How to Improve the Employee Onboarding Process

When it comes to hiring and retaining the best talent in accounting and finance, it pays to pay attention to your employee onboarding process.
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When it comes to hiring and retaining the best talent in accounting and finance, it pays to pay attention to your onboarding process.

According to Glassdoor, great employee onboarding improves new hire retention by 82%. So, if you’re tempted to sit back and relax once the interviews are completed and your new starter has been found… think again!

To secure the longstanding and committed employee you’re hoping for – and to prevent starting the recruitment search process again in a few months – you must impress your new employee from the moment they agree to join your team.

To help, we’ve collated our tips for successful onboarding below and created a free onboarding checklist that you can download to prepare for each new hire.

So, what is employee onboarding?

Employee onboarding is how you welcome a new employee into your company and familiarise them with your company culture, policies, and members of the team.

An effective onboarding process helps new employees to seamlessly integrate into your organisation by providing them with the knowledge, skills, and behaviours they need for success. This doesn’t mean endless training sessions and corporate presentations by the way… but more on that shortly.

Here are our top tips for creating a positive onboarding experience that will set the course for your employees’ long-term performance and engagement. After all, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Before They Start… Get prepared.  

There’s nothing more embarrassing than welcoming a new hire and realising too late that you need to order a new laptop or office equipment. Make sure you think carefully in advance about everything you will need to facilitate your new employee, from their computer equipment to desk set-up and office swag, and order everything in plenty of time so there are no delays.

To help keep you organised and on track, don’t forget to download our free onboarding checklist which you can print and work through when you confirm a new hire.

It’s good practice to regularly evaluate and refine your onboarding process. Gathering feedback from new hires and conducting anonymous surveys can provide valuable insights into what is working well and what can be improved, resulting in higher employee satisfaction and retention rates.

On Their First Day… Focus on the Experience.

No one wants to begin their first day at a company being bombarded with information or performing dull administrative tasks. Put yourself in your new starter’s shoes – How do you want them to feel when they go home from their first day? What do you want them to say when friends and family ask how their new job is going?

Creating a positive onboarding experience requires immersing the new starter in your company culture during the first week. Carve time for your new starter to hear all about the history of your company, how it’s unique, and why it’s a great place to work.

Allow your new starter time with members of the team who are passionate about your business, and encourage them to connect with their new colleagues over a complimentary team lunch (or an activity-based video call, if they’re remote).

Whatever you do, don’t rush the onboarding process or try to cram everything into the first couple of days. New hires have a lot to learn about your company and need time to absorb all of the new information. Taking your time will pay off – a study by O.C. Tanner found that new hires in companies with longer onboarding processes report being more proficient in their roles four months sooner than those who have short onboarding processes.

During Their First Week… Set Clear Expectations.

During their first week, provide a clear picture of expectations for your new starter and how they will be measured. Doing so benefits the new starters by making them feel part of the company’s future, and it benefits managers by helping them to support the new employee.

All performance metrics you set should be measurable, relevant, and achievable. They should provide a clear path for the new hire to understand what success looks like in their new role.

In Their First Month… Regularly Check-in.

It’s important you check-in with your new employee frequently to assess progress, provide support, and address challenges. Start by checking in a few times a day on their first day, then daily, and then weekly check-ins.

Regular follow-ups will enhance your new starter’s learning experience and job satisfaction. They’re also an opportunity to assess the effectiveness of your onboarding approach and provide additional support if required.

When checking in with your new hire, some questions you can ask include:


– How are you settling into your new role?

– Do you feel you have a clear understanding of your role and our expectations?

– Are there any areas where you feel you need more training or support?

– How comfortable do you feel with the team dynamics?

– Are there any aspects you’re finding challenging?

– Is there anything you would like to discuss?


Your new employee will notice and appreciate all of the effort you put into welcoming them into your business. The alternative is shocking (and expensive for you) – According to Paychex, 80% of new hires who receive poor onboarding plan to quit.

To make sure you don’t forget anything before your new starter’s first day, or during their first month, download and print your free onboarding checklist.

If you need support sourcing finance and accounting hires, please email us at [email protected].

Image Credit: Cottonbro Studios


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