New year, new starters: update your onboarding process for 2023

  • Recruitment
Kate Palmer FCIPD - Director of HR Advice and Consultancy at global employment law consultancy, Peninsula.

Kate Palmer, HR Advice and Consultancy Director

(Last updated )

January is the number one month for changing jobs, 1 in 5 people reveal in a Glassdoor survey.

With job seekers on the move, you might be looking to hire fresh talent in the new year. Which means you need a stellar onboarding process to retain and grow new employees in your workforce.

You can tell a lot about a company from how they onboard their staff. And if you want new starters to have the best chance of succeeding, you need a solid plan before they’ve even stepped through the door.

So as we head into 2023, make sure to take onboard these important HR rules…

1. Make preparations before your worker’s first day

It’s important not to forget about the pre-boarding.

Before your employee starts work, you should:

  • send over as much of your paperwork as you can, like your employee handbook and statement of main terms - this gives your new starter time to read over the documents in their own time instead of having all the pressure on their first day 
  • make sure their workspace is all set up and ready – order and prepare all furniture and equipment the employee needs in advance
  • make sure all email and HR accounts are all set up – it saves delays and frustrations on the first day 
  • ask the employee to send over their personal details – so you can upload them onto the system in advance

Pre-boarding will save time and help prevent delays on the first day, allowing you to get straight to the important stuff without being shackled by admin. It also gives your new starter a first look at how efficient your company is. So, make sure you give the best first impression by being organised.

2. Customise onboarding to your worker’s role

Many big issues can arise from an onboarding process not being role-specific.

You should tailor your onboarding to the job role of each new starter. This means gathering the most useful information for them. Ask yourself, what does your new employee need to carry out their role effectively?

If you’re hiring a salesperson, they’ll need to have an in-depth knowledge of your services and/or products. They’ll need to understand the benefits, and how you give the customer what they need or help them get what they need.

Make sure the information and training you’re providing will help progress your new starter from the get-go. It shouldn’t be generic.

3. Show off your company culture

Your onboarding process is a chance to show off your company culture. What makes your company unique? What are your major selling points? As much as you can, highlight the benefits of working for you. Make your new employee excited to start their journey.

When your employee is excited and motivated, they’re more likely to stay engaged – which will help them progress and deliver their best work.

It’s a good idea to organise one-to-one meetings with members of the team to help settle your new starter. This is a great chance for your new employee to get to know everyone and learn what your culture is really about.

4. Be clear about your expectations

Sometimes, a new employee fails to meet expectations simply because they don’t know what these expectations are.

That’s why it’s vital for you to communicate them clearly at the beginning. You will have goals for your new employee, so make sure they understand them from the start.

This might mean sitting down with your employee regularly for performance reviews and one-to-one catch-ups. This allows you to find out what they enjoy doing and their strengths, whilst also giving you the chance to guide them onto the path to progression.

5. Have a training plan

Your employee will have trouble finding the path to progression without a roadmap.

From having regular one-to-ones, you should be able to get a good idea of what they need to progress. So, the next step would be to think about training options.

You could set up a 30, 60, and 90-day check-in plan to keep track of how your new starter is getting on. This gives you both an opportunity to discuss any concerns, get feedback on the training, and create objectives.

You should continually review this training plan. Based on what you discuss in your meetings, you may need to make changes. By having regular check-ins, you can tailor a bespoke training plan that helps your employee get to where they want to be, even if that means taking a different path.

6. Don’t overwhelm

Don’t try to cram too much into your employee’s first day or week on the job. You might be eager to integrate them as quickly as possible, but this isn’t the best way to go about it.

In the first week, your new starter will be taking in a lot of information. So in those first few days especially, it’s important not to overwhelm them.

Spreading introductory meetings with the team will be more effective over the course of a week or more. You don’t need to drop your worker into back-to-back meetings on their first day. It’s also unlikely you’ll be able to cover everything in that first week – and you don’t need to.

Just make sure you keep checking in on your new starter and let them know you’re open to answering any questions they have along the way.

7. Use HR software to cut out the paperwork

According to Gallup, only 12% of employees are really happy with how their workplace onboards staff. One way to help streamline the process could be swapping the paperwork for HR software.

With online software, you can:

  • create instant job listings 
  • manage applications online
  • download free job offer templates 
  • keep track of performance reviews
  • eliminate time-consuming paperwork – it’s organised for you in one secure database
  • allow staff to update their personal details themselves
  • access free resources to help improve recruitment

To create a smoother onboarding experience, try a free demo of HR software. It’s the easiest way to manage your HR admin in record time.

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