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Devising an Induction Programme

Research carried out by the Internal Recruitment Division at Parker Bridge discovered that 1 out of every 25 employees has walked out within one week of starting a new job citing a poor induction. Therefore, it is imperative that inductions are well planned and executed effectively and professionally.

Why have an effective Induction programme?

The main objective for having an effective induction programme is to introduce, familiarise and integrate a new recruit into the organisation as quickly and painlessly as possible (being paraded around the office whilst everyday gawks at you is not effective or necessary). It should familiarise new employees about the organisation's culture, accepted practices, and performance standards.

Inductions set the correct tone for the relationship between the employer and the employee. A bad induction could be the catalyst for someone leaving (especially if the employee had previous doubts about the job).

A survey conducted by the Centre of Creative Leadership has proved that a 'fresh' hire does not meet the expectation of an organisation for the first few months. However, 'fresh' hires can learn the processes quickly as long as the induction programme and efforts are carried out appropriately.

The Importance Of Induction Programmes

Induction training is highly essential for any company as it helps a new recruit grow within an organisation and motivate them. It inculcates in the employee more confidence to progress and develop. It is within the induction when a new recruit gets to learn and understand many attributes of the organisation such as employment philosophy, physical work environment, employee's rights, employee's responsibilities, organisation culture, values along with key business processes. It is then that they can get to find out where the coffee can be made and where the toilets can be found!

A new entrant should not only have the capability to do the job, but they should culturally fit into the organisation. Interaction at this stage shapes an individual's disposition and outlook for work. The importance of an effective induction must not be underestimated!

The Benefits For You!

New joiners are able to achieve initial targets and really make an impact, having been given the appropriate tools in which to do the job. The employee will also be able to perform better if they are more familiar with the company, its systems and the candidate's team. This consequently helps with staff turnover and retention. A comprehensive and systematic induction in conjunction with training allows sales employees to have the ability to earn commission... and plenty of it!

What Should The Induction Cover? 

  • Company History, Mission and Vision

  • Your values, Goals & Objectives

  • Your expectations - see The Importance of Setting Key Performance Indicators for New Staff

  • The company's equal employment policies such as diversity, equal opportunities etc. This policy applies to recruitment, placement, promotion, training, transfer, retention, rate of pay and all other details and conditions of employment.

  • Homeworking Policy

  • Attendance Policy

  • Hours of operation/work schedules/attendance policy/leave of absence/family medical leave

  • Pay and Compensation

  • "Holidays - sick days/funeral leave/Jury Duty/Military Reserve duty/Overtime

  • Health Benefits

  • Flexible Spending Accounts - Health Care Spending Accounting & Dependent Care Spending Accounting

  • Termination

  • Drug & Alcohol Policy

  • Safety Policy

  • Workplace Security Policy

  • Telephone and Computer Use Policy - Explain that you understand that it is occasionally necessary to conduct personal business during office hours but make it clear that employees should limit their personal use of both the telephone and computer during office hours. Further, clarify in greater detail that email and telephone systems are provided by the company. Therefore, the company reserves the right to access and disclose the messages that are sent and received.

  • Dress Code Policy

  • Smoking Policy

  • Business Expense Reimbursement

  • Q & A

We also detail an article on The Importance of Having a Company Manual.

Top Tips For a Sizzling Induction

Corporate Family Tree

Joining a new corporation often means that new sales employees are overwhelmed with a sea of new faces, relationships and what's more, names! To ease their transition, providing a corporate family tree complete with photos, names, hometowns, professions and most importantly, how they like their tea (only joking!) will help familiarise new hires. This could also help avert embarrassing situations, such as being the new hire who asks a friendly member of staff walking past for help with the printer, only to horrifically discover later that he was, in fact, the CFO.

Avoid Death by PowerPoint

How is the induction being delivered? PowerPoint, PowerPoint and surprise surprise more PowerPoint?!! Exchange death by PowerPoint and screenshots for practical, brain-friendly activities and interactions to help new starters not only stay awake but learn most effectively about how the company works.

It's The Little Things That Count

Not having a security pass for days (or even weeks!) resulting in new employees begging to borrow a pass from someone else to leave the room or go to the toilet is not the right way to go about introducing and helping settle in a new recruiter.

