Roy Duncan

5th March 2013

Successful on-boarding – foundation of employee relations

Successful on-boarding is the foundation of the future employer and employee/ relationship.

Following my recent attendance at a talk by given by Kevin Eyres  the former European MD of LinkedIn, I was reminded of the importance of why successful on-boarding of new staff is crucial for achieving corporate objectives.

Recruiting new staff is challenging in itself, however it is only the start of the relationship. If new staff members are to remain with the company and add future value then it is crucial to have a successful on-boarding and retention policy. This month we are going to consider what can go wrong at the early stages and what can be done to a smooth integration.  Future articles will cover other aspects of employee retention and engagement.


One you have completed the selection process and the offer has been accepted you can breathe a sigh of relief! Well not quite! The real challenge starts now.

Often your chosen candidate will have a notice period of between one and three months. During this time anything can happen; there may be a counter offer from their current employer or there may be a better offer from another employer. They could even take cold feet! Whilst out of your control, you can pre-empt these factors by building a relationship with your new employee before they join you.

A great idea is for their manager to invite them for lunch during the notice period. Another tried and tested approach is to invite them to meet all of the staff and spend time with their new team/work colleagues in advance of starting. If your company has regular drinks this is a great opportunity for them to bond and meet their new colleagues. Of course the worst should happen and this does not work out, you will be better that you have found out before the person starts! More than likely it will be fine and the new employee will already feel part of the team before they start.

The legal stuff

Naturally you will have sent the offer letter, contract and handbook in advance. No?  Well this is indeed another stumbling block that can unsettle your new starter. As a rule they will want to have a job offer and acceptance before they resign. They will need to confirmation of the key terms of employment and anything else that was agreed in the initial offer. People need certainty before they resign from their current roles and any failings here can jeopardise the recruitment. It also can give a very bad impression of your company to the new hire.


Nothing is worse than turning up on the first day to find that you do not have a desk, are squeezed into a corner or you need to ‘hot-desk’. As a rule people find this insulting and unsettling and it is a guaranteed way to upset new starters. Another failing is to forget to set up the new staff member on email and computer.

So make sure that these basic items are dealt with and you have created a full induction programme which covers all the essentials such as introducing key staff members, tour of the premises, local information and all relevant facts. Initial training and procedures should all be covered and the new employee should be made to feel a comfortable; as possible and part of the team.

Roy Duncan FCCA

RG Duncan Accountancy Recruitment, 33 St James’s Square, London SW1Y 4JS

T:  020 7930 4401  E:   W:

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