A positive induction experience is key to performance and retention of new recruits

Recruiting staff can be a costly and time-consuming process for SMEs and doesn’t finish when someone is given the job. It is worth putting some time and effort into helping them feel welcome and also ensuring they become productive as quickly as possible.

A new recruit is likely to be nervous and apprehensive during their first few weeks and according to ACAS, the highest labour turnover is among new employees. It warns that employers should allow for a period of learning before they can reach peak efficiency.

An effective induction process can make all the difference and it is worth structuring the process to cover the important elements for both the employer and the employee so they settle in as quickly as possible.

Depending on the duties and responsibilities a number of key elements should be covered. Everyone needs general information about the company such as such as its values, employment terms and conditions, holiday entitlements and booking, safety training and any key policies on such things as discipline, sexual harassment, dress code, customer interaction, use of the internet and mobile phones etc.

The new recruit will also need relevant training for doing their job such as introductions to key people, learning about relevant systems, processes paperwork and filing and how to use technology.

It is also necessary to set expectations about performance and what is important and how these will be monitored and reviewed.

The induction process and relevant training should be structured over a period of time that helps the newcomer learn and absorb what they will need to know to do their job effectively.

Two things that can help to ensure an effective and positive induction process are a buddy system, where an existing staff member is paired with the newcomer to help them find their feet, and a feedback session once induction is completed to assess whether the process has been effective or perhaps needs some modification.

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