Why induction plays a key role in the recruitment process

Why induction plays a key role in the recruitment process

When does the recruitment process end? Is it considered done and dusted as soon as an offer of employment has been made and accepted, once the contract has been signed or when the new recruit arrives for their first day of work?

The reality is that the recruitment cycle continues well into the employee’s first 3-6 months of employment whilst they undergo a thorough onboarding process. During this time, they will undertake any necessary training and have regular conversations with their line manager to discuss and review their performance.

The recruitment cycle concludes once the new recruit has successfully completed and passed their probationary period. Therefore, when establishing a stable, long-term working relationship, the first few months are critical.

Embarking on a new career can be an exciting, albeit daunting experience for new joiners. They are motivated, enthusiastic and keen to learn and to perform well.

Induction is the most important part of forming the employee relationship. Welcoming a new joiner and making them feel included, respected and valued reinforces their feeling of wellbeing and alleviates any anxieties or concerns they may have.

In addition, as more organisations are working remotely because of Covid-19, it is especially important to tailor induction programmes so new joiners have a positive experience and additional support to connect with new colleagues.

However, induction can often be overlooked and rushed, leaving the new employee feeling unproductive and demotivated. Statistics show that up to 40% of new recruits leave within the first 6 months of starting a new job and the cost of a replacement, including fees and loss of productivity, can be up to £30,000* per head. After all the time and effort spent sourcing the right candidate, it is disappointing, costly and damaging to the business to have to start the whole process again.

Like the strong foundations of a new high-rise building providing a safe and solid base for construction, a robust, well-planned and thoroughly executed induction will form the basis of a fully engaged and motivated employee who performs well, is highly productive and shows long-term commitment.

Therefore, it is important to take time to carefully plan the induction process, ensuring that all key aspects regarding the business, the office, the role, the teams, the systems and processes are covered, that training is provided and regular feedback encouraged.

By setting a good first impression, new joiners will feel confident in their choice of employer and in their new role.

Start the induction before they come on board by sending a welcome pack with some goodies such as a personalised company mug or t-shirt, creating a positive feeling in connection to your company. Provide an outline of what they can expect on their first day/week/month of employment, so there are no sudden surprises. Include any company literature or media that gives the employee an informative and engaging introduction to the company, the business and its people.  Avoid bombarding the employee with too much information and ensure that any information you do provide is relevant to the employee and their employment with the business.

Any pre-employment matters such as the right to work and starter forms should be dealt with before the start date.

Prior to their arrival, ensure their workspace is set up and fully equipped, with all the necessary resources they need to hit the ground running. Where applicable, ensure their PC is connected and working properly, their email is set up and all furniture and equipment are in good condition.

Some new employees have been known to spend their first few days setting up their own workstations, chasing logins and passwords and setting up accounts. This is time-wasting and unproductive. It is also frustrating and demoralising for the new joiner.

Depending on the nature and size of the company, induction can be conducted by HR and the line manager as well as other directors and team members. The induction can be delivered in many ways, via a combination of individual and/or group talks and presentations, social media and/or other media resources.

Some companies prefer to address practical matters as a priority, such as on-site health and safety, workplace compliance, facilities and IT, company benefits and policies. Others prefer to focus on organisation information, culture and values, role-specific information and learning and development in the first instance, as this is the more interesting and engaging part of induction. In any event, avoid treating induction as a tick-box exercise and keep it as informal and engaging as possible.

There are many tools available to facilitate the sharing of information and improve internal communications and interactivity. An intranet app such as Actimo can be uploaded onto smartphones and used as an effective social media and company communication tool, introducing new joiners, sharing knowledge, company news and information.

Implementing a peer buddy system enables new joiners to integrate and settle in more quickly. Introducing new joiners to key employees will also help them to better understand the organisation’s structure and key responsibilities across all teams. Organising regular social events encourages newbies to meet their colleagues and make new friends in a relaxed and informal setting. Some companies like to arrange fun activities specifically aimed at encouraging new recruits to meet the teams, such as inviting them to distribute beers and drinks during Friday night socials.

The induction process should be evaluated to determine whether it is meeting the needs of the new recruits and the organisation. Providing opportunities for feedback at the end of the induction process and inviting ideas and suggestions for improvement is always good practice.

As well as gathering feedback from new employees, it’s important to identify key measures of success of the induction process and evaluate the process against these metrics. Information from turnover statistics or employee feedback can also be used, particularly from those who leave within the first 12 months of employment.

The kind of start they get off to is crucial to shaping their attitude to the company and their job, so planning an induction will be more than worth the effort involved.

 

*ACAS – Oxford Economics
* Work -force insights arm of credit-reporting agency Equifax 2013

 

Finding the perfect personal assistant

Finding the perfect personal assistant

This article was originally written by Jane Braithwaite Independent Practitioner Today. 

