Key questions about employee onboarding for the new financial year

With a new financial year approaching, it’s the ideal time for any business to look closely at costs, expenses and efficiency and to make plans and budget for the next 12 months and beyond. Here are the key questions you should be asking when it comes to employee onboarding.

What are your recruitment plans?

Every business has a degree of staff turnover. Do you know what yours is and has it changed recently? What are your company’s plans for recruitment in the next 12 months? What is your recruitment budget? How detailed are your plans? Have you also budgeted for staff turnover and allowed for new recruits who may not last?

Over the next two years and beyond, UK based businesses are likely to see an additional impact on staffing levels as a result of the Brexit vote.

Although no one knows for certain how things will change for the estimated 2 million employees from EU member states, and UK employees working in Europe, it makes sense to start thinking about the possible impact on your business now.

In future, employees from EU member states may have to apply for working visas, or to meet financial or other criteria in order to remain in the UK. How would your business manage if it had to replace a percentage of staff from EU countries?

Recruitment is costly. As well as the expense of advertising, selecting, interviewing and testing candidates, in a recent survey for webonboarding, HR decision makers said they spend an additional £195 per hire on the onboarding process. Even in a business hiring tens of people a year, that can soon add up.
How efficient is your employee onboarding process?

Getting new people onboard can be a strain also on resources outside of the HR function. Managers, IT, security, finance and contract departments all have a part to play too, especially if you’re looking for people in specialist roles. If recruitment is sporadic, it’s likely that each individual or department will forget what they need to do from one new employee to the next. This can slow down onboarding and make errors more likely to cause problems further down the line.

Digital technology can help automate the onboarding process, making it more efficient and ensuring nothing gets missed. Having a central resource for documents, forms and templates helps to save time and eliminate mistakes during employee onboarding, and online software can ensure everyone has visibility of the process.

Do you need to recruit for new skills?

We live in a world of rapidly changing technology. Would your business benefit from people with new skills and experience in areas such as IT development, or social media for example?

Millennials have never known life without email and are used to dealing with everything online. How does your onboarding process stack up? Are you still relying on paper forms or emailing contracts back and forth?

Digital technology can speed up the onboarding process and make things easier for both the onboardee and HR, by allowing digital signing, instant exchange of documents and automatically prompting for missing information.

What are your competitors doing?

Do you have a sense of other companies in your industry sector hiring or firing employees? What are they doing to attract and retain talent?

While it’s not easy to get the inside track on a competitor’s approach to taking on new employees, you can get some clues from job adverts and articles in business publications. Are they shouting about great benefits packages or posting pictures of well-stocked desks ready for new recruits on LinkedIn?

While they can be a platform for disgruntled and unsuccessful applicants, sites like can also provide an inside view of employees’ experiences and give you a sense of how people feel about working for a particular organisation. Ensuring that you have an efficient and effective onboarding process is part of being a good employer now, and that can also boost your reputation for future hires.

Be prepared

As the new financial year approaches, and your business prepares budgets for staffing and recruitment, don’t overlook the impact and costs of employee onboarding. Investing in your onboarding process and using technology to help it run more efficiently can save you time and money as well as making sure you get the right hires in first time and up to speed quickly.

Prepared for webonboarding by Michelle Nicol, 

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