Welcome aboard: A guide to the perfect induction for new starters

Authored by Charlie Lawson.
5 min read
It’s the time of year when many people start new jobs so make sure you’re perfectly prepared to welcome your new joiners, says Karen Falconer, HR Manager at HR Solutions.

A variety of sources including ACAS, CIPD and Oxford Economics agree that the approximate direct cost of recruiting a new employee is £5,000. If you were to consider all the associated costs, including getting the employee up to speed, sourcing them the required equipment, covering the cost of employers' liability insurance, etc, then this amount can climb as high as £30,000.

For this reason alone, it is worth spending some time on an effective induction plan to give new starters the best chance to hit the ground running and to keep your organisation running productively.

Induction is the process that introduces newcomers to your organisation. Aspects of it may begin before the new starter has even arrived and ideally it will be the first thing they do. An induction may be brief, or it may span a few weeks or months depending on the complexity of the role and the nuances of your business or industry.

Remember that starting a new job is a daunting prospect so do allow for initial nervousness and apprehension. A well-prepared induction can help to put them at ease and make them a sponge for everything they need to learn about your business.

The offer pack

Once a recruit has confirmed their acceptance of the role you may send an offer pack including:

• offer letter
• two copies of the contract
• details of benefits
• copy of the employee handbook

If they have not already had one, you may also include a copy of the job description.

This is a simple step to ensure that the new starter has been provided with all the basics they need to know about your organisation, including what your expectations will be of them on a day to day basis before they have even walked through the door.

Consider what training is required

The first bit of training every new employee needs is an introduction to health and safety in the workplace. This will include a fire safety and accident procedure. It may also include a DSE assessment manual handling training and any other safety training specific to the role. As GDPR comes into effect they should also be given data security training to make sure that your measures remain robust.

Next, identify the nuances that the new staff member will need to get to grips with. Consider any software or processes they will need to use but may be unfamiliar with. Consider any approaches, cultures or standards that the employee should adopt to represent your business appropriately.

You may also want to introduce the employee to the team. Arrange for time to be spent with individuals to discuss their roles in the business so that the new member can contemplate their own job in a wider context. They may also start to form relationships and even pick up handy tips and ways of working. In the same vein, there may also be value in arranging time to be spent with other departments, so they may appreciate their goals and limitations.

Check availabilities

Nobody wants to feel that they are an imposition. Once you have identified who your new starter needs to visit, check the individuals concerned are both confident to have a chat with the new person and that they have time built into the working day to allow for a relaxed session.

Prepare the induction plan

Once you have availabilities you may prepare an induction schedule. This should be provided to the new starter when they begin. This must correspond with the times you have agreed for a meet up with other staff and it should allow for breaks and downtime so that the new starter can digest all the new information.

The induction plan may also include some light duties and activities such as:

• meetings
• client visits
• shadowing
• online training

A copy of the schedule should be given to the line manager and any other person who may have a vested interest in their whereabouts, such as the office or site manager.

Arrange their set up

It can be time-consuming and dispiriting to have to try and assemble everything that you need when starting in a new job, particularly if this means interrupting your new colleagues for something menial. Spend a small amount of time thinking about what can be prepared before the new member begins so that their time can be spent getting to grips with more valuable things.

Some things to consider include:

• their desk or workstation
• stationery or equipment
• their e-mail address and log in
• their keys or fobs and badges
• access rights
• hardware and software
• protective workwear

Create a checklist

To accompany the plan, it is worth providing a checklist of things that the new member of staff must complete or should learn. This is a straightforward way to demonstrate progress and to document that your own obligations to the new starter have been met (i.e. health and safety and security). Sickness and emergencies always crop up and send the plan askew, so the checklist can be used to remember what needs to be rearranged if need be.

First-day reporting

Make sure that they have been informed of where they should report to and when on their first day and that they know what (if any) documents they need to bring with them if they have not been provided already i.e. evidence of their right to work. This can save time that may otherwise be lost to confusion and misunderstandings, enabling you to get on with the induction.


Small things can make a big difference. The quicker a new starter feels comfortable, gets their bearings and has built relations with other colleagues, the quicker they will be able to get on with their work and do the job well.

Point out where they can get lunch from on their first day as well as other amenities in the local area. Arrange a catch up to ask them for feedback on how they are getting on and arrange a get together with the team to celebrate the end of their first week with you.

Read more about inductions from HR Solutions (external link).

At Hiscox, we want to help your small business thrive. Our blog has many articles you may find relevant and useful as your business grows. But these articles aren’t professional advice. So, to find out more on a subject we cover here, please seek professional assistance.

Charlie Lawson

Having spent 4 years at Hiscox, Charlie is a Development Underwriter for Hiscox Direct Commercial. Her responsibilities include underwriting, products and pricing to our customers directly, both online and via our customer experience centre. Previously, she worked for the Hiscox Broker channel in London and has also spent time in the claims and finance teams, as well as being seconded to underwrite in the San Francisco office.