The Changing Landscape of the UK Onboarding in 2022

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The UK has seen a lot of changes in the way businesses operate and the way employees are hired. The process of onboarding new employees has evolved to become more efficient and streamlined. 

Companies are now using technology to automate many of the tasks associated with onboarding, such as creating employee profiles and tracking employee performance as an opportunity to engage and connect with new hires. 

An onboarding report from Cezanne HR provides some insight into how businesses are changing the way they approach onboarding in the UK. Here are some of the key findings:

1. Hybrid Environments are Becoming the Norm

Most employees in the UK now work in hybrid environments, with a mixture of office-based and remote working. This trend is likely to continue in the future as more businesses adopt flexible working arrangements. 

The survey found that nearly 80% of respondents work in both an office and a shared workspace. However, only about a fifth of those surveyed work remotely full-time. This shift has been driven by several factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the ever-increasing popularity of flexible working arrangements. 

It also shows that businesses are recognizing the benefits of hybrid working models, such as increased productivity and reduced overheads.

2. Onboarding is More Digital But In-Person Meetings are Still Important

The onboarding process is becoming increasingly digital, with businesses using a variety of online tools to streamline the process. However, in-person meetings are still seen as an important part of the process, particularly in building relationships with new hires. 

According to the survey, nearly 42% of respondents believe that in-person meetings are essential for building rapport with new hires. This is followed by digital meetings or video conferencing.

Face-to-face meetings give new hires a chance to meet their colleagues and get a feel for the company culture. This also more “personal” way of onboarding can help new hires feel more comfortable and engaged with their new workplace.

3. Better to Set Expectations Early

Setting clear expectations early on can help new hires hit the ground running and be more productive from day one. Still, nearly 21.5% of respondents said that their companies do not set expectations until after the new hire has started work. 

This is a missed opportunity for businesses, as it can lead to frustration and confusion for new employees. It can also add unnecessary pressure on them to perform from day one. 

One way to do this is to provide new hires with a detailed job description. This should include an overview of the role, as well as the key responsibilities and expectations. Introducing new hires to their team and providing them with a tour of the office can also help set expectations and provide a better understanding of the company culture.

4. The Onboarding Process Should be Personalised

One-size-fits-all approaches to onboarding are no longer effective. This is ‌important for businesses with a diverse workforce, as different employees will have different needs and expectations. 

Onboarding is often seen as a necessary evil, something that needs to be done but is often seen as a hindrance to productivity. This is reflected in the survey results, with about a quarter of respondents describing the onboarding process as underwhelming and admin-heavy.

A more personalised approach can help engage new hires and make them feel valued by the company. This could involve tailoring the onboarding process to the individual, as well as providing support throughout their first few weeks or months in the job.

5. Follow-Up for a Smoother Transition

Communication doesn’t stop once the onboarding process is complete. It’s important to follow up with new hires after they start work to ensure that they are settling in and meeting expectations. Yet, only about 46% of respondents said that their company has regular check-ins with new employees.

Following up doesn’t have to be time-consuming or difficult. A simple phone call or email to check in can go a long way. Giving them information on who to contact if they have any questions or problems can also be helpful.

6. Mismatch Between Job Listing and Reality

Although businesses are recognising the importance of setting clear expectations, there is still a disconnect between what is promised in a job listing and the reality of the job. This can lead to frustration and disillusionment for new hires, as well as decreased retention rates.

Nearly 17% of employees believed that the job they were hired for was different from what was advertised. This highlights the importance of being honest and transparent about what the job entails.

Failing to do this can create several problems, including disgruntled employees and high turnover rates. It can also damage the company’s reputation and make it harder to attract top talent in the future.


Businesses need to recognise the importance of onboarding and invest the time and resources into making it a success. This includes setting clear expectations, providing support, and following up after the onboarding process is complete. Failing to do this can lead to disgruntled employees and high turnover rates.

When done correctly, onboarding can help boost employee engagement and retention. It can also help new hires feel comfortable and settled in their new role, making them more productive. 

As such, businesses need to ensure that they are getting it right.

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