Onboarding is a vitally important aspect of welcoming new members to your team, at whatever level. But it’s important to remember that executive onboarding is a unique proposition – because new recruits at executive level have very different needs to their more junior colleagues.

Executive onboarding involves bringing new, leadership-level recruits into the team, providing them with the support they need in that initial period so that they can then demonstrate the kind of leadership skills that got them hired in the first place. It is crucial in helping new executive hires get acclimatised to the role and the wider organisation as quickly as possible.

While it might be tempting to assume that a good executive can simply hit the ground running, people at this level need support as well. This is particularly the case for people moving into a new sector – they might have ample transferable skills, but there will inevitably be a period of adjustment. Here’s how to ensure your executive onboarding process works for new hires.

 

Why executive onboarding matters

As anyone who’s worked in any large organisation – whether it’s a business, charity or public sector institution – will know, good leadership is the key to success. But good leadership involves much more than simply giving out orders. Therefore, you must ensure your executives are confident and well-grounded in their role, as the wider organisation will benefit immensely.
Executive onboarding gives newly hired people at leadership level a solid understanding of their new role, the wider culture and values of the company or organisation they’re working for, how it’s structured internally, and any policies and protocols that apply.

At any level, onboarding is hugely important in helping new recruits settle in and feel genuinely welcome. Where the process works well, executive onboarding enables new leadership-level hires to get fully up to speed in a shorter space of time – but an inadequate onboarding process could leave new recruits feeling uncertain in their role, and unwilling to really invest themselves in their work.

Sometimes, businesses and other organisations devote so much time and effort to finding the perfect candidate for an executive role that they don’t really consider in detail what it would take to help them settle in. It’s akin to when couples spend thousands of pounds on a wedding but have little or no conversation about what married life is all about! This is where executive onboarding can be well worth its weight in gold.

 

The importance of soft skills in executive onboarding

Perhaps the biggest challenges executives face during the onboarding process are cultural, rather than being purely training-related. Therefore, executive onboarding needs to prioritise soft skills and cultural accommodation, going well beyond merely introducing these recruits to the ins and outs of their new role (as important as this is).

If your executive onboarding process doesn’t treat soft skills as a key priority, then it’s probably in need of modernisation. Large organisations are now much more aware of the importance of cultural acclimatisation in helping new executive recruits integrate themselves as part of the team – so if you’re not prioritising this, you risk missing out on top talent to others.

Equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) is also highly relevant in this regard. People from underrepresented communities may face particular challenges when taking on executive roles, so the onboarding process needs to be designed with diversity in mind. Failing to do so could leave these executives feeling excluded and alienated, thus hindering their efforts to contribute and lead.

We also need to consider belonging here. Even now, some organisations can recruit people simply to tick a certain diversity box – but the onboarding process can be a hugely valuable opportunity to demonstrate genuine commitment to inclusivity, and generate a real feeling of belonging in the organisation.

 

Helping new executives adjust to your internal culture

There are some core aspects which any executive onboarding programme must include. These include a primer on the organisation’s culture, a clear explanation of performance expectations, an overview of internal processes as well as a detailed, strategic outline of vision and objectives.

But executive onboarding has to be about much more than simply giving new recruits a handbook and leaving them to work things out for themselves. The most effective executive onboarding processes emphasise building lasting relationships and fostering genuine personal belonging through cultural acclimatisation.

However much previous experience a new executive recruit might have – whether they’ve been working in the same industry or they’ve come from an entirely different one – they’re going to need some help when it comes to adjusting to a new internal culture, organisation and processes. Executives respond positively to this kind of support, which enables them to raise their own game at a faster pace than if they were just left to find their own way.

Updating and modernising your executive onboarding process along these lines can help you attract top talent from a more diverse array of different backgrounds, both personal and professional.

It can also help you to ensure that your new executive hires are able to make a fuller contribution more quickly, as well as building loyalties that endure for the long term.

As a result, this could ensure that your entire organisation benefits from a more self-assured, approachable and diverse kind of leadership, truly bringing the best out of staff at all levels.

Looking to hire your next executive or senior leader? Intuitive connects Transport organisations with a talent network of exceptional quality and diversity, and specialise in executive level and c-suite recruitment for the transport sector. Get in touch today for support with your executive recruitment efforts.

We also offer a bespoke onboarding programme as part of our executive search service, delivered by leadership development experts, Metisblue – learn more about the 90 Day Accelerator here.

WE would love to get to know you!

Please do give us a call, drop us a message or follow us on Twitter & Linkedin!

Related blogs

Read more Read more
Creating a friendly workplace culture for neurodivergent individuals in UK transport

Being neurodivergent-inclusive brings benefits both to employee wellbeing and your business. But how do you create a neurodivergent-friendly workplace?

