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It’s paperwork-heavy and not exactly the most exciting of tasks at times, but robust onboarding is pretty much the bedrock of a worker’s journey in a new role. As the well-known saying points out, ‘You can’t build a great building on bad foundations’, and the same is true of a good worker relationship. Without a good foundation, everything is potentially unstable. If you don’t onboard effectively and ensure you meet the requirements of current compliance, you could be setting yourself up for trouble down the road, and worst of all, a bad hire. As a recruiter, you are looking for your candidates to stick in the roles. Onboarding is part of that process. It increases the likelihood of a positive hiring experience.
The first port of call in any onboarding journey is likely to be the legal compliance. Due diligence is usually uppermost in everyone’s mind because without it, you are open to some pretty hefty fines and, in some cases, imprisonment. This is particularly important when you are dealing with workers who need to prove right to work in the UK. As the law stands, if the checks are not done properly, someone could be looking at a fine of up to £20,000 per worker. That is mistakes we are talking about here, not for knowingly employing an illegal worker (which can carry a prison sentence, by the way), but just for getting the onboarding process wrong. It’s worth bearing in mind at this point that this has all recently changed due to Brexit and the new visa system. Change always creates uncertainty.
Onboarding is much more than just right to work, of course. There are many other considerations, such as whether the new worker will need to be put into the workplace pension. If so, the systems to deduct the contributions for both the employer and worker need to be assessed and implemented accurately. Are they going to be working with vulnerable adults or children? If so, they will need a DBS check, and this needs to be at the right level for the position. Your contractual obligations to ensure any benefits, perks and so on will need to be fulfilled. When all that is sorted, you will need to turn your attention to the matter of payroll. The fact that PAYE and National Insurance are now easier to arrange because of the advances in online submission makes thing a little easier, but it also makes accurate onboarding more important because, without accurate data, you will need to unravel the mistakes somewhere down the track. There is not much more likely to cause upset than a salary mistake.
That is just brushing the surface of the technical aspects of employment. Once you have that lot right, you need to move on to the human aspect. A new worker, even if it is only on a temporary contract, will always benefit from a solid onboarding process. Estimates vary about how large the impact is, but it is clear from both research and the personal experience of employers that a person who is introduced to the company correctly is more likely to stick around. Recruitment agencies will benefit from facilitating the onboarding process from the offer letter until the point where it is reasonable to assume the newcomer is settled. After all, good onboarding reduces the chance of a bad hire happening, which are costly and exasperating, particularly when the recruiter hits the mark for compliance.
We can help you with your onboarding. Our HMRC approved systems mean that you can be confident that you are compliant and legal, letting you get on with recruiting.