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Conclusion: Hiring is costly, time-consuming and fraught with risk. Hiring decisions can impact organisations in either positive or negative ways. A critical step in the hiring process is onboarding. First impressions matter and new hires need to be made to feel welcome, engaged and enabled to ensure they can settle in quickly and are able to start contributing as quickly as possible.

Given that a critical issue in Australia is the availability of highly-sought-after IT skills1, it is particularly important that organisations can attract and retain the IT skills needed to support the business. Of course, successful onboarding is important in all aspects of an organisation.

Onboarding should be a clearly defined process with a checklist of exactly what should be done, and what should be repeated for every new hire. The process starts before the employee’s first day and extends to a period after the employee’s first day, possibly up to six or even 12 months.

Successful onboarding is not just HR’s responsibility but the responsibility of every hiring manager or supervisor, and their colleagues. And success will be judged by the employees in how well the process made them feel welcomed, helped them understand their role and engaged them, and contributed to their productivity. Lower turnover rates should also be a goal of improving onboarding.

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