HR Leader logo
Stay connected.   Subscribe  to our newsletter

BarkerGilmore shares tips for onboarding new employees

By Jack Campbell | |5 minute read

Legal recruitment US consultancy BarkerGilmore hosted a webinar outlining how to implement an onboarding process that will boost engagement.

Senior advisor at BarkerGilmore Michelle Banks said that when done right, onboarding is “a guide to help a person adjust and become assimilated quickly and successfully to a new role”.

“The plan should be a roadmap that includes key information such as resources, relationships and activities that the person should engage in. Ideally, it will have milestones. The kinds of things that will be in an onboarding plan are meetings, readings, training,” said Ms Banks.


Ms Banks said that there isn’t a right way to onboard, rather it depends on the specific company, based on circumstance. She did note that onboarding plans are generally three to 12 months long.

Ms Banks continued: “I would strongly encourage you to focus on onboarding as a process and a best practice.

“Ideally, onboarding is a collaborative process … you as the manager ... but ideally, also someone from your people or human resource team will be involved as well and ideally, they would bring some best practices and company structure to the process,” she said.

Ms Banks encouraged all companies to have an onboarding plan to become more effective in hiring. She noted that senior leaders may have a harder time in the process than junior employees.

“The more senior your role, the longer it takes to successfully and effectively onboard into that role,” explained Ms Banks.

“According to the Harvard Business Review, 57 per cent of senior executives found fitting in socially to be one of their biggest challenges in a new role at a company. So, I think it’s really helpful if you think about starting the onboarding process before you even start at the company … I strongly encourage you to socially meet and greet, even if it’s virtual, before you start.”

Ms Banks encouraged seeking outside help when forming a plan. Consulting a mentor or coach may be beneficial. For organisations without the budget to hire outside help, Ms Banks said even speaking to a manager or colleagues can be helpful.

Ms Banks said: “The important thing to do is to have somebody help you understand the culture of a company …You need to understand: What are some of the people dynamics? What are some of the norms of the company? And importantly, how are decisions being made?”

According to Ms Banks, a comprehensive onboarding plan will include:

  • Introductions
  • Visits
  • Meetings with key people
  • Training or immersive experiences
  • Events to attend
  • Tours to take
  • Trips to make



Onboarding is the process of integrating new hires into the company, guiding them through the offer and acceptance stages, induction, and activities including payroll, tax and superannuation compliance, as well as other basic training. Companies with efficient onboarding processes benefit from new workers integrating seamlessly into the workforce and spending less time on administrative tasks.


Training is the process of enhancing a worker's knowledge and abilities to do a certain profession. It aims to enhance trainees' work behaviour and performance on the job.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.