Selecting and Onboarding New People in Your Business – How Hard Can It Be?

It can be an exciting time when you have new people joining your business. In the early days of starting out it means you are expanding and growing and it is time to hand over some of your previous tasks to someone new, so you can focus on other things like the growth of the business. Once you are set up and established though, team turnover can be fraught with trepidation, are they going to last, will they be the right fit, there’s so much training involved are they going to stay or am I wasting valuable time and money, can I trust them, will I be let down like the previous person and the list of concerns grows every time you turn over a new employee.

Let’s be clear, you can never judge a new employee by a previous ones past experiences, every new person should be offered a clean slate to start in their new role. This can be an arduous task though; advertising, sifting through resumes, interviewing, negotiating terms, all on top of your already busy workload. So, it is fair to say selecting and keeping the right people in your business is essential.

Finding new people to join your team requires a few skills including, having your selection criteria and instincts in check will help eliminate the worry over wrong choices, and we have found working with a recruiter who specialises in your niche can also help narrow down the choices to only genuine specific candidates can be a time saver as well. If your recruiter knows your business and culture can do a lot of the initial time consuming screening and references checks and reduce your list to interviewees that will be the right fit for your business and existing team.

So, how do you pick the right person for the right job in your business?

Here’s our top tips for finding the right recruit:

Do The Talents Aspirations Fit With The Job Role?
There is no point hiring someone who wants to be a sales agent in a property manager’s position. You have to make sure that the job description fits what the new employee is actually aspiring for.

Do They Have The Right Experience?
Experience in the role you are offering is not always essential, but you need to determine that before you decide to interview someone. If previous experience is essential then you need to determine if it is relevant to the position you are offering.

Do Their References Check Out?
This is one area I have been caught out on previously, not vetting someone appropriately. Generally, it is hard to check with current employers because they may still be working there and generally they are leaving for a reason, but certainly gauge from previous employers what their work ethic and attitude to work is like.

Social Media
Dare I say it, check social media. Digital profiles can make or break people these days, you certainly shouldn’t judge, but you will get an understanding if their values align with yours or whether they would be a fit for your business and team.

Know What You Want
Have a clearly defined idea of the role and the type of person you need to fill it. What strengths are they going to need to succeed in the role, and what weaknesses will be a job role deal breaker. Chances are you’ve already had at least one person not succeed in the role, learn from them and tweak what you need for the next team member. Hindsight is your best friend here.

Listen To Their Questions and Your Gut Instincts
Are they asking the right questions? Really listening to what they are asking will determine if they understand the position they are applying for. It will also give you clues to whether or not they are the right culture fit for your business values. At the end of the day though listen to your intuition, if there are red flags or an uneasy feeling go with it, don’t ignore it. Even if you are desperate to fill the seat, finding the right person is more important.

So, you’ve done the hard work and now you have your new team member ready to start. Just like any new client to your business, how you set the initial tone for them starting in your business will go a long way to how successful your relationship with them long term will be. Don’t get me wrong in the early days of our business I threw team members under the bus, in deep end, no training, no onboarding, no welcoming committee, pretty ordinary way to start out honestly. Then you expect them to give their hard work and dedication for 40 hours a week, to a company or business who can’t even show you how to navigate the software you need to use to be able to run efficiently and effectively in your new role? Crazy hey!

One stat I came across while researching for this blog was that most companies lose up to one third of their new hires in the first year. That is a lot of time and energy wasted on no reward. Companies though that spent money and assigned budgets to onboarding new employees retain more than twice the talent.

I had a chat with Shonleigh Draper, a Real Estate Recruitment specialist, who started her niche helping Property Managers secure new positions. It is a high turn-over industry with a lot of job dissatisfaction, Shonleigh honed her people skills to the next level and has helped many property managers find the right fit in good companies with great cultures and working systems that help them thrive in their roles, including my own business.

Here’s is some of her Top Tips to Onboarding new people in your Business

Induction Process
Unfortunately, quite often I hear stories of recruits who are super eager to get going, who walk into new roles and are left to their own devices with very little training or support. There are many incredible leaders out there who have wonderful induction programs and training programs in place, but I’d say the biggest mistake leaders make is a lack of induction and no onboarding of their new recruits.

