Leadership & Productivity

Is your company giving the best impression to new starters?

8 min read

12 December 2017

They say you never get a second chance to create a great first impression. That’s certainly true when it comes to your customers, but it also applies to your employees too.

Employee onboarding, the time between being made an offer through to day one as a new employee, is a crucial time to introduce and engage with new hires. Employer brand is everything at this time and it is important to get it right. Read on and take a look at ways to ensure that your employer brand is up to scratch during the employee onboarding process.

What experience does your business offer new employees?

While many businesses understandably focus on delivering great customer experience, it’s important to remember that your employer brand is crucial to your business success too.

Your business reputation plays a significant part in attracting people who want to come and work for you. Brands with a strong presence and good employer reputation will attract top talent. Consider how many people apply for roles in companies like Apple or Google for example.

Imagine the perfect employee has seen a role advertised in your business? What do you want them to think as they research, apply and assess your organisation?

This is an important first step to take a look at the brand from the outside in.

How businesses get employer branding wrong

Even if your business is not a globally recognised brand, it’s safe to assume that candidates applying for a position will do some form of research, check out your business website and social media profiles.

How do you introduce your business values and culture throughout your employee onboarding process and make them feel like it’s something they want to be part of?

If you talk about welcoming new talent to the company, it’s important that you can deliver on this when your bright new employees turn up to start at work. Don’t leave them floundering with no desk, computer or any idea of what they should be doing. Make sure that your employee onboarding is the first stage in creating a great impression of your employer brand.

Think of your employees like customers

The most talented, experienced and approachable candidates are also attractive to your competitors. A poor experience, lack of communication or delays in onboarding new employees can send them running in the direction of another offer.

Think about the experience from an onboardee’s point of view. Even if they have been impressed by your business and offer in the initial stages, what happens next can have a significant impact on how they feel about joining your company.

No one wants to have to wait weeks for contracts and employment documents to come through. Often onboardees receive little or no information from companies before their start date. In a global survey of 4,000 office workers 15 per cent said they had turned down a job offer due to problems during the onboarding process.

Every touchpoint is a chance to make your onboardees feel valued and appreciated. Sending out professional employment documents that reflect your company brand in a timely fashion helps establish your reputation as a serious employer. It also demonstrates that you’re keen to get candidates on board.

Throughout the employee onboarding process, use communications with your onboardee to introduce your company culture and values. This will help them feel part of your organisation even before they walk through the door on day one.

Show leadership in developing your employer brand

Strong leadership plays an important part in developing your employer brand, by consistently championing positive employment experiences and making sure that robust processes are in place to support them.

Employee onboarding needs to be well managed to be effective, plus time and resources to deliver a positive and engaging experience.

Even with well established processes, a lack of commitment to communications and continuous improvement can lead to poor employee experiences.

How your business can develop a strong employer brand

· Review your current status in terms of awareness and reputation
· Decide how you’d like to be regarded as an employer – what makes yours a great company to work for?
· Make sure that everyone in your organisation understands how by acting and behaving in ways that reflect your brand values, they help build a strong employer brand.

How onboarding experience can impact your employer brand

Businesses can no longer rely on smart recruitment adverts alone to establish a positive image as an employer brand. Potential employees are likely to already be aware of your business by reputation and brand perception.

Just like your customers, candidates and onboardees will share their views of your recruitment and onboarding process. As word of mouth is the most trusted source of information, a great onboarding experience can boost your business brand and encourage more candidates to apply in future.

Conversely, a poor experience can be easily and widely shared through social media and popular websites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn. This can have a detrimental effect on your ability to attract good quality candidates and damage your reputation as a company that people want to work for.

The importance of your employer brand

Your employer brand is just as much a mark of your reputation as how you treat your customers. When it come to employee onboarding it’s a crucial time to engage with new hires and build on brand reputation at this stage. Employee onboarding starts from the moment the role has been offered right through to becoming a new hire on day one.

Webonboarding can help HR and Hiring Managers with the process of taking the best candidates from job offer to effective employee. The powerful online solution allows you to add your own company brand colours and logos as well as tailor individual messages to create consistent branded communications. This all helps to create a winning employer brand experience throughout employee onboarding and first impressions of the company.

This article is part of a wider campaign called the Scale-up Hub, a section of Real Business that provides essential advice and inspiration on taking your business to the next level. It’s produced in association with webexpenses and webonboarding, a fast-growing global organisation that provides cloud-based software services that automate expenses management and streamline the employee onboarding process.