Start as you mean to go on… how to successfully on board a new team member.


You may not think it, but the easiest part of the recruitment process is finding the right person for the job. For most companies all of the effort is spent up front when wooing a potential candidate. Not nearly enough is spent on what comes after that.

Too many companies (both big and small) say to themselves, “great, they accepted our offer… now what do we do?”

That lack of forethought can be really damaging. All that positive energy that has been building throughout the interview process goes out the window when the onboarding process just isn’t up to scratch. I have seen this result in people walking out of jobs they have just taken.

The good news is it not too hard to fix. I am not going to tell you what you should be doing but I am going to share some common traits of companies who (I think) have got the onboarding process right:


Have a plan. Share it. Stick to it – It sounds obvious but having a plan really does help everyone. The first 90 days of a new job it is vital that everyone knows what they need to be doing and what success looks like. If you don’t have an onboarding plan sit down and prepare one. It doesn’t have to be perfect and accept that it will change over time. Make sure you share that plan with the new employee and talk them through it. Are they clear on any objectives, targets mile stones. Do they know what they need to do to be successful? Make sure you both then stick to the plan. Yes you can be flexible but don’t make too many wild changes and move the goal posts. It will just confuse everyone… trust me on that one, I know.


Accountable from day one – Now they know what is expected of them and they know what the plan is. Hold them to it. By all means, be flexible and accommodating as people bed in but equally don’t be a push over. Be authentic and be clear on what behavior you expect and what good looks like.


Check in regularly – this is so simple but often so overlooked. Take time out to actually ask the person how they are getting on. Are they happy? Do they know where to get pens from? Can they get the coffee machine working? Are they clear on the role and responsibilities? It blows my mind how few companies have any sort of check in system with new employees. All to often the first check in is at their probation meeting 3 months after they join. Make a point of making to sit down with them weekly and see how they are getting on. The first 90 days is so crucial to success that without some regular face time you leave yourself open to all kinds of issues raging from people going off track with their work to the awkward surprise resignation that you didn’t see coming.


With Christmas around the corner you probably have a number of people who are due to start with you in the New Year. Now is the perfect time to get that onboarding plan ready. Don’t leave it to chance.

And don’t forget, the best jobs can be found at: