Click here to read our Top Tips on ensuring a successful onboarding process with your new candidate

by Rachel Filby

Click here to read our Top Tips on ensuring a successful onboarding process with your new candidate

It has been a tough and long recruitment process, but you have finally offered the right candidate for your role…. And hurray they have accepted! You may think phew, the hard work is done, you can tick that job off your to do list, however, as it could now be a couple of months before that candidate starts, you are still in the danger zone of losing your desired candidate and having to start the process all over again! That much sought after candidate may still be getting calls from other agencies, hearing back on jobs they applied to before they accepted your offer, or maybe even being put under pressure to stay where they are! Until that candidate walks through the door on day 1 and more so until they are fully settled into their role with you there is still work to do to ensure a smooth and successful start to your candidate’s new position with you.


With almost 20 years recruitment experience behind me I promise you I have seen it all before and work with my clients in partnership to avoid any of the potential issues that may arise at this crucial stage of the process.


We have complied here our top tips, based on our many years of experience,  to ensure a successful onboarding and to safely avoid any potential non-starters or candidates leaving their new role due to onboarding issues. If using an agency, agree your touch points with the candidates from verbal offer acceptance through to a successful pass of their probation. You want to be sure the agency is working hard with you in partnership to make sure the candidate is engaged, contacted and informed every step of the way, as well as being an outside point of contact for feedback on how they are settling in. The below steps should be split between you and the agency, working towards the same goal.


  1. When the candidate has verbally accepted, reach out to them directly, to welcome them to the team, congratulate them on their new role and to reiterate timelines for formal offer documentation and employment checks. Be friendly, welcoming, excited to have them on board! They have chosen to work for you, so this personal element is really important.
  2. Send the offer letter and contracts of employment out swiftly and within the agreed timeframe for the candidate. Until the candidate receives these, they can not hand their notice in, or formerly accept in writing and may still be attending other interviews until they receive these documents.  
  3. Once the candidate has received their offer letter, have clear conversations with them to ensure they are happy to sign, will end any other processes they are in, and take themselves off the job market. These conversations should usually be with the recruiter.
  4. Make sure the agency is helping the candidate prepare to hand their notice in, and has already, through the process, checked for counteroffer danger and is supporting the candidate with tendering their resignation. This is not an easy thing to do, especially if they have a close relationship with their current boss or have worked within their current job for a long time.
  5. Try to make employment checks (RTW, DBS, Qualifications, Referencing) straight forward – Make sure the communication with the candidate continues to be welcoming, friendly, helpful and reassuring whilst these checks take place.
  6. Invite the candidate for any suitable social activities happening before they start, or even, meeting them for a coffee virtually or face to face as they work down their notice period. This will help to engage the candidate further before they start and also make their start much less daunting if they have already met the team!
  7. If appropriate send some information for them to read before they start, this could just be some basics like info on the company values, or more in depth if they really want to gain a head start on their training and development
  8. Make sure the recruiter stays in touch with the candidate, this could be daily, weekly or monthly depending on the notice period, candidates specific situation and checks that need to take place, the candidate should also be called just prior to them starting, with day 1 details sent to them with clear and welcoming instructions for their start with you.
  9. Be ready for their first day, have clean equipment ready for them, their desk set, or their equipment ready for home working, their e mails set up, a training/ induction plan ready. Be excited to greet them and make sure the team is ready to welcome them!
  10. Set realistic expectations for them to achieve in their first weeks/ months. Review them regularly and make sure the consultant is also checking in with them and most importantly reporting any relevant feedback to you. Foster a working relationship of honest feedback which works both ways to make sure there are no surprises, and you have an honest appraisal of how they are finding their new role! Your recruiter is key here, as they will already have a close relationship with the candidate.

It is a very competitive market for candidates, taking these simple steps can help ensure your chosen candidate starts and thrives in their new role! Good luck!





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