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Retaining talent through Powerful Onboarding

redline group announcing their new onboarding toolkit

The competition to attract and retain skilled professionals in the technology, electronics, and engineering sectors is reaching unprecedented levels of significance. The repercussions of inadequate selection and onboarding practices are staggering, with the UK economy hemorrhaging £340 billion due to disengaged employees.

Onboarding stands as the linchpin in ensuring that new hires are not just onboarded but truly immersed in the ethos and operations of the company. A robust onboarding program not only facilitates the integration of fresh talent but also ignites a profound sense of belonging and satisfaction among employees bolstering employee satisfaction.

In today's landscape, the value of talent is paramount, underscored by its scarcity and irreplaceability. The adage "a business is only as good as its employees" rings truer than ever, and the dividends of effective onboarding cannot be overstated.

To support business success, Redline assembled this extensive onboarding toolkit and checklist, complete with essential resources tailored for each stage of your new hire journey.

Surveys underscore the pivotal role of onboarding, with a staggering 93% of employers acknowledging its influence on employee retention. However, in Europe's fiercely competitive high-tech job market, the battle for talent extends far beyond the initial job offer. Alarmingly, a significant portion of new hires, over 30% are already seeking alternative employment within their first weeks, or worse, fail to show up on their first day. This exodus is a testament to the inadequacy of many organisations in allocating sufficient resources to the onboarding process.

Effective onboarding is not merely about acquainting new hires with their roles; it is about empowering them with the tools and knowledge to seamlessly integrate and contribute meaningfully to the organisation's success. Its impact reverberates throughout the entire employee journey, from the first point of contact to the final touchpoint, shaping the trajectory of employee engagement and retention.

According to SHRM, the duration of an onboarding program, whether it spans a single day or stretches out to ninety days, significantly influences employee retention, with engaging programs boasting a remarkable 91% retention rate through the critical first year. Strategic onboarding transcends mere orientation by embracing a standardised, consistent, and structured approach that extends beyond the initial days of acclimatisation. By fostering higher levels of employee engagement, performance, and retention, strategic onboarding serves as a linchpin for bolstering overall employee satisfaction and curbing premature attrition.

Why is Onboarding important?

  • 35% of companies have no formal onboarding process
  • 11% increase in work performance if a thorough onboarding process is in place
  • 4% of new employees leave after a disastrous first few weeks
  • 30% of new hires start looking for a new job within six months

Crafting an impactful onboarding journey necessitates a strategic, meticulously structured approach intricately linked to each employee's career trajectory within the business, with clearly defined objectives guiding the process. The onboarding process is not merely a formality; it is the crucible where employees forge crucial connections with the company's ethos, culture, and mission. This pivotal experience profoundly shapes their inclination to either cultivate roots within the business or embark on a quest for alternative career avenues.

Adam Walker, Director at Redline, underscores the pivotal role of effective onboarding in nurturing employee potential. Commenting he said “It is natural for HR professionals and leaders to be on the lookout for employee potential and fostering long-term engagement and growth within an organisation. The significance of aligning the business's needs with the onboarding and hiring process, as well as identifying existing employees with untapped potential. It is a critical juncture of onboarding as the foundation for cultivating enduring employee commitment and performance. The importance of swiftly integrating new hires into the organisational fabric to accelerate their productivity and sense of belonging cannot be underestimated.”

Implementing a holistic onboarding strategy that goes beyond assessing cultural compatibility to encompass a deep understanding of job duties and expectations. By actively involving and motivating employees from day one, organisations can facilitate seamless transitions and reduce the temptation of pursuing external career opportunities.

Five Key Areas:

In essence, strategic onboarding is not just a nicety but a necessity for businesses seeking to cultivate a motivated, committed workforce poised for sustained success. This is often broken down into five key areas:

  1. Preboarding
  2. First day experience
  3. First month essentials
  4. First Quarter tools
  5. Measurement for success

Organisations can increase retention by focusing on those activities which get employees engaged from the start. One way to do that is by taking care of administrative paperwork before day one so employees can focus on their role and other things that matter to them most. Onboarding processes set new hires up for success by building positive work relationships, and help reach promises made during interviews, and providing a career roadmap throughout their career within the organisation.”

The goal of onboarding is to enculturate and connect employees to success. Its impact can be felt throughout the employee lifecycle – from the first touch. This process assists to uncover valuable insights into the employee experience and demonstrates if employees are getting the knowledge and resources, they need to be successful.

Redline’s research into ‘Onboarding,’ ‘Proximity Bias,’ ‘How to Close the Gender Gap’, ‘Competency Based Interviews for Engineers’ are aimed at ensuring top talent joins and stays.

Download the Onboarding Toolkit and checklist full of essential resources for every stage of the new hire process.

Redline changes lives every day, building world-class teams for technology and engineering companies. With four decades of experience, our knowledge-led people tailor recruitment solutions to suit clients’ specific needs.

If you would like more advice, tips, inspiration or if you need guidance on securing talent for your team, contact Adam Walker on 01582 878802 or email


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