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The Importance of Onboarding - Setting People up For Success

A thorough recruitment process is often long and can be costly. A lot of work is put in to ensure organisations attract the right people for the job, screen out the one’s that don’t fit, and select the very best applicant. And yet, after all of this careful consideration, a great recruit can be spoiled by a poor onboarding process.

The onboarding stage is no less important than the selection stage. As a hiring manager or leader, you want your new employee to feel relaxed in this new environment and set up for success. If done well, you can expect a happier, more productive employee who is more likely to stay in their role and contribute to a successful team culture.

So, you might ask, what is the perfect onboarding process? Unfortunately, it’s not a ‘one size fits all' solution. Designing a successful onboarding process is dependent on the role being filled and the personality of your recruit. The key to a successful onboarding process is a tailored and customised approach.

First, it is a given that you have a deep understanding of the role that has be recruited - all the details of what the role includes and excludes, the key responsibilities, stakeholders, complex relationships and stickier territories to navigate. What is the team dynamic, are there key personalities to negotiate, topics of concern that other team members have raised in relation to the team? What are the future opportunities for progression? Answering questions like these will help you to get the full picture of what the role entails, and more importantly help you to communicate comprehensively to your employee.

Additionally, and more importantly, we need to understand the employee. Not just their skills and career history; but truly understanding them as an individual. How will they best adapt to this new environment? Are they comfortable with ambiguity or do they need clear instruction? Are they sociable and effective at making new connections or are they more reserved? What is their learning style and how do they take feedback? Each individual has a different working style that can dictate their response to a new role. Through our Psychometric Assessment reports, we provide detailed feedback around the candidate's needs and instructions during the onboarding process and align this with their personality profile and skill set/de-railers.

The next important step in designing the onboarding process is to work with your new employee to develop the structure and plan of their induction & on-boarding. While doing this it is helpful to share the bigger-picture and rationale behind elements of their induction. This approach will allow them to feel more control over their onboarding and increase their engagement. It will help identify anything that may have been overlooked, plus, encourages feedback and collaboration from day one.

In many cases, we hear of employees having a short sharp induction, and then they don't see their hiring manager or key contact again for days. Onboarding can often be seen as a last minute inconvenience to set up IT and stationery. Successful onboarding is far from this. It is incredibly important to stay close to your new employee during induction & on-boarding. Not just the first day, but the first few weeks. Once they begin to feel as though they are ‘across their portfolio’ and ‘getting up to speed’, they may respond better to some increased autonomy and room to manoeuvre.

For any further information on bettering your onboarding process and measuring your employees working style connect with me at or visit our website ICP Incorporate Psychology.


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