In a new series, Jane Braithwaite turns troubleshooter to answer independent practitioners’ frequently asked questions on business matters. This month, she takes up issues related to employing a medical PA.

I need to employ a medical PA, but I have never employed anyone before. What are my responsibilities?

Becoming an employer is an exciting part of the journey in establishing a private healthcare business and creating good processes as an employer from day one will ensure a positive experience. As an employer, you have responsibilities from a financial and accounting perspective as well as from an HR and management point of view. You must register with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as an employer before you are able to pay your first employee. You will need to decide what salary to pay and ensure you adhere to the Government rules regarding minimum wage. You will also need to check if you are responsible for registering your employee for a pension. Check that your employee has the right to work in the UK and also arrange any checks; for example, a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.  All employers must have employers’ liability insurance with a minimum cover of £5m.  

Employment contract

Every employee must have a written statement of employment or contract of employment. This should confirm salary, holiday entitlement, sick pay arrangements and all other relevant terms and conditions. You must state clearly if the offer of employment is subject to any checks, which may include qualifications and reference checks. It is very important to ensure the contract is signed by your emp­loyee as soon as possible. Many employers produce a solid contract but then fail to follow through to the signature. 

As an employee and manager, you are legally responsible for providing a safe and secure working environment and you should check whether you are responsible for having a first aider. You must also ensure all of your employee’s personal data is stored securely. 

Given all of these responsibilities, you might wonder whether you are better to employ someone on a self-employed basis, but be aware that you need to take care to avoid falling into problems.

Employed or self-employed?

HMRC advises that you must check whether an individual is self-employed in both tax law and employment law. You can be held responsible for unpaid tax and penalties if a mistake is made. According to the HMRC website, an individual is probably self-employed if most of the following statements are true. 

The individual is:

 In business for themselves, responsible for the success or failure of their business and can make a loss or a profit;

 Able to decide what work they do and when, where or how to do it;

 Able to hire someone else to do the work;

 Responsible for fixing any unsatisfactory work in their own time;

 Paid a fixed price for their work by the employer – it does not depend on how long the job takes to finish;

 Using their own money to buy business assets, cover running costs and provide tools and equipment for their work;

 Able to work for more than one client.

The use of the words ‘probably’ and ‘most’ by HMRC make it hard to have 100% clarity and so it is best to proceed with caution. If you are in any doubt, please take professional advice. Becoming an employer for the first time is an involved process and it is important to make sure you get everything right from day one to avoid issues later on. 

If you are uncertain about the best way forward for you, then you would be wise to take expert advice which could save you time and money in the long term. 

How do I interview for the role of medical PA? What questions do you suggest I ask?

When interviewing for a medical PA, it is important to ask questions to understand experience and expertise.

You need to ensure an individual is qualified to do the role, but also to focus on the softer skills relating to dealing with patients, working with others on the team and dealing with the wider community, including insurance companies and hospital booking departments. 

Interviewing a PA

Ideally, you are looking to find the best medical PA to suit your practice, with the skills that you need and the attitude and behaviours that fit well within the culture of your team and in line with your values. 

Every individual in your team has an impact on the quality of patient experience that you deliver and choosing the right team members is of the highest priority.

But an initial word of caution. In my experience, many employers assume the medical PA role can be managed by an individual with general PA or receptionist skills and I have seen numerous new employees thrown in at the deep end. This has resulted in a stressful outcome for both employer and employee. 

Specialist role

The medical PA role is a very specialist role and completely different to a general PA role. If you are interviewing a candidate who has limited experience of the medical PA role, you will need to devise a thorough training plan to implement once your PA is on board. 

Prepare for the interview by re-reading the candidate’s CV, highlighting any areas where you would like to explore in more detail or any gaps between employment that you would like to understand. 

Write a set of questions that ensure you explore the candidate’s CV. This will also provide a gentle opening to the interview by focusing on the individual’s past experience. 

Secondly, consider your job description for the medical PA role and highlight areas that have not been addressed by the CV. 

Start by ensuring the candidate has an adequate level of expertise and experience to undertake the role. Is there evidence of working in equivalent roles? 

Does the candidate know the systems you use? 

If typing is required, has the candidate confirmed their capabilities? You may want to test typing skills separately. Create a list of questions that allow you to check thoroughly for experience and expertise. 

The final part of questioning should relate to the attitude of the potential medical PA, their approach to patients and teamwork to allow you to assess whether the individual would be a good fit in your practice and within your team. 

Are your values aligned? I believe the best way to assess this is to use the competency-based interview technique. You should ask relevant questions about past experiences and how the individual handled them.

 

 

January Stay Connected

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