H habanero management social
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May 22

Category: Employers

Congratulations! You’ve hired a new employee. That’s the hard work over, right? Now you can sit back and relax?

Wrong. The onboarding process — in particular, a new employee’s first day — is essential to building an effective relationship with a new hire.

Mess up this first interaction, and you may very well find yourself hiring again sooner than you’d like. Data from the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development indicates that almost 10 percent of new hires change jobs after less than six months. Moreover, almost a third of new employees will start looking for another job before the end of their first year.

A well thought through first day will not only reduce wasteful turnover, but is also likely to produce an employee who is more motivated, more relaxed, and better able to get up to speed quickly.

Communicate early and clearly

When LinkedIn and BambooHR surveyed new hires to uncover their onboarding preferences the results were far from surprising. New employees want clear guidelines, effective training, and a friendly work environment. In other words, they want a company that is well-prepared for their arrival.

Unfortunately, at many companies, that’s far from the case. Consequently, many new employees are left unnecessarily anxious and stressed about their first day. The solution is clear communication well ahead of their first day.

Once an offer is accepted and the formalities are complete, send a clear welcome email with practical details and information. Include when to arrive, who to ask for on arrival, dress code, and a reminder as to anything they’ll need to bring with them (ID, passport, bank details, etc.) to complete official paperwork.

There’s an excellent template available on the Workable blog.

Prepare a welcome kit

Imagine arriving at a new job for your first day to be faced with an empty desk, no equipment, and a hurried and apologetic manager promising that it will be sorted soon. That’s a terrible first experience.

Plan well in advance by coordinating with your IT department to ensure that your new hire has a fully functioning computer on their desk when they arrive. It’s also becoming more common to present new employee’s with a small range of gifts — a company t-shirt, mug, notebook, and so on.


A nice extra touch is to provide a curated list of local lunch/coffee locations in your neighbourhood, highlighting the favourite go-to lunch spots of your existing staff.

Announce your new hire’s arrival

Most people will feel at least a little anxiety about introducing themselves to dozens of new people in a single day. You can help ease this pressure with a simple email to all other employees in your office (not just the new hire’s immediate team) introducing everyone to your newest staff member.

In addition to the basic facts — their name, job title, primary responsibilities, and so on — try to include a couple of facts about the new starter that will give their colleagues an opening and an opportunity to kick-start a conversation.

Stuck for what to write? There are some useful templates available over the Balance blog.

Have a clear work plan ready

Once you’ve scheduled all-important office tours, coffee breaks to meet the team, and time to sit with HR to complete vital paperwork, it’s time to get down to work. One of the most common reasons new employees give for a dissatisfying first day is a lack of structure and organization. In other words, long periods of time on their own wondering what it is they should be doing.

You don’t want to overwhelm your new hire with a long list of tasks. Try to timetable their first week by giving them plenty of industry-related reading, product introductions, training for any specific tools you use in your team, and some simple tasks they can complete to learn the ropes.

LinkedIn has produced an invaluable ‘onboarding in a box’ guide covering every aspect of a new hire’s first weeks and months. It’s well worth checking out.

Remember to seek feedback. Your onboarding process should constantly be evolving based on the experiences of those who have been through it recently. Ask new starters for their thoughts after their first month and build their feedback into your process for your next hire.


3Search are a fast-growing recruitment consultancy working with many of the UK’s leading startups and companies. Learn more at 3Search.co.uk