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graduate onboarding

Six steps to creating the perfect graduate onboarding experience

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 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. Workspace

  • 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!

By Alex Hattingh, CPO at Employment Hero

Alex Hattingh