4 Reasons Why Your Induction Process Matters
The recruitment process shouldn’t stop dead the moment you’ve agreed a new hire. Businesses all too often mistakenly sit back once they’ve bagged an outstanding recruit, believing that the hard work has been done.
Your induction programme matters much more than you think. The process of settling and integrating new recruits is vital. Why?
According to HR software provider, Breathe, one in 25 people walk out of their jobs within weeks, or even days, because their induction has been handled badly. Breathe report that British companies lose £2 billion every year as a result of poor induction processes.
The importance of the induction process is echoed by ACAS (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service), who say,
“Settling new recruits at work is much more than showing them where the toilets are and then leaving them at their desk with a pile of work.”
Let’s take a look at what a good induction process looks like and why it is so important.
What is an induction programme?
An induction programme (not the same as onboarding) is the process used within business to find and settle in a new recruit.
The main purpose of the induction process is to get your new recruit up to speed quickly with their job tasks, to give clear instructions and outline expectations.
But it’s also an opportunity to welcome new people to the company, introduce them to other staff members, educate them about the wider business processes and importantly introduce your culture.
What are the main goals of a typical induction process?
- Address job concerns
- Create a positive vibe
- Create a feeling of belonging
- Reduce new employee anxiety
- Increase knowledge of role and business processes
- Share the organisation’s values
4 reasons why the induction process matters
How you integrate new starters into your business can have very different outcomes according to your induction process. Effective inductions are timely, organised and engaging. Examples of businesses getting employee induction right include Google, Facebook, Perkbox, Etsy, Sky and Rackspace, to name but a few.
Google has a particularly good reputation for onboarding and induction. Their programme is always evolving, but according to one recruit involves a broad-based 2-day induction for all new recruits (new recruits are known as nooglers!) followed by real courses from day 3 to prepare recruits for their job.
Let’s take a closer look at why the induction process matters.
- Staff retention
Research suggests that companies which fail to conduct proper induction risk losing employees at a faster rate. In fact, in businesses with poor induction programmes, 25 per cent of employees leave the firm within the first week. By month three this increases to a whopping 47 per cent.
One case study (Pizza express in Singapore) published by Human Resources Online found that a market-tailored induction programme helped to retain 84 per cent of staff. Pizza Express launched the employee induction programme specifically to encourage long-term retention of the team in a new market.
The programme focused on introducing new recruits to the company, its heritage, mission and also to warmly welcome them to the family. The Pizza Express induction model was designed to increase understanding of the brand, as well as invest in individuals to become brand ambassadors. The training takes place over a 12-week period.
This illustrates the need for business owners and HR leaders to understand that the induction process doesn’t end after the first day, the first week, or even the first month. When induction programmes are ongoing, the results speak for themselves.
Most new recruits are looking forward to hitting the ground running when they start their new job. So, what happens when the onboarding process is insufficient? If new employees aren’t given the information, training and tools that they need to perform, productivity is negatively affected.
The induction process is a critical time for new recruits to learn the tricks of the trade and align their values with those of the company. With the right induction process, new recruits can get up to speed and reach optimum productivity quickly. Getting the first few days right is imperative.
Google managed to increase new employee productivity by 25 per cent with one email to do with the induction process. The email, sent to managers the Sunday before their new employee’s first day, provided a checklist for managers to help employees become more effective in their roles, including check-ins once a month for the first 6 months.
As well as giving new employees the information, tools, environment and team they need to perform well, it’s equally important not to overwhelm new recruits. Induction and training should be spread out rather than crammed into the first couple of days.
- Employee engagement and job satisfaction
Your induction process is the initial lever for employee engagement. Your business has one chance to make a lasting impression on new employees. You can introduce ways of boosting employee happiness, such as recognizing the progress of your employees and offering workplace flexibility. Get it wrong and employees will feel lost and confused, and this alone will make people feel less engaged with their work and ultimately dissatisfied with their job.
- Employer brand
It is becoming increasingly common for employees to rate employers. Job search site, Glassdoor, are just one example. The induction process is the time to teach new recruits everything they need to know about you as an employer.
A strong employer brand showcases your values and your approach to manging people. This is a key takeaway for new recruits during in the induction process and will impact retention. Employer brand needs to be consistent throughout the recruitment process, from advertising and marketing roles through to hiring and induction.
Induction is an opportunity to build the foundations of a great employee experience. This has implications for employee happiness, productivity, staff retention and ultimately business success. We live in uncertain times. Brexit (a reduction in EU workers) and low levels of unemployment play heavily towards it being an employees’ market in the UK at the moment. If businesses want to retain talent they need to set out on the right foot. It starts with an effective induction programme.