Supercharge your events team through onboarding

An effective onboarding process is one of the best steps to retaining the event industry’s top talent, writes Jonathan Lamm, managing director of recruitment and executive search agency THE MONDAY GROUP.

New-hires need more than just an office tour, and a strong onboarding process can improve new-hire retention by 82 per cent. A well-designed onboarding program is crucial for building solid connections and boosting productivity in the events and hospitality sectors.

In the fast-paced world of events, talent acquisition and retention are top priorities for any successful company. You invest time and resources into attracting the best people, but how are you ensuring they stay with you? The answer lies in the crucial but often overlooked step of onboarding.

The high cost of poor onboarding

Studies show a staggering 20 per cent of employee turnover happens within the first 45 days of employment. This equates to lost time, money and valuable expertise. It can also damage your employer brand, making it harder to attract top talent in the future.

The reasons for this early turnover are clear. Poor onboarding leaves new-hires feeling disoriented, undervalued and unsure of their role. Recent research confirms this, revealing 10 per cent of employees quit due to an inadequate onboarding experience. This can create additional burden for existing team members who need to pick up the slack, leading to further frustration and potential burnout.

Word also travels fast, especially in the close-knit events and hospitality industries, and new-hires who have negative onboarding experiences are likely to share their frustrations with others. Candidates are increasingly researching potential employers online and via their own networks, and negative reviews about the onboarding process can deter qualified individuals from applying.

The demographic shift in the workforce also plays a critical role in shaping onboarding strategies. With 31 per cent of Gen Z and millennial jobseekers prioritising positions that offer training and development opportunities, onboarding becomes a vital showcase of an organisation’s commitment to employee growth.

Investment in onboarding pays off

The good news is a well-designed onboarding program significantly improves employee retention. By investing in an effective onboarding process, you can significantly increase employee engagement and productivity, and enhance your company’s bottom line.

A well-executed onboarding program leads to:

  • Increased engagement: Employees who experience a strong onboarding process are 18 times more committed to their organisation. When new-hires feel connected to their role, team and organisational mission early on, they are more likely to feel a sense of purpose and alignment. Engaged employees demonstrate higher levels of productivity, contribute innovative ideas and are more loyal to their employers.
  • Improved retention: Studies by professional development and research company Brandon Hall Group found that strong onboarding programs improve new-hire retention by a staggering 82 per cent. Additionally, 69 per cent of employees who have a great onboarding experience are more likely to stay with a company for three years. By investing in employees’ success and wellbeing from the beginning, you can reduce turnover and increase talent retention in an increasingly competitive job market.
  • Enhanced productivity: Brandon Hall Group’s research shows strong onboarding programs improve new-hire productivity by more than 70 per cent. Proper onboarding provides new-hires with the knowledge, skills and resources they need to perform their job effectively. By clarifying expectations, introducing company policies and procedures, and facilitating meaningful interactions, employees feel supported and empowered to hit the ground running.

Importance of onboarding in the events industry

As a specialist recruitment agency and executive search firm that services the events, experiential marketing, hotel and hospitality sectors, THE MONDAY GROUP knows what it takes to make or break the onboarding process.

During our time working with clients in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, we’ve seen a variety of good and not-so-good onboarding processes, and we’ve noticed a critical oversight: leaders often underestimate the importance of fostering strong connections with new-hires.

Because events are often complex undertakings with tight deadlines, new-hires need to feel confident in their abilities, and trust their colleagues to deliver on their commitments. Too often, new starters are simply thrown into projects without a well-planned onboarding process that focuses on clear communication, role-specific training and mentorship.

New-hires also need to feel they are valued members of the team, not just another cog in the machine. Effective onboarding programs in the event management industry should incorporate team-building activities and opportunities for new-hires to get to know their colleagues on a personal level.

Creating a successful onboarding strategy

When creating an onboarding program, there are key things to consider to ensure it is an engaging and successful process for your new-hire.

  • Role-specific training: To enable your new-hires to thrive, you’ll need to equip them with the necessary skills to succeed in their role. This includes dedicated training sessions on any software used, relevant industry best practices and safety protocols. You can also connect new-hires with department heads or senior colleagues so they can shadow a more experienced team member on a similar project to learn the ropes.
  • Support system: Where possible, assign each new-hire a dedicated buddy who can provide ongoing guidance and support. This mentor should be a seasoned team member familiar with the specific role and the broader industry landscape. An effective mentor can help new-hires navigate challenges, answer questions and provide valuable insights into company culture and best practices.
  • Focus on attachment: The concept of “employee attachment” – pioneered by employee perception measurement and reporting technology platform shcBOND – emphasises the importance of psychological safety and belonging for new-hires who, like infants forming a bond with their caregivers, seek security, trust and acceptance. Your managers become the “primary carers” in this scenario. By prioritising attachment, you foster engagement and motivation in your new-hires.

Investing in people pays dividends
Onboarding is not just an HR formality, it’s a strategic investment in your company’s future.

Given this understanding, the onboarding process must be seen through a new lens.

It’s about building a foundation of trust and alignment from day one. With a strong onboarding program, you will empower new-hires to become valued members of your team, contributing to your success from day one.

By prioritising and implementing a well-designed onboarding program, your company will attract top hires, improve talent retention and ensure your team is equipped to deliver exceptional results.

Visit to download THE MONDAY GROUP’s guide to successful onboarding. The company has combined its expertise in the hospitality, events and experiential marketing sectors to provide practical tips and strategies to ensure new-hires feel welcome, valued and empowered to excel.


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