Onboarding - the second most important step in a succesfull recruitment

Onboarding is more than just a program of introduction and checklists. Onboarding is about giving the new employee the best possible beginning to the new job. This sounds very simple, but the reality is that it demands thorough consideration from both colleges and manager.

To ensure a proper onboarding is an essential part of the recruitment process. Besides having secured the right candidate for the job, this is the second most important thing. A recruitment process is a big investment both relating to economics and resources. Therefore it’s important to secure that the employee feels welcome and that there is created a reciprocal long-term value in the job.

Onboarding begins the very first day, and the active process should last at least 3-6 months after the start-up. Onboarding can also be combined with the term called “Buddy system”. You can read more about the buddy system here

ScanCruit can assist with the onboarding process as an active partner or as counseling during the process. The last part is always included in our recruitment solutions.

Some of the questions that you can ask yourself is:

  • How do we ensure that the new employee quickly understands the culture of the workplace?
  • How do we ensure that the new employee gets a good relation to the new colleges and management?
  • How do we ensure that the demands that are asked isn’t too unambitious/ambitious in relation to the skills and expectations of the new employee?
  • How do we ensure that the employee settles down in the area/country? (This is especially important with international recruitment).

All things considered it’s really important that the process is scheduled after the new employee and her/his needs - more that after the company’s expectations.

Before the first workday

The time in between the contract signing and the start-up day can be used to introduce the employee for the team and have a matching of expectations.

The new employee can at this point be more responsive to new information. Therefore, you can use this period to send information and welcome materials to the new employee, so he/she feels like a part of the workplace before the first workday. It can be welcome packages, guides or a welcome letter with a presentation of the closest colleges or presentation of a potential “Buddy”.

The practical things can also be done in this period. This can be things like having a desk, computer, chair and access to various systems etc.

International recruitment

In recruitment of international employees/expats there are special considerations to make:

  • Should the company offer language and culture education? If yes, should it be in the work hours and be an incorporated part of the jobstart?
  • Consider if the company should offer moving expenses, flight tickets, expenses to work permit etc.
  • Tax counseling can be necessary. Consider in these cases if the company should pay for this.

Be aware if the new employee comes with his/her family and if they need relocation service.

The first day at work

The new employee will the first day go home with a lot of new impressions. Therefore, it’s important that there is devoted a lot of time to the new employee from colleges and management. In this way, the employee will feel welcome and get a positive impression.

In addition to this, it’s a good idea to consider how many people the new employee will be relating to on the first day.

The first day of work should contain:

  • An informal meeting with the closest colleges or buddy, where he/she have the possibility to ask questions and he/she can be introduced to local rules and norms.
  • A meeting with the closest manager to introduce the company and the department and to focus on the team’s tasks and processes and how the new employee can contribute to this.
  • The new employee should be given a smaller and more concrete task that can be solved on the first day. This task should not be too demanding and just be a smaller part of the new employee’s portfolio of tasks.

The first 30 days

The first 30 days are a period where the new employee form a impression of how it really is in the workplace and gets introduced to and left with own tasks.

Therefore, it’s important to set of some time to discuss the observations and considerations the new employee have been making. These can be related to everything, but as a starting point, there should be focus on these things:

  • The culture - there should as a minimum be established one meeting with the possibility of discussing surprises and observations.
  • Rules and processes - it’s important that there is a person available if the new employee has any questions about rules and processes.
  • Network and teamwork - the new employee should as a minimum be included in the work networks that are central for the solution of the task. The closest manager and colleges should help the new employee to new relevant networks.
  • Skills and competency development - the new employee should as a minimum be able to solve smaller tasks and know the most central processes.

Both colleges, buddy and manager have a responsibility to secure that the new employee gets continuous feedback and understanding about these subjects.

For internationals

  • Culture - there should be a special focus on the culture with the introduction to international employees. This could be unwritten rules, norms and values at the workplace. You should articulate this, because it’s not given for a new international employee.
  • Family - if the new employee comes with his/her family, it can have a lot of influence on the well-being of the new employee. Ask about the family and make sure that they have access to the help and resources needed.

The first 90 days

As a termination of the first 90 days, there should be held a three months meeting that evaluates the last 90 days. As a manager it’s important to make a continuous matching of expectations, give feedback and be clear about:

  • the complexity of the tasks
  • the volume of tasks
  • the quality of deliverance
  • the independence of problem solving

It is also important to have focus on:

  • The culture - After 90 days the new employee probably would have a good sense of the formal and informal culturel rules.
  • Rules and processes - The new employee should at this time know the rules and processes. This can be secured with meetings, e-learning etc.
  • Network and teamwork - If it’s just the formal networks that has been introduced at this point, it can be a good idea to focus on the informal networks.
  • Skills and competency development - After 90 days the new employee should be able to discuss competency development and potential career perspectives with the manager.

Both colleges, buddy and manager still have a responsibility to ensure that the new employee gets continuous feedback and understanding about these subjects.

For internationals

  • The culture - With international employees there should be a focus on the cultural aspect.
  • Network and teamwork - Social relations are typically build up from the bottom, and therefore it’s important that the workplace helps the new international employee on his way.
  • Skills and competency development - If the local language is an expected skill, it’s important to follow-up and secure that the international employee develop the demanded language skills.


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