Why Onboarding is a Critical Step in Your Recruitment Process

Write the position description.
Post job advertisement.
Phone screen.
Hold interviews.
Complete reference checks.
Present job offer.
Confirm acceptance.

Your recruitment process is complete, right?

Not necessarily!

The onboarding of your new employee is a critical part of the process, and often the least considered when it comes to recruitment. There is often stress, and time pressure involved in finding a new employee often accompanied by a huge sigh of relief when the ideal candidate agrees to start next Monday.

When you feel comfortable that the task is complete at this point in the recruitment process, onboarding of the new employee can become haphazard at best, and completely unprofessional, at worst. Ideally, you should create a clear picture of what onboarding requirements are for each role you recruit for, set clear expectations regarding this with the new employee, and then deliver before and during the initial days at the workplace. Replacing an employee can be expensive (effectively costing up to 3 months of their annual wage in some cases), so a poor onboarding process can cost you more than just time.

A successful onboarding process will vary between businesses and may have additional elements depending on the level of the role.

Key areas that should always be managed well include:

1. Contracts – A written contract of employment, clearly setting out the terms agreed in the job offer should be provided to the employee before they commence work. They should formally accept the position, on the signing of this document.

2. Induction – Ensure the new employee is formally inducted into the workplace on the first day, before they start work. This is important for safety reasons, and because it sets a simple foundation for ‘this is what’s expected around here’. It should also answer their questions about where to go to the bathroom and where to make a coffee, for example.

3. Plan – Create a simple calendar to map out the new employee’s first week. Allocate time to introducing them to their colleagues as well as training them in your systems and processes.

4. Greet – Welcome them enthusiastically. It can be as simple as a welcome card signed by the rest of the team, a morning tea, or an invitation out to lunch. These gestures show that you’re happy you’ve made the investment in them and contributes to a positive work culture.

5. Follow up – Check in with the new employee at the end of their first day and at the end of the first week (and regularly thereafter), to assess the job fit, and that expectations are being met for both you and your new employee.


A successful onboarding experience will start the relationship off on the right foot, and reduces confusion for a new employee. This is great for company culture, reflects well on the management of the company, and highlights issues quickly, so that they can be addressed. A new employee is more likely to be successful in their role when there’s a robust onboarding process implemented. It isn’t just something for HR to look after, but an integral part of the recruitment process.

We wish you all the best for upcoming recruitment campaigns in 2018. Call our office on 1300 558 979 to discuss the right recruitment package to source your next team member.