This blog post is written by Jon Cohen, Head of People & Culture, BrioHR.

Recruitment can be expensive! Job posts, headhunter fees, branding, recruitment tech, LinkedIn Recruiter licenses etc.

But it’s not as expensive as having crucial positions vacant and having high attrition rates.

Vacancies left unfilled affect productivity and can have a direct impact on the company’s bottom line.

Vacancies can be demoralising for your employees as they have to shoulder extra responsibilities.

Even if your awesome recruiters fill all your vacancies, on average, 1 in 4 new joiners leave the company within 6 months. Across the companies we surveyed 2% of new joiners leave on their first day, and you end up back where you started – with an expensive vacancy.

A good Onboarding experience is an essential part of the employee journey and helps improve retention rates. Of the companies that we surveyed, those with a well thought out and structured Onboarding process have almost a 50% higher retention rate than those that had no formal Onboarding process.

Every company is different and needs a unique Onboarding process, but if you want to make sure your new joiner actually joins and stays, there are 8 things you can start doing right now.

1. Get your employer branding right!

Onboarding doesn’t start on the first day or when the candidate signs the offer letter or when they apply for the job. Onboarding starts with your Employer Brand. 

The Employer Brand is the ‘first impression’ the candidate gets. It forms the basis for their emotional connection with the company and sets their expectations of what the culture and working environment is like. 

Make sure your brand reflects the reality of what it is like to work in your company.

This will help attract candidates that are more likely to fit the company culture and be excited about working there before even attending the first interview.

2. Make sure your recruitment team and hiring managers are on the same page…and make sure it’s the right page.

Recruiters and Hiring Managers are the company’s ambassadors. The interview process allows the company to evaluate the candidate but it is also the first opportunity for the candidate to see if the Company’s Employer Brand matches reality.   

Ensure recruiters and hiring managers are consistent in the way they describe the company, culture, values, role, and long term opportunities.

If there are multiple interviews, make sure that the candidate is not asked the same set of questions over and over again. Plan ahead and assign areas for each interviewer to focus on.

Interview processes can vary wildly but the candidate should always have a positive experience. A positive experience does not mean getting the job. It means being treated with respect and kindness. Always remember the candidate is a human being who has given up their time to attend the interview.

If you are able to make the candidate feel positive, you have already started to build a positive relationship and an emotional connection.

3. What’s on offer?

One of the main reasons behind people leaving jobs within 6 months of joining is that their expectations of the job does not match the reality. The recruiters and the hiring managers should have done a good job in giving the candidate a good understanding of the role but it does not hurt to give a job description that contains Job Title, Relationships, Summary, Duties and Responsibilities, Requirements, Skills, & Competencies and How their performance will be measured.

The other main reason for people leaving jobs within 6 months of joining is MONEY.

How does your company decide what to offer the candidate? If your employees are underpaid against the market it is inevitable that they will get tempting offers from other companies. Save yourself TIME AND MONEY by paying your employees more.

4. Keep the candidate warm and cosy.

Often candidates can have up to 3 months’ notice period. A lot can happen in 3 months so it is important to keep the candidate excited about the role and give them regular updates about what is happening in the company, what is going to happen on their first day, first week, first month. You should be able to give them a schedule of everything that is planned for them.

There is a lot of paperwork to be filled out, payroll details, tax details, emergency contacts etc etc but a good HR System can automate most of these things. Keep the candidate focused and informed about what their first year in the company will look like.

If you have a good HR System with an Onboarding module, you can start to give the new joiner access to tools and information. This will help to make them feel as if they are already part of the company and reinforce the emotional connection.

5. Build those relationships quickly.

Connect your new hire with their before team before Day 1. Don’t wait until they have already joined to start introducing them to the company. 

You can assign a Buddy or a Mentor, introduce them to the person who will be there to greet them on the first day, schedule lunch with the team. The great thing is that a lot of this can also be automated – preassigned people can get notifications to get in touch with a new joiner – it’s easy to set up in a decent Onboarding system.

The key is to make them feel like they belong there and that they are part of a team already. Build those relationships. Money is important to everyone but your new joiner is more likely to reject a bigger offer from another company if they already feel like they are an important and appreciated part of your company. 

6. Everyone remembers their First Day 

The first day is the most powerful opportunity to make a positive and lasting impression on a new joiner. There is so much that can go wrong and so much that can be forgotten.

Name cards, Building access cards, Email address, Lap Top, Car Parking Space, Desk Space, Vegetarian meal options…the list goes on and on. 

No one wants to feel forgotten, some of these things may seem trivial but to a new joiner, if they don’t get their security tags on the first day (when they were supposed to) it’s a sign that someone forgot about them. Use an automated system that sends reminders and warnings to the relevant people and ensure no one gets forgotten.

New joiners want to feel like they have joined a company that is excited to have them. 

The first day is a great chance to introduce them to buddies and mentors who they have already met virtually and to reintroduce them to the people they met in the interview process.


Pro Tip #1: There is a huge amount of information to take in on the first day. Most of it will be forgotten anyway so try condensing it into infographics or other easily digestible formats that can be easily referred to in the future.

Pro Tip #2: Do most of the paperwork BEFORE the first day. Don’t make the new joiner spend their whole morning filling out forms. It’s easier for the new joiner and your HR admin team to have a system that can extract most of the information and pre-fill certain forms.

Pro Tip #3: Make sure everyone knows where the bathrooms are.

Pro Tip #4: BrioHR has one of the most comprehensive and affordable Onboarding modules available in South East Asia.

7. They need a plan…and so do you!

Give the new joiner a clear and structured plan, not just a plan that covers the onboarding process and passing probation, but also a full 1 year plan of what is expected of them.

It can take 6 to 8 months for a new joiner to reach full productivity so give them the time they need and give them a commitment – “if YOU achieve this, this and this, WE will give you this”. Make sure they know what is expected of them.

In a survey of a number of companies we work with, more than 50% did not set goals or milestones for their new joiners. Needless to say, these companies had significantly higher ‘first year attrition rates’.

Producing plans like these for new joiners is a huge amount of work, so HR and team leaders also need their own plans for how to make plans. A good Onboarding Module can provide simple task lists with easy to use templates to ensure efficiency, ease of use and consistency.

8. You check-in so they don’t check-out!

Making time to check-in with New Joiners will save you time in the long run.

Celebrate their first 3 months with a meal or a cake. Let them see the company’s gratitude and make sure they know that their contribution is appreciated.

But also schedule regular feedback sessions for the first 6 months.

Feedback sessions are not only a great way to get a feel for any problems or issues the new joiner may be having, it is also a great way to get feedback on the onboarding process itself and reflect on how to make the experience better.