediate! The sense of belonging is strengthened, and the employer brand is enhanced. Above all, collaboration gets off on a healthy footing. And don't healthy relationships contribute to well-being and performance?

Properly integrating new employees is therefore essential. To help you build a careful and engaging onboarding program, we've listed 7 best practices to put in place.

1/Prepare the contract and the office

Imagine: it's your first day on the job. You're as excited as you are scared to enter the office and discover your new professional environment, how the company works and, of course, the missions and objectives attached to your workstation. Except there's a problem: your contract and administrative documents (health insurance, etc.) aren't ready.

Then your manager greets you and oops... second problem: your computer and tools still haven't been configured. What are you going to think? Probably that you're not as eagerly awaited as you thought, and that the whole thing lacks seriousness!

While these situations don't sound like a big deal, they can give your recruit a bad first impression, prompting him or her to leave before the end of the trial period. But rest assured, with good organization and preparation, these worries will be history.

To achieve this, we advise you to create a "special onboarding" to-do list. List the different departments to be mobilized before the arrival of a new employee: logistics, IT, payroll, marketing/communication, accounting. Then assign tasks to each role. Finally, orchestrate everyone's tasks as early as possible, so that everything is ready on D-day.

Why not equip yourself with administrative management software such as an HRIS? This tool will enable you to centralize the necessary documents and information, and keep track of the different stages of the onboarding process.

2/Send a welcome email before the big day

The first few days are busy for the new recruit. They need to get to grips with their position, work tools and objectives. Then they have to understand the dynamics of the group, get to know each other... In short, there's a lot of stimuli and things to integrate!

How about making things easier for them? Before their first official day, send them a welcome email in which you reiterate your enthusiasm at the idea of working together. Then, give them details of what's going to happen on their first day: what time are they expected? Who will welcome them? What will their schedule look like?

Ideally, a few days before their arrival, you should send them documentation on your company: organization chart, video presentation of the founder, history and values of the company, welcome booklet... This way, the future employee can familiarize themselves with the documentation in a calm and quiet environment. This will help them arrive more relaxed on the big day.

3/designate a referent

A common practice in English-speaking culture, appointing a mentor helps to make the integration process pleasant and engaging. The idea? The newcomer is welcomed by a mentor - who is not necessarily the manager. His role is to introduce them to the life and culture of their new company: tour of the premises, introductions to the teams, how the organization works...

They are also there to answer any questions the employee may have. Depending on the situation, the tutor's role can last up to 6 weeks.

4/Give a welcome pack

Even the least enthusiastic of us liked to have pens with caps that hadn't (yet) been nibbled, a clean notebook and a backpack that smelled like new for the start of the new school year. Why not revive this "tradition" by offering a welcome pack to your new recruits?

Even if your talents are a few years older, they're still sensitive to these little gestures, which send out a strong message: you're part of our group!

Mug, t-shirt emblazoned with the company logo, gift voucher, coaching... Whether you have a large budget or not, the possibilities are numerous.

5/organize a team activity

It's not easy to join a team that's already been set up. The members know each other and share common experiences. To make sure your new colleague doesn't feel left out, why not organize a fun activity?

An escape game or treasure hunt, for example, is a spontaneous way of creating a bond between the new recruit and the team, without the new employee feeling that it's being forced. In other words, it's a way of facilitating integration.

6/ schedule one-on-one meetings between manager and employee.

Talent is recruited because the manager needs an extra member of his team. It's up to the manager to ensure that the new recruit understands the ins and outs of the job, and is up and running quickly. To achieve this, the N+1 must take the time to explain the job's missions and expectations right from the start.

While this may seem obvious at first glance, it's no less complex an exercise. In fact, it requires writing a clear roadmap for the first year, with concrete objectives to be achieved in the short, medium and long term (e.g.: in two weeks, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and one year).

And that's not all! This time of exchange between manager and employee also serves to get to know each other better. From the manager's point of view, it's an opportunity to find out more about the new recruit's personality, passions, needs, strengths and ambitions. In this respect, research by Dan Cable, Francesca Gino and Bradley Staats published in the Harvard Business Review, revealed that employees were more invested in the onboarding process when it encouraged authenticity. Taking a sincere interest in your employee, and exchanging honest information, is a source of motivation and commitment.

For the employee, it's an opportunity to find out more about the management style and expectations of his or her N+1.

7/ Suggest an integration report

With a view to continuous improvement, the onboarding process needs to evolve. And the best way to improve your onboarding is to ask your new recruits. Specifically, what did they think of their induction? What did they appreciate? What could have been different?

These questions will give you a fresh perspective on your internal operations. The feedback report will help you to facilitate the integration of future recruits, highlight your strengths and generate new ideas.

In short, onboarding is an important stage in an employee's life, as it is the starting point for the employee experience. With these best practices, you have everything you need to optimize and perfect your onboarding process!

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