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Six steps to creating the perfect graduate onboarding experience

Alex Hattingh, Chief People Officer - Employment Hero

After rounds of interviews and many applicants, you’ve now found your star candidate and you’re ready to hit the ground running. Onboarding a new graduate should be handled a little bit differently to those who have years of experience. You want to make them feel comfortable and not overwhelm them on the very first day.

Before they start you’ll need to ensure that their contract, policies and paperwork are all up to scratch. There should be a proper induction plan in place to ease them into the business, especially if this is their first full-time role. We all know that first impressions count, the last thing you want is for your new hire to wait for hours for their manager to turn up or sit their twiddling their thumbs.

Make sure that when your new graduate’s first day comes to an end, they know they’ve made the right decision in becoming part of your business. To help you get organised and give your new graduate an amazing first day, week and month, we suggest following these simple steps. You want to show that you’re organised and excited for them to make a real impact in the business:

Before the first day

1. Work Space

Prepare your new employee’s work area and office space and equip it with supplies

Order appropriate access keys/security cards and make sure they work

Order business cards, if applicable

Arrange for parking, if required

2. Technology Access

Order technology equipment (computer, iPad, phone) and software

Set up their system in advance and assign them to a printer

Arrange for access to shared drives

Add their name to relevant email lists

3. General Communication

Share the news about the new starter with everyone in the business

Assign a buddy or mentor to the new hire

4. The first day

Have a small gift waiting for them such as your company t-shirt, mug or keychain

Give them a tour of the office or workplace and introduce them to key team members

Present them with their onboarding pack, containing important information like account info

Ensure they get a proper induction

Meet with them and their manager to explain the expectations of their role

Have their manager assign some initial tasks

Organise for them to have lunch with their new manager and/or team

5. The first week

Introduce them to employees from different areas of the business

Follow-up to ensure they’ve accessed, read and acknowledged your company policies

Check-in with them and their manager regarding initial tasks

Have their manager assign them their first project

Ask for first week feedback

6. The first month

Hold regular check-in meetings and evaluate their progress after a month in the company

See how they’re getting along with the rest of the team and whether they’re enjoying their work

Assess and action training needs

Check in with their manager on how their one-on-ones are going
With these steps, you’ll be on your way to giving your new graduates a recruitment and onboarding experience they’ll remember for many years to come. Remember, the key is to be personal, be upfront, and tailor your process to suit them. So go on, go find your gold star grad! Encourage graduates from all backgrounds and experiences to apply

When it comes to hiring graduates, you need to be inclusive. Be conscious of framing your workplace as an accepting and inclusive place to be. Consider putting a statement on the end of your job ads that invites people of all backgrounds and identities to apply.

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