Onboarding: how do you successfully integrate new hires?

1. Keep in touch with the future employee before they arrive in the company.

It’s not uncommon that once the ‘gem’ is found, companies completely relax their efforts and forget to maintain the relationship.

 

You then risk that the successful candidate feels abandoned and decides not to join your company after all.

 

In very competitive sectors, such as IT or cyber security, candidates are relatively rare and very popular, so it would be a shame if they were to change their mind for a more attractive offer.

 

The onboarding process starts long before an employee actually joins the company. It is essential not to cut off contact with the candidate:

  • check in with them
  • reassure them about their future first day
  • explain to them the rules, customs, and habits
  • prepare them for the tasks that will be entrusted to them
  • present them with the induction program they will be following

Note: there are many ways to keep in contact with the future employee: phone calls, e-mails, or invitations to internal events – be creative!

2. Prepare their workstation

Before the arrival of the new employee, think about discussing with the direct and indirect managers on the arrangements that need to be made:

  • Do any training courses need to be planned?
  • Is there specific equipment to order?
  • Is it necessary to plan one or more days of introductions within the teams? 

Please note: Make sure that all the essential tools are available and functional for the arrival of your new employee: desk and mobile phone, computer, access account, clothing and security equipment if necessary, access badge, etc.

3. Putting it all on the line on the first day

When it comes to onboarding, the first day is by far the most important. It is imperative that the new employee feels that their arrival is important to the various people they will be working with.

“You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression.” Coco Chanel

Plan at least one meeting with the Human Resources department to deal with administrative aspects such as signing of the contract and internal policies, private medical insurance, company benefits…

In the ideal scenario, the new person will receive a welcome pack including:

  • A booklet on the company and its mission, values, and culture
  • All administrative documents related to them
  • Access badges: to the office or for the coffee machine 
  • Their account information for access to the company’s network
  • Goodies in the company’s colours

If possible, organise a tour including a visit to the office, a tour of the different teams to understand each person’s skills and role, and of course plan a meeting with the newcomer’s direct manager.

BONUS: quick but effective. Send an email to all the company’s employees to introduce them to the newcomer and ask them to give them the best possible welcome.

4. Appoint a mentor

Many companies appoint a mentor or buddy to follow the newcomer through their onboarding.

 

The latter will be in charge of the socialisation aspects of the employee, introducing them to the more informal aspects of company life (addresses to remember, cultural norms of the company, etc.).

 

Ideally, it is preferable to choose a mentor who does not have a hierarchical relationship with the newcomer so that the newcomer can interact more freely. In addition, they will thus be totally immersed in the team and become a full-fledged member of it. 

5. Take stock at the end of the first week.

Take about 15 minutes to catch-up with the new employee and get an understanding of how they’re feeling and if there’s anything else they need support with.

  • How have they found the first 5 days?
  • Do the position and tasks match what they had in mind?
  • Do they see themselves continuing in your company?
  • Are there still areas that need to be clarified?

Please note: this debriefing meeting is sometimes replaced by a written debriefing that is called “astonishment report” by French companies.

6. Create regular follow-up meetings throughout the probation period.

As you will have understood, the first day is essential in the integration of a new employee, but it is important to keep in mind that the overall experience is built over the whole duration of your working relationship.


By scheduling in regular catch-ups during their probation, you are able to assess how well they are integrating into the team and the new role. It also gives you the opportunity to identify their strengths, and also possible areas of improvement.


The aim is to avoid premature departure and the failure of this recruitment!

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