• Appreciating that a square peg does not fit into a round hole is a powerful idea. It enables both the employee and employer to remove themselves from a potential contract without doing harm.
  • Try-outs are becoming increasingly popular as the next step in the process. Potential employees can spend a few weeks in an organisation before discussing whether or not a relationship should be progressed.
  • On-boarding and off-boarding talent is effectively keeping everyone’s reputation intact. Existing staff need to feel their work will also be considered of value after they leave. Ex-staff may have influence over your ability to attract talent in the future, especially in small expert markets. They can become your good or bad ambassadors.


2014 New Zealand Examples


SparkNZ uses a virtual on-boarding system that incorporates the technical, customer, social and cultural aspects of working with SparkNZ within one programme. The programme can be tailored to the specific needs of each new employee and ensures that everybody receives the necessary training.


2014 International Examples

HVS Hospitality Services, United States

HVS Hospitality Services uses a 4 step employee process for off-boarding employees. It includes a process to transfer employee knowledge, the documentation of their employment experience and an exit interview. The process encourages employees to express their thoughts and air any concerns or grievances while allowing the organisation to reconfirm their best wishes for departing employees.

Northwestern UniversityChicago

The university has a clear protocol for on-boarding that involves six guiding principles that cover the social, management and work related aspects of the job. The principles include:

  1. Engage new employees early and often.
  2. On-boarding is a process that occurs over time (6-12 months).
  3. Managers play the most important role.
  4. Deliver the most important information first.
  5. Facilitate the process of socialisation.
  6. Provide early exposure to senior management.

Automattic, United States

Matt Mullenweg CEO of Automattic in San Francisco pioneered the concept of tryouts, which allow prospective employees to demonstrate their proficiency in job specific skills while experiencing the company culture. They are paid (US)$25 per hour and work 10 to 20 hours per week, to accommodate existing work commitments.