What is a job induction?


Job inductions familiarise new hires with their new workplace and roles.

A job induction is an onboarding process for new employees, designed to help them get accustomed to their role and environment. It typically consists of activities such as a presentation on the organisation’s policies and practices, health and safety training, introduction to other staff members, and the completion of paperwork. The aim is to ensure that new staff members are equipped to make an early contribution in their roles. 

An induction process is slightly different to onboarding because it usually encompasses the very beginning of an individual’s employment and focuses on introducing the new starter to their role and what’s expected of them. Onboarding, on the other hand, can stretch to more than a year and considers more of the wider organisational culture. 

History of job inductions 

Job inductions have been used for centuries, though they were not formalised until the 1930s. In the early days, newly hired employees would often receive a brief overview from senior staff before beginning work. The first known ‘formal’ job induction was designed by the British Ministry of Labour in the 1933. This initial process was inspired by a number of industrial and educational organisations, including the University of London and the Engineering Employers Federation.  

Recent trends in job inductions 

In recent years, job inductions have become more comprehensive and tailored to individual needs. Many companies now provide additional support such as job-specific training, mentoring schemes and career development plans. This reflects a shift from the traditional ‘one size fits all’ approach to a more tailored experience which is better suited to modern workplaces.  

Advantages of job inductions 

Inductions are mutually beneficial for the employer and employee. The new hire feels welcome and supported and is less likely to start looking for another job. That saves the employer time and resources because they are less likely to have to start the recruitment process all over again. 

Inductions can also help to reduce anxiety by providing new staff with an opportunity to ask questions without feeling embarrassed or intimidated. Additionally, job inductions can help to ensure a smooth transition for all involved, allowing both employers and employees to become acquainted in a relaxed setting.  

Disadvantages of job inductions 

Although job inductions can be beneficial, they do have drawbacks. For example, if an induction is too long or overly complex, it can be overwhelming for new staff members and cause them to become discouraged. Additionally, job inductions tend not to provide a comprehensive overview of the organisation’s culture and values. This may lead to misunderstandings or conflicts later. Companies also risk generating unreasonable expectations during induction by overselling the job. 

Use case 

Inductions should encompass both theoretical and practical skills, but also meet the interaction needs that exist between employees. There are different ways in which businesses conduct induction training to enable new staff to do their work. Starbucks, for example, ensures its induction is very practical to set the expectations for the job. The ExxonMobil graduate scheme’s scheme, however, spans the first year of employment, with the bulk of induction happening in the first two weeks to ensure that they have built up background knowledge to get started.