500 word series (6) Onboarding and Avoiding Employee Churn


Our final 500 words article aimed at assisting you in securing tech talent focusses on ensuring all your hard work doesn’t fail at the final hurdle.

Around 40% of employees who move on from a job do so in the first few months. Especially in the tech market where competition for talent is so fierce, the value of an onboarding strategy is clear: to prevent churn, you need to put in the groundwork to stop it from happening.

A strong employer brand helps to ensure that new starters have a clearer picture of your organisation before they arrive: what you can offer, the way you operate – and what the employment experience will be like. Your employer brand is a promise, and onboarding involves making sure you deliver on that promise.

Supply your new hire with a post-acceptance welcome pack. This is especially useful if notice requirements mean there will be a long gap between acceptance and the first day of work. A welcome info package might include a friendly introduction to your company’s perks and procedures, Q&A type info covering the organisation’s work and potted bios of key people. This can be a useful way of building anticipation, giving recruits something to focus on – and hopefully reduces the likelihood of them being ‘poached’ by competitors in the interim.

Invite them to configure their own settings. Senior candidates will likely have their preferred ways of working, software stack and endpoint set up. If you get your IT team to ask them about this in advance of the start date, it means you can have everything up and running for them when they arrive.

An initial team meeting. Arrange this for as soon as possible after your new hire arrives. From it, they should have a solid idea of who everyone is, the scope of projects you’re working on – and where they fit into it all.

Appoint an organisational mentor. Even senior, highly qualified staff sometimes need help in getting to grips with HR procedures, on knowing who to ask about season tickets – and on which sandwich shops to avoid.

Focus on frequent feedback. Lack of communication is regularly cited as the biggest frustration about a new role and is one of the biggest drivers of employee churn. Pencil in informal meetings for, say, the end of the first day, first week and fortnight, during which the new starter can raise questions and iron out any areas of concern.

Consider setting up a new starter portal. No-one enjoys having to plough through your company policy bible all in one go. A portal can be a useful way of splitting it into bite-size chunks. In it, you can include not just your workplace rulebook but also, say, user guides for key pieces of work tech.