It is rare that new staff will be at maximum productivity from month 1. Furthermore until new starters are fully integrated and trained up the efficiency of the rest of the team will drop as their colleagues bring the newbies up to speed with how the business operates.

How long it is before these new starters positively contribute can be accelerated.

  1. Create an onboarding process to ensure the process of setting new starters up as employees is as smooth as possible. Delegate each of the following aspects to the most junior person able to execute it:
    1. setting up IT systems;
    2. getting business cards printed;
    3. setting up payroll; and
    4. securing references.
       
  2. Co-ordinate starter dates if you can. Not only does this save time with interviewing prospective candidates but co-ordinating their onboarding and training is a further efficiency.
     
  3. Where possible, focus hiring on quiet periods so as to minimise disruption to employees involved in onboarding them and enable the new starters to find their feet at a less intense time. Summer or Christmas can be very effective times in many industries.
     
  4. Create a new starter pack which addresses all the key information and frequently asked questions staff have.
    1. Include documentation on how to use key IT systems, name and file documents, how to book holidays, the benefits offered, the disciplinary process etc.
       
  5. Put in place training programmes for all employees develop. Schedule the basic skills courses for the same time you hire groups of graduates.
     
  6. Create a mentoring or buddy scheme to help integrate the new starters and make sure they have someone they can talk to with any questions.

Alex Arnot is non-executive director to more than 20 recruitment companies