Onboarding Guidelines

Whether you are employing permanent staff, short-term employees from remote hiring or perhaps transitioning talent across business functions, i.e. talent mobility, the need for a dynamically structured onboarding process is vital. The onboarding process can determine the happiness and performance of a new team member and can also be seen as a chance for your team to embrace their new colleague.

The goal is to provide clarity and warmth to the new recruit, in order for them to feel comfortable with their new team right from the start and produce quality results as quick as possible. Nurturing and guiding the new recruit through processes is ultimately more efficient than allowing them to run a trial and error journey through the companies processes. 

Please see our recommended procedure below.

  • A direct video message from the MD welcoming the new recruit and outlining the company’s mission and milestones for the year, immediately upon signing the offer letter. Personalise the video if you can, if the MD is too busy, allocate this exercise to the direct manager of the new recruit.
  • Assign a ‘buddy’ for the new recruit that will be his/her direct point of contact for the orientation process. This orientation should last a week. You want to make sure that the selected ‘buddy’ engages well with the company culture and provides an uplifting and positive impression, often referred to as a culture champion in some circles. Too often new recruits will have a heightened sense of anxiety to leave a good impression. It is very helpful for the ‘buddy’ to book in the first week’s meetings (in person or digital) and set the agenda so that the new recruit can have a chance to embrace their surroundings and engage with their new colleagues rather than being worried if they have missed anything. You want this ‘buddy’ to provide feedback along the journey, which will put an emphasis on speeding up the learning curve by highlighting passed lessons. Create a process flow chart for the onboarding ‘buddy’ to follow and report back on. You can build on this process flow chart as time goes on and as more onboardings are successfully settled in. This chart should include a function for inputting challenges, concerns, strengths, reminders and a chance to let the new recruit comment on or make suggestions on how to improve onboarding processes, based on previous onboarding at past companies.
  • Establish normal methods of communication within the organisation, for example, email during work hours and WhatsApp after hours.
  • When outlining timelines, make sure to separate each task and its time frame clearly, what will happen the first day, what will happen the first week, what will happen the first month and finally, the first quarter.
  • FAQ’s on the company to be provided.
  • Provide the company’s corporate code of ethics and the corporate governance to manage situational expectations.
  • Provide information on any corporate social responsibility the company engages in, for example, recycling.
  • Highlight the procedure for any hotlines in the event of unethical practice.   
  • A walkthrough of the company culture and preferred approaches to work.
  • A description of each and every stakeholder of the company, which can be helpful to understand the bigger picture and open up the vision of the candidate. Include stakeholder communication guidelines and department allocation.
  • Provide process flow charts and company policies so that the candidate has a firm grasp on how the company prefers exercises and workstreams to be executed. Include any changes COVID-19 may have caused. You will want to set the candidate time to review this material followed by a meeting for any questions.
  • Management reporting can be explained by clearly outlining expectations from the beginning, including any timelines. It is helpful if the candidates’ direct manager is present for this to answer any questions, provide useful input and it is imperative that the manager books 1-on-1 time with the candidate regularly. In a survey LinkedIn conducted with 14,000 global professionals, ‘72% reported that 1-on-1 time with the direct manager was the number one priority’. (LinkedIn, 2017).
  • Book in a 15-minute introduction call with each team member the candidate will be working with. It is helpful if the ‘buddy’ handles these initial bookings so that the new recruit has a formal introduction to each team member they meet and will be working with and that is a warm approach rather than a cold initial approach.

Good luck!


5 Things New Hires Want During Onboarding (September 2017) LinkedIn Available at: https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/blog/onboarding/2017/5-things-new-hires-want-during-onboarding (Accessed 4.4.2020)