Onboarding: What To Expect When Starting A New Job

Once you've been hired, your employers want to help set you up for success, and the onboarding process helps them do this. Learn more. 


You’ve aced your job interview and the hardest part is over – congratulations! You can now look forward to getting stuck into your new role. Starting a new job is always exciting; there are new responsibilities and new people to meet. You might also feel a bit nervous or overwhelmed too, and that’s completely normal.

Nearly all companies have processes in place to welcome new recruits into the company - this process is ‘onboarding’. Onboarding describes the process of integrating new employees into a company and helping them gain the knowledge and behaviours necessary to get to grips with their new role.

Why is onboarding important?
Once they’ve hired you, your employers want to help set you up for success and the onboarding process helps them do this. Onboarding helps you get to know the company and its people, including those beyond your job role or department. The onboarding process will also cover all the paperwork that comes with starting a new job, and some of this is likely to be sent to you before your first day, getting some of the red tape out of the way so that you can focus on settling in at your new job.

Preparing for your first few days
Onboarding starts right from the moment you accept the job offer, and there are a few things you can do ahead of your first day. You will have already researched the company before your interview, but now is a good time to take more of a deep dive – check out the company’s website, their social media presence, news articles, press releases, industry associations, and anything else you find on Google. This helps you build more of a picture of your new employer and it may highlight any areas of the business you’d like to find out more about when you start.

As part of your preparations, you could even plan your work outfits for the first week, which will make your mornings hassle-free – and it will help you work out whether you’re missing anything!

Getting all of your paperwork together will help your first few days run smoothly – depending on the employer, you might need to bring your passport, a proof of address, your UK visa (if applicable) and your P45 with you on your first day. If you’re not sure, it might be worth emailing your new employer a couple of days before you begin to check if there is anything that you’ll need to bring.

What to expect during onboarding
The HR department will typically be your first point of contact once the company has decided to hire you. They will ensure that you receive a formal offer letter or email, along with company policy documents and other paperwork. This tends to include information on your salary, holiday entitlement, hours of work and notice

This is usually followed by a phone call or a meeting where a member of the HR team will go through the forms and their requirements with you. If you haven’t discussed an official start date already, this is a good time to do so. They may ask you for your employment history along with references they can get in touch with. Make sure
you have their contact details handy and that your references are happy to be contacted by your new employers. Depending on the job you have been hired for, there might also be a criminal background check at this stage. HR will also ask for various details necessary to get you onto the payroll. You will be asked to provide your
National Insurance (NI) number, direct debit details, and complete and sign any tax and pension forms. Go through all the information provided by HR carefully and don’t be afraid to ask any questions – they are there to help. For example, you may want to know how to log overtime, what benefits you are eligible for, or to find out about the company’s dress code.

Your first few days
Once you start your new job, most companies have some sort of an induction process. Depending on the number of new hires they have, this process may be in the form of a structured orientation week, or a few days shadowing a colleague or colleagues in a similar role to yours. Be prepared to meet a lot of people and try to take a note of any important information you receive. Your new employers will brief you on various company policies that need to be followed, show you around the office, your workstation, and provide important health and safety information. While you’ll receive training on company policies, some aspects of your orientation may be as simple as finding out where the coffee machine is! Use this time to get to know your co-workers - after all, you will be spending a lot of time with them in the future.

During this initial period, the IT department will probably assign equipment, software, and a company email address for you. You may be required to undergo training on any specialised software or platforms the company uses.

During your first few days, your manager will explain what is expected of you in your role. Take the time to understand your new duties and learn about any routines you are expected to follow. For example, when do regular team meetings and one-to-ones take place? Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you are struggling with any tasks or if something doesn’t make sense to you.

If your new job involves remote work, the chances are there will be some form of an online orientation. You could send an email introducing yourself to your new colleagues or organise one-to-one video chats to get to know them better

As well as the formalities, many companies organise interdepartmental meet and greet events where new hires can meet their colleagues and management in a relaxed and social setting. Your manager might also treat you to lunch on your first day, and you may be invited for a drink to welcome you to the team.

Starting a new job is an exciting step, so don’t let the formalities drag you down. Smile, relax and enjoy it - you have plenty of time to get to grips with the role. Get involved in as many activities as you can – you’ll soon feel like part of the team.

For more career advice, check out our other candidate blogs here . If you need help updating your CV or to find out about our latest roles, contact your local Adecco branch and connect with a recruiter today!

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