Read more Read more
Seven Ways Interim Managers Could Boost Your Business

Recruiting interim candidates is a good way of bringing in specialist expertise, offering flexibility and a diverse breadth of experience as well as cost-effectiveness.

Unconscious bias against neurodiversity in recruitment
Read more Read more
Assessing Your Recruitment Process for Neurodiversity Bias

As with any other employee, new executives need support as they adjust to their new role so that they can perform to their full potential. But how long is long enough?

How long should executive onboarding last
Read more Read more
How Long Should Executive Onboarding Last?

As with any other employee, new executives need support as they adjust to their new role so that they can perform to their full potential. But how long is long enough?

Read more Read more
Key Challenges for the UK Bus and Coach Industry – and the Leadership it Needs

We take a close look at the biggest challenges facing the bus sector and how they might be addressed moving forward.

promoting yourself as an interim executive
Read more Read more
Promoting Yourself as an Interim

To be an effective interim executive, you need a particular skill set that equips you for the challenges you’re likely to encounter. Here’s what to develop – and to promote.

Considerations to make before committing to your next career move
Read more Read more
What You Need to Consider Before Making Your Next Career Move

Before committing a big career move, there’s a lot you need to think about. Here’s what you should consider before taking on a new role.

Read more Read more
Infographic: How Intuitive Made a Difference in 2023

We did so much in 2023, so we’ve created an infographic of some of our biggest achievements this year!

Executive job interview tips
Read more Read more
Tips for Acing Your Next Executive Job Interview

if you’re on the lookout for a new executive role – whether it’s your first job at this level or you already have some senior-level experience – hare some top tips to bear in mind.

bus industry diversity
Read more Read more
Driving Change in the UK Bus Industry: Why Diversity Matters

Taking a closer look at why it’s so vital that organisations in the bus and coach sector take diversity seriously and act accordingly.

Read more Read more
Neurodiversity in Transport Resources

Missed our Neurodiversity in Transport Knowledge Session? Catch up on the highlights or watch the full session here.

Bus Sector
Read more Read more
Video: A Force for Change in the Bus Sector

Our team works with a host of leading employers in the bus industry, placing dynamic leadership talent into executive level roles.

ed&i in the UK bus sector
Read more Read more
ED&I In The UK Bus Industry: The Scale Of The Challenge

Buses have long been the site of struggles for civil rights and equality, and, for all its progress, the UK bus industry has a way to go.

executive onboarding blog
Read more Read more
How To Keep Executive Onboarding On Track

Between 50% and 70% of executives fail within 18 months of starting a new role. So what can be done to ensure executives thrive and prosper?

interview style pros and cons
Read more Read more
Conducting a Successful Interview: Pros and Cons of Different Interview Styles 

Recruiting for executive roles is never an easy business, but choosing the right interview format for the position and your organisation can make it easier.

The UK rail skills shortage 2023
Read more Read more
Infographic: The UK Rail Skills Shortage

Our infographic lays bare the scale of the skills shortage in UK rail, its effects on the industry, and how recruiters can help to address the skills gap.

impact statement
Read more Read more
Our Impact Statement

Through our commitment to ED&I, we’ve spent the last decade working to make transport more diverse – and more reflective of the public it serves.

Read more Read more
Inclusive Leadership Resources

Missed our Inclusive Leadership Knowledge Session? Catch up on the highlights or watch the full session here.

Read more Read more
Growing Senior Transport Roles to Consider in Recruitment Plans

We detail the growing c-suite positions you should account for in your recruitment strategies or may want to pursue as a leadership candidate.

Read more Read more
Guide to Interim Leadership Assignments in Transport

Read our guide to get a fresh insight into successful interim recruitment in the transport industry.

Read more Read more
Knowing if and When Interim Leadership Is Right for You

For many senior professionals, interim management is the most rewarding career path imaginable – but contract work isn’t for everyone.

Read more Read more
CV Rules and Best Practices for Senior Leaders

How you can take your CV from a tell-all list to a marketing tool that increases your chance of securing an interview.

Read more Read more
Diversity in Transport Report

Learn how your Transport organisation can benefit from enhanced Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in its teams with our exclusive Diversity in Transport Report – the 2023 edition.

Read more Read more
Video: Nina Reflects on 10 Years of Intuitive

Founder and Director Nina Lockwood reflects on the last ten years of Intuitive and shares her thoughts on recruitment and the transport industry.

Celebrating ten years of Intuitive Recruitment
Read more Read more
Video: Ten Years of Intuitive

Intuitive’s first decade has been magical. Here are the highlights, from bringing new faces into the sector to hosting a hit podcast and winning Executive Recruitment Agency of the Year.

Intuitive 2022 Year in Review
Read more Read more
Video: Our 2022 Wrap Up

2022 has certainly been a fantastic year for Intuitive. So to celebrate, we’ve packed our highlights into a short wrap-up video.

Read more Read more
Infographic: Sector Switching – How to Figure out the Right Fit?

