It’s a classic recruitment tale, you design a digitally enabled all-singing, all-dancing candidate friendly recruitment process that showcases your impressive recruitment brand. But then it all goes wrong. You can’t seem to get your written offer out quick enough and if you do it’s got the wrong salary on it. Rather than give your candidates access to an online ‘green room’ for new recruits that’s in line with the recruitment messaging and branding that you have worked so hard to develop, they fall into the no-man’s land between offer and start date. Then when they do arrive for their first day they are left languishing in reception for 10 minutes too long, they haven’t got any of their technology sorted and their line manager is on holiday for the next two weeks! Doesn’t exactly equate to the most engaged and high performing employee from day one.

I’ve heard this cautionary tale on more occasions than I would like to admit and in the worst cases it sadly ends up with the new recruit, the talent that you have worked so hard to find, leaving in the first couple of months to take an opportunity elsewhere. Even if you do manage to hold onto your new recruit the risk of not making them feel engaged and valued from day one has a real impact on performance. So what does this tell us? Well in essence that on-boarding may be the most critical piece of any hiring process.

Research tells us that employees who go through a structured on-boarding process are 58 percent more likely to be with an organisation after three years. Moreover employees who go through longer, more comprehensive on-boarding programs reach full proficiency 34 percent faster than their peers who do not go through such programs. It’s hard to argue with those figures and they highlight the need to invest in a solid on-boarding process.

So what do you need to do to achieve a positive on-boarding experience for your new recruits?

Well the answer is actually quite simple. Be consistent. If you have a high-touch recruitment process then make sure that this is carried through into your keep-warm activity for each candidate. Get the hiring manager involved in keeping them engaged before they start (all it really takes is a couple of well timed phone calls to do this). The way you induct your new recruits into your organisation needs to be a seamless journey from initial application or approach through to offer and then their first few months in role. Once they are through the front doors most of this is in the hands of your hiring manager population, but give them the right support and a standardised set of tools/process every new recruit should have the same (positive) experience when they join. So whether that’s as simple as appointing a peer buddy for their first few weeks, getting their laptop sorted in time for their first day or the bigger stuff such as giving them a real project to work on early on, make sure that they are engaged, supported so they feel like they are valued and making a contribution from day one. That way you’ll be confident that you have done everything in your power to lay the foundations of a motivated and high performing work force.