NFU Mutual shares its secret to successful onboarding

Oct 21, 2021 | Development

ISE award finalist NFU Mutual explains how it onboards graduates successfully.

Graduates are potential future leaders of the business and making them feel part of the NFU Mutual community even before they join is really important.

From the time of offer through to the first day they start work, NFU Mutual engages graduates in various onboarding activities to ensure that they feel part of the organisation from day one. It also puts them in touch with the fantastic network of graduates – over 150 individuals from across the business.

‘Getting to know you days’ offer graduates opportunities to meet one another, get to know their people manager and start learning more about the business and culture. This links with a required behavioural quality – business awareness.

Graduates also get involved in fun activities, helping to create an important bond between the cohort, whilst at the same time aligning to a long-term business objective – a great place to work.

“The onboarding at NFU Mutual was great, we had regular communication from both the talent team and IT. We met the IT Director, Tim Mann, and discovered more details about the scheme and the business.” Mark Dinnage, IT graduate

The WhatsApp group for graduates helps them to get to know one another before starting work. If they’re relocating, it’s a useful way to share information and even find potential flatmates.

When graduates start work, the most important thing is that they feel valued. In addition to the above, as part of onboarding the company runs various sessions prior to them starting to ensure they are ready to hit the ground running including:

  • stakeholder management sessions
  • meet and greets with placement/line managers
  • ‘meet other graduates’ on/off scheme

“The contact with NFU Mutual was really great, with the opportunity to develop important career skills from day one.” Rebecca Symmons, a customer service graduate

During a two-week formal induction, graduates continue to create great relationships and a fantastic network around the business. Activities include:

  • Q&A sessions with CEO and divisional directors
  • completion of a project
  • a team fun day
  • various other sessions such as, learning styles and ways of working, personal brand and engagement

The first three months include:

  • personal awareness training along with coaching
  • completion of a Certificate in Insurance to provide basic knowledge required to work in the insurance industry
  • the start of a relevant professional qualification
  • creation of a bespoke personal development plan
  • in role development, adding value and making a difference from the outset
  • getting involved and driving extra-curricular and charity events.

In 2020 over 8,000 graduates applied for one of 20 places on the scheme and since 2010 NFU Mutual has employed 168 graduates.

It has 87% retention rates for graduates on scheme compared with an average of 72% for other organisations (Institute of Student Employers 2020) and 71% retention rates for graduates off scheme (in a permanent role) with an average of 57% for other organisations (Institute of Student Employers 2020)

NFU Mutual graduates are not just a number; they are valued for their individual contributions and strengths. And as with all employees, the company actively supports graduates to develop their careers and fulfil their potential to be the best they can be. 

This is an excerpt from the ISE Complete Guide to Student Recruitment and Development

Read more case studies from ISE members



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