At some point or another, we have all been new to a team, and we all know from our previous experiences that we like to feel as though we belong to a team (starting from our first day). Therefore make sure that the sales line manager greets the new employee on their first day and further welcomes them with a personalised induction pack - it will create a great first impression for the new recruiter.

Avoid  'Welcome To The Nursery'

Be careful what you call the induction training room and your new starters. Degrading terms such as 'the nursery', 'newbie' and 'rookie corner' are never welcoming. Think about how these terms make the new starters feel and consider the status these labels give from the start.

Involve 'The Big Dogs'!

Involving senior managers and directors during the induction (this could be through welcome speeches, Q&A sessions, or even just joining the group for lunch) will provide an excellent opportunity for your organisation to send the message that you value your employees and specifically the new starters.

Best Billers Build Brilliant Breadwinners

An effective technique that often works for sales employees is passing over the trainee into the safe and capable hands of one of your company's best billers (BB).

A simple justification for this technique is that whatever is working for your BB can be passed on and consequently adopted by the trainee.

However, what might work for me, might not work for you. Being the human beings that we are, each and every one of us learns, works, understands, and yes, sells in a unique way. There is a chance that the techniques that your BB is using would not work for your new starter.

Of course, the trainee may pick up some killer hints, tips and lines - but without fully understanding the context, knowledge, and relationships that make them successful and the appropriate times to use them, they could hinder the sales process rather than enhance it. For example, if a new recruit only regurgitates what they have been taught from the BB, the selling process will appear to be more like a cringe-worthy scene from Dragon's Den rather than a sales pitch.

Never, Ever Underestimate The Importance Of Evaluations

Once the induction programme has been completed, it is extremely important that the new sales recruits are given the opportunity to provide feedback to their line manager. This will help the programme to be continually evaluated and modified. Analysing the performance and retention of new starters can highlight how effective and successful the induction process has been.  

It can be challenging for a new employee to know exactly what has and what hasn't been helpful for them as they will be bombarded with information within their first few months. It would be much more effective if new starters were asked to complete an induction evaluation form after two months when they have had the opportunity to settle in.

Crash And Burn (What Induction programs must NOT include!!)

As if starting a new job wasn't hard enough... Rushed and poorly carried induction programmes that only consist of a quick tour around the office will simply de-motivate and de-moralise new employees. You may discover that what was your welcome mat has transformed into a revolving door.

Good sales professionals will need knowledge and skills; otherwise, if you put your new starters on the open road too soon (without giving them a good introduction), it is likely (no matter how good of a sales employee they have been, are, or shall be) they will crash and burn.

Induction programs must not include much of a theoretical part on the new employee's behalf. Arriving for a new job and receiving a bad induction can leave a new starter stressed, de-motivated, anxious and unable to perform their duties. A bad induction will further lengthen the time in which the entrant will be able to become an influential member of staff, resulting in increased workload and damaged brand identities.

Too Hasty, Too Boring, Too Impersonal, Too Personal, Too Neglectful!

A ten-minute brisk walk allowing the candidate to be familiar with the entrance and exits should not be part of the induction. Neither should all the theoretic and long presentations with high amounts of figures. Try avoiding hours' worth of speeches and presentations, including voluminous policy manuals and information packages. The induction must also not be related to the complete life cycle of a new entrant; it should be a varied programme.

Whoever conducts the induction should have complete knowledge of the new entrant position and the company overview to avoid embarrassment. It could be worthwhile to have a representative from each department introduce and explain exactly what their department does to new starters.

To Conclude

A good induction will help you acquire loyal employees who feel integrated into the company's culture and who are likely to be more productive and stay with the company longer.

If your recruitment and induction processes are carried out carefully, accurately and honestly, these new starters are the future of your organisation - make sure you are treating them as such.

About the author

Darren Dewrance

Darren spent six years in sales and field sales before joining the original sales recruitment specialist, Austin Benn, in 1998. After achieving the status of top consultant, out of about seventy at the time, Darren rose from Senior Consultant to Operations Manager of the commercial sector before leaving to join a London based Headhunter in 2003 before setting up Aaron Wallis with Rob in October 2007.