Set Up a Buddy System
Hook them up with someone in the office who they can ask questions of and check-in with, an accountability buddy will go a long way in helping to set someone up for success in your agency long-term! Quite often new people have lots of questions but they don’t know who to ask which means they often try and do something themselves because they don’t want to be seen as incompetent, but then they make a mistake and in turn they lose confidence really quickly. So, you may have someone who was super confident and motivated and energetic when they first started, quickly lose their sparkle within a matter of weeks. Confidence is really hard to build up so helping someone remain confident in their role is critical during the onboarding stage!

Check-ins with Manager
My other tip would be a weekly or fortnightly check-in with the manager and their new recruit, just a quick 15 minute check-in face to face or via Zoom to say “Hey, I see you, how are you going? What can I help you with?” – this goes a long way with all employees, not just new employees but it certainly helps the new recruits to feel embedded into the cultured valued by their employer quickly.

On-going Training and Support
It can be super detrimental to their career. I’ve seen many CVs that have stated that a talent has spent 2 months, 6 months, 3 months in roles and when I ask the question “You’ve had a bit of movement over the past couple of years, can you speak to that for me?”, quite often it comes down to the recruit leaving due to a lack of training and support which has left them feeling really unfilled and not cared for. How you support your new employees long-term says a lot about you as a person and a business.

Here is some of our personal tips to help new employees settle in and feel like part of the team from day one.

Share Your Company Vision and Values
Whether you have a welcome video, PowerPoint or booklet, share your important comp[any information with new hires. Let them know what your values, vision, mission and most importantly culture is from the onset. They will need to buy into who you are and what you stand for, otherwise there is no point continuing the relationship.

Training Induction Day
Shonleigh, touched on this above, but this is probably the single most important way to start off a new hire on the right foot . Help your new team member settle in and belong by setting up an initial training day. Run over your procedures and processes from annual leave bookings and social media policy to understanding the software and the roles of other team members in the office or the organisation structure.

Use a Checklist
Have a checklist for every aspect of a new team member’s initiation. From setting up their logins, profiles and access to technology, to ensuring their training is tracked and ticked off, these not only ensure tasks are completed but also hold the person conducting the initial onboarding and induction accountable as well.

Welcome a New Team Member
Whether you offer a welcome gift, a bunch of flowers or take them to lunch, welcome your new team member and make them feel important and valued. Introduce them to the rest of the team, email shout outs, newsletters whatever it looks like in your business let the new person know they are now part of the team.

A little bit of effort at the start of a new employee journey can save you a lot of time and money when it comes to the re hiring and re training process, especially if you are using a recruiter. The way I look at it, if you want your team to look after clients a certain way, then you have to be looking after your team in the same way. There’s a famous quote from Richard Branson we live by: “Clients do not come first, employees come first. If you take care of your employees first, they will take care of your clients”.


With high integrity and transparency at the forefront of everything we do, we love being in the business of ‘humans’. Recruiting specifically in the real estate and property management space is our jam and our biggest passion!

We provide an unforgettable recruitment experience for talent who are seeking roles within the Real Estate & Property industry, and clients who are seeking high-quality Real Estate and Property professionals! We create sustainable, long-term career opportunities for our talent by connecting them with people that have their best interests at heart!

Check them out here:


iThink Property has a team of real estate agents in Ipswich and Toowoomba offering property sales and property management services. With a passion for people and property, iThink Property was conceived with the notion of building a team of good people to work in a real estate brand that did things differently. iThink Property focuses on transparency, communication, innovation and teamwork and has become a leading independent brand with unique points of difference. So whether you are thinking of buying, selling or renting, think iThink Property.

0439 895 808
A former sports journalist, Kylie Walker brings a wealth of communication and marketing skills to the team at iThink Property. The busy mother of four launched and developed the company’s rent roll and has organically grown the business with iThink Properties rental network now spanning Ipswich, greater Brisbane and Toowoomba.