Creating Better Onboarding Experiences With Mentoring

You don’t have to be in HR to know that hiring people costs money. But it’s not just in the recruitment process – it’s the whole employee onboarding experience that needs to be considered when evaluating your cost of employee acquisition costs. An early exit of an employee from a business due to an incorrect hire is estimated to cost upwards of 50% of the employee’s salary. You only get one chance to make a first impression so it’s imperative businesses have a consistent and cohesive experience across both the hiring and onboarding experience.

The war for talent

Employee onboarding has significantly evolved over the past two decades. Originally driven by the ‘war for talent’ organisations soon realised that they needed to up their game in bringing on new employees who may be easily distracted by other bright shiny offerings elsewhere. Technology has also played a role in helping organisations deliver a consistent and scalable experience and saved us all from 3 days locked in a room for company brainwashing…sorry, I mean induction.

But while many of these platforms solve for compliance, education and awareness of organisation protocol and objectives, they don’t necessarily make a person feel immediately connected to the organisation. How do you get your people on the culture bus?

First impressions

It starts with that first impression – how are you attracting talent? It’s almost common practice for organisations to include employee benefits and company values as standard offerings in their recruitment process. But this has become so common, that people have moved from seeing this as a point of differentiation, to something that is just expected.

The one thing you can’t ignore

With millennials making up 50% of the global workforce by 2020 businesses can’t ignore their specific attitudes and expectations if they want to attract and retain their future leaders. But companies don’t have to guess what they need to do. One thing high on the priority list is mentoring with over 70% of millennials deeming mentoring critical to their success.

“The Hartford’s Millennial Leadership Survey found that the number one thing employers can do to demonstrate their investment in a young person becoming a leader is to train and develop them, including coaching and mentoring. If organizations evolve to meet millennials’ needs, the benefits will be enjoyed by others, including generations to follow.” – Lindsay Pollak, The Hartford Millennial

People who are driven to take control of their own learning and development and constantly improve themselves are the ones who are going to thrive in the future and drive business growth. Therefore, having a signal upfront that you promote a culture of mentoring will naturally attract those who are self-starters.

Start onboarding, before day one

While mentoring can help attract talent, it’s also proven to improve retention. With over 50% of senior hires leaving a job within 18 months, it’s clear there is an opportunity to influence and improve retention rates. But it needs to start immediately after an offer has been accepted. According to Aberdeen, “best-in-class” companies are 53% more likely to begin the onboarding process before day one. But practically, how do you actually go about doing this?

The buddy program for new graduates has long been a staple offering of many large global consulting firms. However, it’s never really been extended beyond that to become an offering for all new employees.

Connecting new hires before they’ve even started with a peer mentor is an easy and effective way to start making people feel connected, engaged and supported before they’ve even stepped into the office. Mentoring does not always have to be about career progression. In a world of rapid change, uncertainty and a sense of isolation, people are becoming more concerned about fitting in, finding their tribe and their purpose. If companies can accelerate this sense of self and purpose during the onboarding experience, then they are going to have not only more engaged and productive employees, they will also have more loyal employees.

If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help enhance your onboarding experience for new employees or make for a smooth transition back to work after a period of parental leave, please feel free to get in touch at

Request A Demo

0 0 votes
Article Rating

Heidi is the Co-founder and COO of Mentorloop. She's passionate about all things mentoring, Kenny Rogers and Italian Greyhounds.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments