Why The Onboarding Process Is Key To Engaging Top Talent

Simon Garner

Aug 24, 2022

Why The Onboarding Process Is Key To Engaging Top Talent


What if we told you that staff retention starts with your onboarding process? Making a great first impression is just as important for employers – especially since remote and hybrid working models have become the norm for many businesses.

So, what are the key steps you can take to perfect each stage of your onboarding process? Here are our top tips for keeping new hires engaged both before and after they’ve accepted the job offer.

Getting personal

No one wants to feel like a number – and blanket, blind-copy communications can have this effect. Adding the human touch to your onboarding process helps employees feel connected to the business from the very beginning.

Worried that this personalisation will eat into valuable time and resources? Well, so will going back to the drawing board to recruit a brand-new team member. Welcoming your new hire can be as easy as asking a few questions about their likes and dislikes. The trick is not to get too personal – remember it’s still a professional relationship. You can chat over email, or even call, but be careful not to overdo it.

As well as discovering how your new staff like to spend their free time, try to find out more about how they like to work. For instance, how do they structure their days? Is there a particular desk setup that would improve their productivity? How do they prefer to receive feedback? Such questions not only show your sincerity, they also let you know how best to support their growth.

Team Building

It goes without saying that a happy team is a productive team, so along with giving your employees a warm welcome, you need to help them gel with your existing staff. This ultimately fosters a positive company culture and makes new hires feel supported.

If you’re office based, organise a fun icebreaker – some of the most effective activities are just people sharing their name, role and a fact about themselves. Brain training exercises are a great way to boost in-person engagement. Or, if you have a remote or hybrid working environment, get out of your emails and onto Zoom!

In terms of the social aspect of operating in a team environment, playing a game is an inventive way of getting individuals to connect. By introducing a fun element to the team-building process, people will loosen up, and be more likely to bond as a result – leading to greater collaboration in the future.

Social learning

Regardless of sector, your new hires will vary in experience and skill set – not to mention learning styles. Fortunately, by implementing social learning throughout the onboarding process – and beyond – you can help employees slot into the team with ease.

Social learning is a simple yet powerful tool for training employees, and you’ll be pleased to know it can take place online or offline. Based on psychologist Albert Bandura’s theory that learning occurs in a social context – via observation or direct instruction – social learning is the difference between knowledge and experience.

Rather than running the risk of overlooking people’s needs with a one-size-fits-all approach, assign an experienced mentor to your new starter. This allows them to comfortably approach a knowledgeable team member with any questions.

Another way to refine social learning is through positive reinforcement. Do you have rewards in place for good performance? By recognising this work, you’ll inspire new hires to adopt the behaviours, attitudes, and processes of your company culture.

#WinTheWarForTalent with Cast UK

These tips should help you successfully onboard new team members, making their journey to joining your business a smooth one. Of course, you may be like many hirers who are currently struggling to find the candidates they need.

The war for talent may be tough, but there are solutions. Download our dedicated guide with seven ways to win the war for talent, once and for all.