If you are involved in recruitment, it is important to make sure that you have a well-designed onboarding program in place. This will help you to attract and retain people, and it will help your new employees to be successful in their new roles.

Once candidates have been provided with their start date, it’s vital employers plan a structured onboarding process that makes their new starters feel welcome and supported from day one.

Creating the right first impression helps confirm to employees that they’ve made the right decision and may also encourage them to stay longer with their employer.

A well-designed onboarding programme can help new employees to learn about the organisations’ culture, policies, and procedures. It can also help them to meet their colleagues and build relationships. This can lead to increased productivity, engagement, and retention.

Key challenges

  • New starters can often feel lost or unsupported in the early stages of employment, which can potentially lead to them leaving sooner than expected. As a result, employers have to find the time and resource to implement another round of recruitment
  • Employees are provided with mixed messages, aren’t sure who their key contacts are and feel undervalued
  • Unclear information and instructions can potentially lead to employees questioning whether or not they have made the right decision and doubting the overall organisation
  • Some recruits receiving a better onboarding experience than others


  • People who are properly onboarded are more likely to be productive in their new roles. This is because they will have a better understanding of their job duties, the expectations, and the resources available to them
  • New employees who are properly onboarded are more likely to be engaged in their work. This is because they will feel more welcome and supported, and they will have a better understanding of their role in the organisation’s success
  • New employees who are properly onboarded are more likely to stay with the organisation for the long term. This is because they will feel more connected to the company and its culture, and they will be more likely to believe that they are making a difference

5 reasons to embrace onboarding

There are several short and long-term benefits to using an onboarding programme, which include:

  1. Making employees feel positive about the organisation they’ve joined
  2. Enabling them to hit the ground running with their role
  3. Helping them get up to speed with company objectives/overall vision sooner
  4. Encouraging them to become engaged with their role and the organisation
  5. Ultimately, reinforcing the fact they’ve made the right decision, which may mean they stay longer

5 results for failing to implement onboarding

Failing to implement onboarding or get it right can result in:

  1. Employees getting a bad impression of their new employer
  2. Being slow at getting to grips with their role
  3. Lack of fundamental knowledge/interest in the overall company
  4. Feeling unsure about their new workplace and employer
  5. Leaving their new job before developing into the role/other career paths within the organisation

Providing a new recruit with a mentor improves their productivity in 87% of companies

Sapling HR

Great onboarding may increase retention by 82%

Brandon Hall Group

A year-long onboarding programme helps workers become fully proficient 34X faster


Up to 20% of worker turnover happens during the first 45 days of employment


Takeaway tips

Plan induction schedule early

Planning new starters’ induction schedule well ahead of their first day (see case study below).

Create a welcoming environment

Making sure new employees are welcomed by all team members, where possible.

Provide detailed information

Providing detailed information on areas, including company culture, processes and structures, IT access, etc.

Provide training for new starters

Enrolling new starters on company training during their first week – this will make them feel supported and valued. It will also help them to become embedded within the organisation more quickly too.

Implement a buddying system

Match employees with a peer support person, who can help train and advise them and settle any first week nerves they may have.

Be consistent

Onboarding should be consistent across all new employees. This will help to ensure that everyone has a positive experience and that they are all on the same page.

Provide line management and mentorship for new starters

Clear line management and mentorship should be provided to new starters during the first few weeks.

Overhauling Recruitment Programme

The Overhauling Recruitment Programme is seeking to change the way that the NHS attracts, selects and onboards people into the service. On the FutureNHS site you will find a range of tools, frameworks and a community of practice to help enhance the way you recruit, select and onboard new, existing and different people to your organisations.

Useful resources include:

Useful links and resources