With a natural leadership style, Darren is an expert on putting his finger right on the heart of the problem. His natural commercial instincts have helped hundreds of employers make better recruitment decisions. Darren is married with two children, and when not at work or with his family, he likes nothing more than to be on the side of a river or a lake with a rod in his hand.

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Our employers say...

Rob’s knowledge of the recruitment industry and his thoughts and how to make it better for his clients have always been eye opening. I would recommend Rob to anybody who is looking for a professional, knowledgeable and flexible recruitment specialist.

CEO, Friday Ad Online Services

I really liked the YouTube presentations which made the service seem both simple and accessible. The company came to see me, and my management team, at short notice to present their service and I liked the support and advice that I received about maximising the results from the applicant.

Managing Director, Leisuresec plc

We were impressed not only by the quality of candidates you found for us but also the level of information, preparation and qualification you put into the process. You continually kept us informed of each person’s feelings about the process, which is very important but often overlooked. I am looking forward to working with your company again in the future.

Commercial Director, Incentive Facilities Management

I just wanted to thank you for your help with our recruitment process which went very smoothly and has – we hope – found us just the person for the job!

Managing Director, Citrefine International Ltd

Thanks for all your help during the recruitment process. I have been extremely impressed with Aaron Wallis especially when compared to other agencies we have dealt with. I really felt you grasped the type of person we required and found strong candidates.

UK Sales Manager, Nexcom

Aaron Wallis has continuously provided us with suitable candidates that have been proactively sourced. Having used countless recruitment companies, Aaron Wallis are the only company that I can count on to deliver.

Managing Director, JARK Healthcare Recruitment

In an industry where people over promise and under deliver, Rob and his teams have consistently provided a high-quality service. It is great to deal with someone that has an excellent understanding of UK industry, and a passion for sales.

Sales Manager, TR Fasteners

Giles is highly professional and was a pleasure to work with. He achieves excellent results through his personable skills and tenacity. I have no hesitation in recommending Giles to anyone who considers employing his services.

Commercial Director, G4S Government & Outsourcing Solutions

We appointed Aaron Wallis in February and the successful candidate, out of the six which Aaron Wallis introduced, was able to join Alphametrics before the end of April. The whole process took less than three months. I would recommend Aaron Wallis' services to others without hesitation.

Chief Financial Officer, Alphametrics

I have always found Rob to be very knowledgeable about our industry sector, and it is refreshing to see after all of these years that Rob continues to quickly and accurately understand my requirements.

HR and General Manager, THK

Since joining DSGi, Rob has been a supplier of permanent staff and has performed to an extremely high standard, successfully filling 98% of roles he has worked on. If anyone is looking for a good sales and marketing based consultancy with an informal yet professional approach, I would recommend Rob.

Senior Recruitment Consultant, DSG International

Rob is a true recruitment professional that goes the extra mile that I have never experienced from any other recruitment agency before. If you need sales people call Rob or someone in his team, as they really are experts in sales recruitment.

Sales Director, Inside Business

I found Aaron Wallis to be very professional and efficient, taking time to understand the role and the type of candidate we were looking for. The candidates they put forward met our criteria and were of a high standard. The service they provided was exemplary and I would have no hesitation in recommending them, and will certainly consider using them again in the future.

HR Assistant, Fischer Connectors Ltd

Giles Phillips is a rare find in the minefield of sales recruitment; an honest and thoughtful recruiter who considers the needs of both the client AND the candidate to create perfect role matches. I look forward to working with him again in the future.

Marketing Director, City of London Police

I have used Aaron Wallis to fill a number of our Sales Development Manager roles and I have found them to provide a very professional service. I will use their services again in future recruitment campaigns.

HR Business Partner, Greene King

Understood the type of person we were looking for and good follow ups - not too frequent.

Managing Director, bigHead Bonding Fasteners Ltd

Our candidates say...

Really excellent experience dealing with Aaron Wallis. Liam Oakes who helped me get a great job was brilliant. Kept me up to date during the process and offered great help and advice, and a thoroughly nice guy. Highly recommended!

J. Hathaway, Candidate

Excellent service, very professional and friendly, would and have, recommended Aaron Wallis.

