Acing the on-boarding process like a HR superstar 🤩

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9 September 2019

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For most people, the first day at a new workplace is a daunting experience. It creates uncertainty and brings old insecurities to the fore. That’s why on-boarding is seen as an important part of the modern recruitment process, your goal should be to ease recruits into their new role.


We’ve all experienced bouts of self doubt when starting a new job. Part of your on-boarding process should be to help reduce or remove them entirely. New starters will often struggle to justify their new position or worth to a business.


  • Am I good enough?
  • Will people like me?
  • Will I like it here?
  • Did I made a mistake in joining this business?
  • Will I pass probation?


The first day at a new job can be tough and sometimes downright depressing. New starters often report sleepless nights or poor sleep on the run up to their first day. It’s clear that the first day has a massive impact on us emotionally. This doesn’t have to be the case, as with a good on-boarding process you can help ease the anxiety and self-doubt. Here are a few steps to help you give your new employee a great on-boarding experience and increase your chances of retaining that staff member.


The first six months are critical

A whopping 90% of new employees use their experience of the first six months to decide whether to commit themselves to the new business long term. Keeping employees beyond the first six months is vital to the long-term success of both your recruit and the business.


Forget on-boarding for a moment, as it all starts with pre-boarding


It’s crucial to begin the onboarding process before your new recruit’s first day at the workplace. Research shows that businesses that have a pre-boarding process keep 81% of their first-year hires. You need to excite, engage, and wow your new employees. Doing this will make them fall in love with your business. How do you do this? Well, it starts with the offer letter. Once the dreaded interview process is complete, the next step is usually the offer letter.

🎉 Ace the offer letter

Screw the traditional offer letter, get your design team to develop an offer slide/presentation. This visual offer presentation would include a generic intro from the CEO/hiring manager. Keep the presentation short, sweet, fun, and factual and include:


  • Salary/Start date
  • Bonus structure
  • Employee benefits
  • Additional package information
  • Company structure
  • First week/First Day timeline - make it fun and informative


📮 Send a card

Send a ‘congratulations on your new job’ card to the recruit and have team members or the hiring team write a welcome message on the card. This is a nice touch and creates the feeling of inclusion and warmth before the new starter’s first day. This should also help release some of that tension we all experience and replace it with excitement and intrigue.


✅ Don’t bore them on the first day

Get the boring paperwork stuff done before the new employee starts. No one wants to spend their first day shuffling paper. Get those snooze-inducing (but important) forms and manuals sent out ahead of time or use HR software like PayFit to create your own onboarding checklist, you can also collect personal details and documents directly in the app.

The first day should be fun and celebratory, at PayFit we start the day with a welcome breakfast. Managers also take their new hire out for lunch. It’s their first day, we like to make it memorable.

 🔥 Hot tip

Create a “New Hire Cheat Sheet” for the recruit and post it around the office or high trafficked areas.


  • Favourite foods
  • Guilty pleasure
  • Dog/Cat name
  • Favourite movie
  • Hobbies
  • Embarrassing moments
  • Top 5 conversation starters
  • Likes
  • Dislikes


🎈Get creative with their workspace

Assign a team member to decorate the new starter’s workspace with a welcome banner, balloons, branded merchandise, sweets, treats or even books.

👯‍♀️ Assign an office buddy

Assign the new recruit an office buddy before they join. The task of the office buddy is to help new employees through that challenging first week and make the first week experience enjoyable and memorable.

Here is an example below of our Buddy Checklist:




☕️ Review their first week

Arrange a catch-up meeting with the recruit to gather feedback about their first week and gauge how they are feeling. Talk about what they liked, what they didn’t like and how they are settling in. You could do this at lunchtime or over a coffee break, in an informal setting such as a café or taking a stroll around the block.

Challenger Bank Monzo has one of the most impressive on-boarding first week we’ve seen

Monzo seem to have mastered the art of on-boarding, especially for a rapidly growing start-up. They make sure a new employee has received all the vital paperwork before they start. They also set new starters up on Slack and their Monzo emails are ready before they begin so they can dip their toes into conversations or watch from afar.

Here’s an example of the first week’s itinerary for back-end developers at Monzo.


Did you know?

Only 44% of new employees report a positive experience regarding how they were welcomed to their new organisation.

Source: Modern Survey. (2011). [Onboarding Report Card]. Unpublished raw data.

🤓 Train them up

In the first week, 76% of employees believe training is the most important factor. So, you need to make sure you nail the training of your new superstar. Here are some training ideas:


  • Training on all systems and processes
  • Brand training
  • Tone of voice workshops
  • Time Management

Practice makes perfect, so fine tune your training via feedback from employees and find out which areas of training need more attention. 

How we do things at PayFit

At PayFit, we want to create that WOW effect right from the start. We aim to delight new joiners with a surprise welcome package and a postcard from the team, a tasty welcome breakfast and lunch. Each new employee gets to choose his/her equipment before joining, is assigned a buddy and has the first few weeks organised and laid out in the diary on day one. This first impression will last and lay the foundations for a successful relationship.



On our PayFit platform, you can easily onboard new employees by collecting all documents directly in the app and creating checklists.