Could a different sector be a better fit for your career priorities and progression goals? This 7-step plan can help you decide.

Read more Read more
Get what you need from Interviews Without being Script-Bound

We share six steps for developing an interview approach that gets what you need from leadership candidate interviews, without relying on a script.

Read more Read more
Adapting Your Interview Style: Part 2 – In-Person Interviews

In-person interviews are far more fluid than they used to be – especially for senior leaders. Here are four ways to adapt your interview style for senior leadership positions.

Read more Read more
Adapting Your Interview Style: Part 1 – Video

As video interviews have grown, so have expectations of how candidates use virtual tools. Here’s how to adapt your interview style for virtual spaces.

Read more Read more
Making LinkedIn an Irreplaceable Career Progression Tool

We share our tried-and-true seven-step strategy for making LinkedIn an irreplaceable tool in your career progression journey.

Read more Read more
Hallmarks of Ads that Attract the Strongest Candidates

Discover four fundamental features of senior leadership job adverts that attract the strongest Transport candidates.

Read more Read more
Allyship in Transport Resources

Missed our Allyship in Transport Knowledge Session? Catch up on the highlights or watch the full session here.

Read more Read more
Building an Employer Value Proposition That Evolves with Candidate Expectations

While you can’t predict what’s to come, adjusting your strategic approach with an evolving EVP can ensure it always delivers what matters.

Read more Read more
Faster Career Progression by Embracing Positive Thinking

A positive attitude can be a real divider when it comes to professional success and can improve confidence, relationships and the speed at which you achieve your goals.

Read more Read more
Building a Personal Brand That’s Instantly Memorable

How do you curate a personal brand that’s true to you but still has career progression prowess?

Read more Read more
How To Have Authentic Conversations With Candidates

Authentic conversations help uncover the real person behind an impressive CV, and are paramount to matching the right candidate with the right enterprise.

Read more Read more
Weighing Up A New Role: Three Questions To Ask

We share three fantastic questions that every transport leadership candidate should ask during the interview process. Revealing answers are guaranteed!

Read more Read more
Workplace Belonging Resources

Missed our Workplace Belonging Knowledge Session? Catch up on the highlights and download our resources here.

Read more Read more
Intuitive proudly announce our CPT membership

Intuitive will be teaming up with the CPT to connect bus and coach organisations with exceptional leadership professionals.

leadership potential
Read more Read more
Ways to Identify Leadership Potential Outside Your Sector

How can your transport organisation tap into cross-sectoral talent and identify leadership potential? We explore strategies for finding talent and 5 specific characteristics to look for.

transport sector
Read more Read more
How Transport Can Be a Successful Force for Change

Why connecting with clients with candidates from outside of the transport sector is important and how it can benefit your organisation. We share 4 interesting advantages.

Read more Read more
Reverse Mentoring: Why it’s Important to the Transport Sector

Reverse mentoring empowers less senior, younger, or more unconventional employees to share their knowledge and experience with more senior, conventional, and oftentimes older colleagues.

Read more Read more
How to Challenge Unconscious Bias in the Recruitment Process

Unconscious bias has been associated with career challenges for those from diverse backgrounds, and when left unchecked, can affect workplace inclusivity.

Read more Read more
Why Your EVP will Turn the Tide on Recruitment Challenges

Putting your employer value proposition at the heart of your recruitment strategy can set you up for long and short term success.

Read more Read more
4 Ways to Have a Positive Mindset in Your Role

In the workplace and as a leader, a positive mindset is important not just for job satisfaction, but for being effective and driving change.

ed&i knowledge session transport
Read more Read more
Become an ED&I Agent of Change

Practical resources to help you drive change and opportunity for diverse talent in transport.

Read more Read more
Unveiling the 90 Day Accelerator Programme

Nina and Founder and Director of Metisblue Laurent Bouvier introduce the exclusive and focused 90 Day Accelerator Programme.

Blog Title Card: Nina on Inspirational Women in Recruitment
Read more Read more
Hear Nina on the Inspirational Women in Recruitment Podcast

Nina recently featured on the Inspirational Women in Recruitment podcast, revealing her approach to attracting and engaging talent and more.

Skills for the transport sector
Read more Read more
How to Match Transport Candidates Beyond the Job Description

Whether recruiting as an internal team or with a Talent Consultancy, our tips can help you match high-level roles with the best in transport.

Blog Title Card: Transport Diversity and Inclusion
Read more Read more
Can Diversity and Inclusion Tackle Transport’s Challenges?

Diversity of thought, perspective and experience allows innovation to thrive, and for the best ideas to win. Discover how in our infographic.

Blog Title Card: In-Demand Skills for Transport
Read more Read more
5 Key Transferable and Desirable Skills for the Transport Sector

Discover the top five in-demand transferable skills relevant to high-level roles in the transport sector, based on feedback from our clients.