E. Heley, Candidate

Aaron Wallis have provided me with an excellent service, Giles went out of his way to help me preparing for my interview and supported me through all the processes. If you need an agency to give you a fully professional and consultative approach to finding you a new career move, the Aaron Wallis can certainly provide this for you.

D. Richards, Candidate

Less than two weeks after joining Aaron Wallis I was offered my new job. I got a £10,000 rise in my basic salary, car allowance, a laptop and many other perks, which will help to further my career. I definitely would not have found my dream job without the help of Aaron Wallis.

C. Hoy, Candidate

Aaron Wallis (and in particular Rob Scott) have been fantastic throughout the recruitment process, and even a few months down the line, still continues to care. Rob clearly cares about each individual and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise, which shows in the work he does. Each candidate is not just a number, and the support received from Aaron Wallis has helped me get a career which I truly enjoy.

M. White, Candidate 

Good swift process with Aaron Wallis, informative regarding the role and the process was moved at a good pace with healthy interaction. Would recommend them to anyone pursuing a change.

S. Bartlett, Candidate

I have to say coming across and having dealings with Aaron Wallis proved to be very successful. Being highly experienced did not seem to count for much during my job search bit a conversation with Robert Scott gave me a real confidence boost and enabled to get a position at the age of 63. Great service!!!

D. Burgess, Candidate

Aaron Wallis helped me secure a position I really wanted. Giles sought to keep me updated with all the details preceding interviews and after with feedback. I would highly recommend Giles and Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment.

L. Taylor, Candidate

I've had a really good experience working with Giles Phillips at Aaron Wallis. From initial contact to the finer details of securing the job, he has been very professional and a pleasure to work with.

M. Shutt, Candidate

Fantastic service, helped me find my ideal job quickly and smoothly. Would highly recommend them.

C. Caine, Candidate

A great recruitment company to work with. Excellent experience with Aaron Wallis through the entire recruitment process. The team was really professional and extremely helpful. Darren was a pleasure to work with. He was friendly, supportive and gave me great advice. Thank you very much!

A. Bauchet, Candidate

Perfect from start to finish. Simon deserves a shout out. Best recruiter there is. If you need a job, this guy will get you one. He's like the super man of recruiters. Top man, can't recommend him enough.

M. Crisp, Candidate

Aaron Wallis is an outstanding recruitment agency specialising in high calibre sales positions. I was working directly with Darren Dewrance who went above and beyond my expectations in sourcing me my perfect role. I was kept in regular communication with Darren and he worked extremely hard to secure my dream job. Highly recommended and Thanks Darren for all your expertise and hard work.

R. Sealy, Candidate

I can honestly say that the time and expertise you gave me was way beyond any other recruitment consultant I dealt with. You are a rarity in your industry.

S. Akers, Candidate

The service provided by Aaron Wallis has been just great. I was constantly informed about what was going on with the process interview and the agent has always been supportive and kind to me.

L. Colagrossi, Candidate

Excellent experience from first contact to ultimately securing a suitable placement. Giles looked after me in a very professional and friendly manner. He used his expertise and experience to ensure I was put forward for the most suitable positions for my skill set and found me a new role very quickly. I can't recommend Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment highly enough.

M. Green, Candidate

Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment are a very friendly and professional recruitment organisation who listen to your needs, work with you and act on your behalf which sets them apart from many of their competitors who in my experience are willing to throw anything at you. We discussed my history, my preferences and my wishes - one opportunity was introduced. It was perfect. I start at the end of June.

R. Buckley, Candidate

Fantastic customer service, communication was brilliant, happy polite people to talk to, made everything a lot easier and smoother. Thank you for all your help getting me back in the work force, Keep up the good work :-)

K. Everitt, Candidate

The Recruitment agent I used, Simon, was extremely helpful and really went the extra mile to ensure all of my questions were answered, and that I felt as comfortable and prepared as possible. Very professional company and would definitely recommend to others. Thank you Aaron Wallis!

A. Callaby, Candidate

Very good advice and support was given during the course of the interviewing process. Potential job seekers would be well advised to use this company whilst looking for their new career.

R. Speakman, Candidate