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Top tips for employee onboarding during the seasonal period

The seasonal period is a busy time for any business, especially those that need to supplement the workforce with new recruits. How do you ensure it goes smoothly?
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With December here, there comes the imminent period of carol singing, eating copious amounts of mince pies and the buying and receiving of thoughtful gifts. For the most part the festive cheer overwhelms everyone, however for seasonal industries such as retail it can be dampened by the urgency to onboard as many temporary employees as possible to manage the surge in shoppers during this busy period.

With such mass seasonal recruitment, it can quickly make the process impersonal likening it to a conveyer belt notion with the added pressure of the UK adopting shopping holidays such as “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” it means time scales become tighter and seasonal recruitment starts much earlier.

So what can HR and Hiring Managers do to ensure they provide a high-quality employee onboarding experience to each of their new starters during the festive period?

Ensure day one goes smoothly

With seasonal employment often only being a temporary contract, it’s crucial that everything goes smoothly in the transition from prefered candidate to first day. This ultimately enables the new employee to join the organisation quickly, feeling confident within their role so they can hit the ground running.

You wouldn’t be tempted to venture into a shop with a less appealing Christmas display in the window, so why would a new employee want to join a company that fails to put together an appealing and correct contract?

In a survey of 4,000 office workers, webonboarding found that almost four in ten (39 per cent) of respondents admitted to having a problem when starting a new job, either between the offer and them accepting, or when they actually started. Manually managing high volumes of contracts can increase the opportunity for errors, however, the contract is the first point of contact between the business and a new starter, so it’s fundamental this represents the organisation well.

Engage with your new hires from the moment the role has been offered

Ensure that you have an effective onboarding process by allowing employees to embrace the festive cheer and deliver a great customer experience It is therefore it’s essential you provide them with an onboarding experience to mirror this. In addition, the research found that nearly eight in ten (79 per cent) agreed that they would have settled into their new role much more quickly had there been a better process. With time being so precious during the seasonal recruitment period, it’s imperative to seamlessly deliver a good experience.

This means, engaging with the new starters as soon as the roles have been offered and coming to an agreed start date and creating a contract that covers all bases.

For more efficient ways of managing high volumes of onboarding, automating your employee onboarding process might be the best option. You can introduce your new starters to a centralised online portal where they can access their contracts and digitally sign them, removing the time-consuming job of printing, signing and posting back to their new organisation. If changes are required, the administrator can then sign in and amend the contract in real time.

Effective training and preparation before day one

With time being of the essence, seasonal recruits can prepare themselves before day one by using the online portal to download key documents and watch introductory videos. It’s still imperative to support and train new staff to a high level so they can manage and be competent during this busy time. Plus the onboardee’s progress can then be tracked by the HR team providing them with greater visibility of each stage.

A warm welcome from day one

86 per cent of employees globally agreed a good onboarding process provides a great first impression, so once this is successfully achieved, it’s time to provide a fantastic first day.

You wouldn’t choose the perfect present and not wrap it, so it’s important once you’ve found the perfect employee you continue to nurture and support them. With 10 per cent of employees confessing to leaving a new job after just a few days, and the average cost per hire being £195, it’s essential a new onboardee is made to feel welcome and settled into the team to prevent unnecessary company costs from accumulating and the entire process having to start all over again.

The festive period can be a chaotic time, so eliminate your business from one stress and look to digitalise your employee onboarding process this festive period.

Webonboarding is a cloud-based solution that helps businesses manage the manual employee onboarding process from preferred new hire to employee.

Find out more here.

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.

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About Author

Adam Reynolds

Adam Reynolds is CEO of webexpenses, a fast-growing global expenses management software provider. With an extensive background in software and leadership, he joined webexpenses as head of sales in 2013. He became the CEO in 2015 and now oversees all business functions from technical and product development to customer services. Webexpenses software is used in over 70 countries throughout the world and – with offices in Sydney, Brisbane, and Texas – continues to grow internationally.

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