As we all know, the pandemic has presented challenges for employees across all industries, not least for those who’ve taken the decision to make a career leap during such a strange time. At Proctors, we’ve always known the importance of having an effective and inclusive onboarding process. So, over this period, we’ve carefully adjusted to government restrictions to ensure we could maintain a warm, informative and meaningful welcome to the team.
This has presented a helpful opportunity to think really carefully about our new joiners’ experience and how best we can enhance it. We want to help everyone feel comfortable and settled in their new roles as quickly as possible.
We work hard at recruitment stage to give all candidates a good insight into working life at P+S. We provide you with clear and honest job specifications detailing the expectations of the role and all the benefits that come with it. At interview, we talk openly about our structure, culture, how the pandemic has affected the business and about our positive outlook for the future. We appreciate that it can feel like a risky time to change roles, so we know the importance of reassuring our candidates that we’re a stable business offering long-term opportunities.
Once we’ve found the right fit for our vacancy, and you’ve accepted our offer, we initiate our onboarding process. It’s a flexible procedure that can be tailored for the wide range of roles at Proctors and for candidates at different levels of experience, all of whom will have varying requirements.
That said, we’ll generally follow these four key stages:
1. Pre-start preparation
Using our online documentation review and signature tool, we issue an electronic offer letter, contract of employment, employee/health and safety handbooks and any other paperwork that our new starters need to read and sign before committing to the new role. We’ve found it really helpful to get this tied up before your first day, so that you can focus on the more enjoyable and engaging elements from that point.
We start to make plans for your first day and beyond, covering any holiday plans and upcoming important events. Depending on your role, we may send some project case studies or activities to read over to help you feel prepared for day one. We may even provide early access to LinkedIn Learning, our online training platform, which has thousands of courses.
On your first day, you’ll be welcomed at reception by your manager and our front of house manager, who will give you a full tour of Proctors HQ, including the team café, showers, bike racks, lockers etc. This includes the all-important health and safety run-through, with detail about the support available for both your physical and emotional wellbeing. You’ll also meet your ‘buddy,’ who will take you for a welcome lunch and show you around our local area. They’ll be on-hand to answer any questions outside of the induction meetings that follow.
Next, you’ll spend some time with me (HR manager) to highlight who’s who in the team, along with info on company structure, hybrid and flexible working and a general overview of inductions and meetings you can expect to help you to get to know our processes and projects. Then, we’ll introduce you to the rest of the team and show you to your dedicated desk space, where you’ll be met by a member of our trusted in-house IT team to get you set up.
From the start, you’ll have opportunities to establish social connections (usually with the option to join online if working from home) through events such as the Wednesday quiz and an early finish on Friday for drinks, snacks and end-of-the-week social in the café. Depending on the time of year, you might get involved in a charity cake and coffee morning, fancy dress days, festive wreath-making, or one of our many pop-up lunchtime offerings when talented chefs (including some of our own Proctorians) cook up a storm in our commercial kitchen!
3. Training and enablement
The days and weeks that follow will be filled with induction meetings and overviews with IT, managers and colleagues, leaders and all key members of our teams so that you have an in-depth understanding of the workings of your own department, as well as a light-touch overview of what all others do in the company – most will be pre-booked before your fist day so that you can anticipate what will happen and when. We’re a sociable and collaborative bunch, so we want you to feel engaged, connected and build key relationships where needed.
You’ll be in regular meetings and contact with your manager and colleagues throughout, with lots of support and guidance while you’re learning the ropes. I’ll usually check in occasionally over the first few weeks too to ensure you’re settling in well and offer any additional help or information you might need, and you’ll have a really helpful and motivational session with Ailsa Billington, our Managing Director. You’ll find out where we started, how we’ve evolved the business and services we offer, and who we work with and why – a really good opportunity to quiz the man who made it all happen 43 years ago.
4. Settling in
After your initial few weeks, you’ll find more time to get to know your clients, projects and the team, establishing a real sense of clarity in your role. You’ll have support and mentoring from your manager, buddy, colleagues and me. You’ll also be encouraged to ask all of the questions, with time to do any necessary training, while you’re finding your feet.
We have a significant training budget which ensures that all of our team have the opportunity to continually improve their skills and knowledge when needed. We purposefully don’t set any objectives or targets for new starters so that you can use this time to really settle and feel comfortable in your new role.
Once 3 months has passed, we’ll meet for a relaxed and informal update where we start to identify helpful areas of focus – with input from both you and your manager – to ensure you’re always learning and growing. You’ll get full details and enrolment on all our benefits at this stage, too, so you’ll be able to take full advantage of all other perks of the job.
All in all, you’ll have a warm welcome from everyone, and we’ll do everything we can to help you feel a valued member of the team and part of the furniture in no time.
If you feel this is the kind of place you and your skills might feel at home, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org or take a look over our current vacancies on our careers page to find out more about joining our wonderful crew.