In part 1 of this series we covered the basics of starting the hiring process - you can read it here

In part 2 of this series we covered the 1st interview - you can read it here

In part 3 of this series we covered the offer stage - you can read it here

Congratulations on your new hire!

You rocked the process; you secured your preferred candidate and now it's time that you start working together.


Did you know that, on average, according to Bamboo HR Survey,30% of new employees quit within the first 6 months of starting a new job?

We put this to the test via a quick poll on Linkedin and it seems to resonate locally as well with over 40% of respondents ( 242 responses ) saying that they have left a job within 3 - 6 months of starting due to poor onboarding.

Pretty scary, considering that the average cost to replace, onboard, and train a new employee, is, on average, according to Glassdoor research, about 4,000/ employee.

And we are probably correct in guessing that you don't want your new employees to be part of the statistics, do you?

Look, the reality is that, sometimes it will still happen.

We do not have a crystal ball to see into the future and realistically, we cannot avoid failure all the time.

But we can certainly minimize it and not only that, but you can also turn it in your favour by creating an engaging onboarding experience where even if someone was to leave, they leave with a good impression and not a bad taste in their mouth.

So, let's get into how you can create an inclusive, engaging, and performance-driven onboarding process that helps you retain new recruits for longer.

  1. Buddy system

I'm sure you heard about it and if you have the capacity to do so, it's a fantastic way to start. The "mentor", if you will, has the opportunity to experience firsthand, management and training skills and to prepare him/her for further advancement, and the "apprentice" aka the new hire, can rely on an experienced peer to ask questions they perhaps would not be so comfortable asking someone in the C Suite, for example.

But for this to succeed, you need to do at least 2 things before, namely:

  1. Pick a "mentor" that has training flair, is patient, communicative, and diplomatic - offer them at least half-day training on how to prioritize their own workload to cope with the new "buddy system" and at least another half-day training on how to communicate positively and how to break down tasks efficiently
  2. Give the option to the "mentor" to turn down the opportunity - if you force them, this won't work

If you do not have the capacity to follow a buddy system, for whatever reason, you can either book the new recruit on specific training to your sector/role and/or allocate yourself a few hours, each day, to spend in the morning with the new recruit.

  1. Task development & management

In consideration of their existing experience, create a task development and management list, where you outline all the areas that the new recruit will need guidance/ training on and spread them out.

Like this, both of you have clarity on the learning curve, you have defined timelines and you can allocate resources as necessary to each area.

  1. Feedback

After every week or less/more, depending on the volume of training required, have a recap and a feedback session with the new recruit, where they can clarify any areas of concern and also provide their feedback on the delivery style.

Understanding how one person learns and processes information is crucial to helping you deliver that effectively.

For example, I, personally, learn mainly through visual memory - this means that if you make me sit there and listen to a lecture for half-day, chances are that at the end of it, I will be 1. Incredibly frustrated and 2. Probably I will only retain about 10% of the new information

Is your new recruit the same?

Seek to understand how they learn so you can adapt accordingly.

  1. Fostering an environment of collaboration

Sometimes, employees are focused solely on their role and there is little, if any, collaboration between them and/or different departments.

This is a huge, missed opportunity to create peer-to-peer learning, and engagement, and to develop cultural buy-in.

People love to learn new things and throughout your onboarding process, incorporate days/ sessions with at least adjacent departments to the role of the new recruit, where they can meet the team members and ask questions about their work and how it ties in with their role.

For example, sales should always meet marketing, HR should always meet, well everyone ?? , finance should always meet operations, and so on.

  1. Allow " make your own" training

Give the new recruit the option, if they want to, after the first month, for example, based on what they learned, to develop their own training program for the next week.

You will be surprised how welcomed this is. Why ?

Because they have carte blanche to pick something that did not stick with them the first time, without being afraid of asking for help.

  1. Do not mix tasks that are unrelated to each other

It creates confusion and truth be told, anxiety. And no one wants that, do they?

Group tasks/ training that have a logical connection to each other.

  1. Be patient

Do not expect the new recruit to be a "know-it all" after 1 week of training. Allow sufficient time for knowledge absorption, managed expectations on both sides, and create feedback loops frequently.

And last, but not least, relax and enjoy the ride!

Part 5 of "How to recruit and retain employees" will be out in 2 weeks and it will focus on collaboration between different departments within your business

Francina (Fran ) Moisa is the Founder and Headhunter | Talent Advisor of FM Search, a boutique headhunting and talent advisory Firm, based in Malta. To find out more about FM Search visit

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.