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HR & EDUCATION | Contributed Content, Singapore
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Singapore’s onboarding blind spot

Many organisations in Singapore have a blind spot post-hiring, but a well-considered onboarding program can correct it and help make sure new employees stay the course.

Research we conducted found that just three out of ten businesses back up appointments with a formal onboarding process (this is the process of helping a new employee make the transition to a new organisation, from the point of offer to her or his first day).

Half of employers said they retained ‘some’ contact throughout a new hire’s notice period, and 39 per cent got full marks for 'frequent' contact.

So despite the immense time, effort and cost that can go into identifying and securing the right candidate, the majority of businesses are failing to make the best use of the key time between offer and arrival.

At Hays, our experience tells us it’s important to develop and maintain a conversation with a new hire during the pre-start notice period to send a good message and make a good first impression. For example, an organisation could share information about their operation and send a starter pack that might include health and safety guidelines or company policies, induction videos and profiles of team members.

We’ve even seen cases of an organisation setting up with the new hire a diary for their first two weeks in the job. For people who are relocating, it’s also a good idea to provide information about an area’s local amenities and schools.

These are useful ways for employers to engage and keep in contact with people who are set to join their business, whatever level they are coming in at.

How to make the onboarding process successful
There are a number of basic things organisations should consider to make the onboarding process more successful. We advise organisations to:

1. Offer online starter packs for candidates to download during their notice period that help them get to know their new employer and save time on their first day.

2. Place any company and corporate induction videos online for the same reason.

3. Give new hires access to employee or team profiles, especially of people they will be working with; consider giving them access to chat facilities too.

4. Set them up with a diary for their first fortnight, that they and you can amend and develop.

5. Maintain regular contact with the new hire throughout the probation period.

6. Follow up your onboarding process with an induction program that starts on day one. 

Chris Mead, General Manager, Hays in Singapore

The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Singapore Business Review. The author was not remunerated for this article.

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