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Talent Acquisition, Permanent Onboarding & DE&I

As promised, the Axiologik People team have been working closely on launching a new Onboarding Programme for our new perm starters which is going to be released shortly!

I’ve been working on this since September to rebrand, restructure and improve our onboarding experience for permanent starters. It would be great to hear what other TA Partners, TA Managers and anyone working as part of the onboarding process are doing (or if you're a new starter yourself) and to see if there’s anything we can continue to build and improve upon, below.

I’ve outlined a high-level overview of what I’ve done (any questions, please ask)! Hopefully, this will be an interesting read – any feedback would be very much appreciated as always :)

Research Stage:

  • Before improving anything, I need to know what needs doing and what to prioritise first. I know from myself as a new starter what my experience was but can’t just go on my own views. As part of my research, I interviewed several employees across Axiologik (Technical and Non-Technical), who had started with us from Jan 2023 to collate their experiences, thoughts and feedback.
  • Whilst overall the feedback was positive, there were definitely things I could build on and improve, as well as create new processes off the back of the suggestions made.
  • I also investigated what other organisations were doing who were known for their staff engagement, retention and high DE&I standards, to see what we could replicate and introduce.

Implementation Stage:

  • I drew up a timeline based on the feedback given from the interviews above, of when to contact a new starter pre joining (based on notice period) and with what information etc. The timeline covers from the 1st to 3rd month prior to joining (depending on notice period and availability), up to their 3rd month of being with us at Axiologik.
  • I then created a Candidate Pack which will be launched on our new website as part of our reading material and interview prep. I will post this publicly once finalised :) This gives an overview of Axiologik and how we were created, our clients, services and practices, as well as what to expect as a candidate going through our recruitment process, our benefit packages, our team structure and basically all the good, fun stuff!
  • Prior to them joining, the hiring manager and I ask the new joiner how they would like to be communicated with, how they would like their first day and week to go (e.g. some people prefer to crack on with the admin by themselves and get it all out of the way, others prefer to have someone to sit down and talk it through with them). We adapt our onboarding process to the individual based on how they think they would have the strongest start with us. If they’re not sure, I give a few examples of how we could do it, and then let them pick and choose what works best for them in line with DE&I.

First Day & Month:

  • As the candidate nears their start date we set up accounts, equipment, merchandise etc, and start putting meetings and socials into their calendar, so that when they do arrive, they already feel included, thought about, organised and in control and not left wondering what’s going on or what they should be doing.
  • I also double check pronouns, reasonable adjustments, and if they’re comfortable with relevant people within the organisation knowing the above before they join. This is to make sure we have the right support in place and to take onboard what we can change ourselves to make it a better environment for those with DE&I in mind.
  • Based on the previous starter feedback, I set up the new starter with an ‘Axio Ally’ in their first week. The ‘Axio Ally’ is a process I’ve introduced for those questions that seem silly that you wouldn’t necessarily want to ask your manager. It’s someone to go for a coffee with, socialise and get included outside of your own Practice team members, and the feedback so far has been incredibly positive.
  • The ‘Axio Ally’ is in place for the first 3 months as part of integration into Axiologik, and at this point I hold feedback sessions with both counterparts, to understand what we can do better for the next new starter and improve the experience for both parties.
  • The Head of Practice takes over from Talent once the candidate starts, with their own checklist of what needs to be done in the first week and first month (internal introductions, induction, training videos, goals, measurables, development plans, client work, team lunches etc). Talent and Operations are still on hand for support if needed. Based on the feedback given, we also run through our commercial strategy for the year as well as company objectives, to show them how they themselves, will contribute to the targets and feel included in what we aim to achieve as a business and team.
  • Talent has an informal catch up meeting after two weeks with the joiner to make sure everything is at it should be and if there are any changes that need to be made as part of their onboarding (for example, they might be put on client site sooner than expected and we need to amend the onboarding timeline to fit with the new timescales).
  • During the first month, I hold an onboarding feedback session with the Head of Practice and new starter, to find what worked well and what we need to adjust or build on for the next new joiner. It enables me to give transparent feedback to the new starter as well as the hiring manager. We then amend and adjust the process based on the feedback given to ensure the experience is a positive one, whilst keeping in line with DE&I.

Continuing on from First Month:

  • The Head of Practice has informal and formal 1 2 1 chats with the starter throughout the first 3 months and ensure any actions within the timeline that is outstanding, is completed and closed.
  • Every three months, the Talent Team have launched a New Starter and ‘Axio Ally’ coffee morning where all new starters will go offsite and have a coffee with their ‘Allies’ to catch up and socialise.
  • Development plans and quarterly objectives are agreed with the Head of Practice.
  • Interactions are continued but are now less structure. Guidance, advice and support are given if needed throughout.
  • Our Head of People,Sarah Bright (, routinely sends out a Vocalogik Engagement Survey to collate feedback from our employees on our DE&I standards, development opportunities, culture etc, which is then measured against our 2024 strategy to ensure we are making the right changes for our people, with them in mind and actively contributing. This then shapes our next pipeline of projects in the Talent team.

From the research and interviews conducted, it’s been great to show our current employees we not only listen, but that we engage and address their feedback and ideas about what we can do to improve within their experience. It’s rewarding for me to be a part of this process; to be in a safe environment where ideas can be created and actioned.

Hopefully this has been a useful read. I would love to know your feedback and thoughts - if we’re missing anything you think would be important etc that you have come across in your own line of work or experienced yourself?

There are more projects going on in the background so keep your eyes peeled for the next article in a couple of months’ time!

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