Inducting new staff
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The importance of a good induction programme for new starters
Since Brexit, we have seen a real upturn in recruitment activity, and Fram Search expects this to continue in 2017. As demand for skilled staff increases, firms will have to focus on staff retention, as much as they will on recruitment. Employees who are perhaps frustrated by a lack of growth in real wages over the last few years will be more open to approaches from competitors, and as confidence in the job market improves, individuals will also start actively seeking a new position. However, one of the main reasons we are given by people looking for a new job, regardless of the state of the employment market, is that they feel they have “never settled” at a firm.
We all know the importance of first impressions, but this is never truer than when someone joins a new organisation. From interviewing thousands of people, we believe a large part of someone’s perception of their firm is based on their experience within the first few weeks. Therefore a structured and informative induction can make all the difference.
What should an induction consist of?
Firstly an induction programme should be well planned and documented. It should also be delivered in digestible chunks over a period of a few days, or even a few weeks. It isn’t something you race through and it definitely shouldn’t take up every hour of every day. We recommend that a good induction should cover some of the following:
- A documented induction plan – employers should put together a structured induction plan, outlining who is responsible for each aspect of delivering the specific course, and when. This needs to be shared with the relevant members of staff involved in the process.
- Introduction to the team – walk the new recruit around the business and introduce them to people so that they feel they have an overview of the different departments.
- Lunch or drinks – early on ask the immediate team to take out the new recruit for lunch or a drink so that they can bond quicker with their colleagues.
- Facilities – show the new employee where the tea and coffee making facilities are, where the toilets are, and fire exits.
- HR policies and procedures – this could include explaining how you claim expenses, report in sick, or make a holiday request.
- Training on the business – few employers provide enough training on the history and business model of their company, and how they want it presented to third parties.
- Product and service training – our experience is that when people don’t understand a product, or how to sell a service, that their productivity falls. In fact, in many instances, productivity can almost grind to a halt, as employees don’t want to make a mistake.
- Training to address any skills gaps – even the best recruits may need additional training to help them to perform to their maximum. Providing training early on will help you increase their performance, and show them that you are investing their future success.
What are the benefits for an employer?
The benefits for employers are obvious:
- Hopefully you have hired someone with a positive impression of your firm
- A new recruit who is more productive quicker
- A new recruit who feels a sense of belonging and wants to stay
- A recruit who understands how to sell the benefits of working with your firm to clients
- A potential new mentor for other new people who you hire
- An increased loyalty to your firm.
An induction programme can have long-lasting effects, and may become a key factor in your firm’s ability to hold on to top performers. Taking the time to integrate new starters in a positive and informative way will create more productive workers, as well as strengthening their relationship with your firm and your brand.
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