With talent shortages across the industry and tough competition to recruit excellent employees, it has never been more important to differentiate your recruitment and onboarding strategy from every other pharmacy business.

By taking the time to carefully recruit and onboard your employees and investing in them at the commencement of their journey with you (rather than their farewell party!), you are more likely to get the best out of your team.  Further, a solid and thorough onboarding process is also an effective risk management strategy.  If put in place properly, you will reap the benefits of less time spent on performance management issues.

So, what is onboarding and how do you implement an excellent process for your most important business asset?  Onboarding is the term used to describe the process of integrating new employees into your business.  The process starts at the recruitment phase and continues until the employee has successfully integrated into their new role. 

To implement an excellent onboarding process, consider the following:

        1.      Know why you are different (actually different!)

        These days, it is not enough to put a stock standard advertisement on a job website and expect to land the perfect team member.  You need to determine the key factors that make your business actually different from the rest and develop a creative recruitment campaign around those factors.

        When designing your campaign, develop an avatar of the person you are looking to hire and consider that person’s key attributes and skills and how they fit into the key, differentiating factors of your business.  From there, create a checklist so that you can hire according to exactly what it is that you are looking for.

        When you’ve designed your campaign, distribute it via one platform and make sure it is distributed more than once.  It is often not until you are tired of promoting your campaign that it is actually starting to get traction!

        2.      Communicate your purpose and values

Once you have found your desired candidate, make sure that you communicate your business story to them.  They need to know about your business journey, purpose and values. Consider how you can do this effectively – perhaps via a business journey video or handbook.  However you choose to communicate your journey, purpose and values, ensure that you make it easy for your desired candidates to navigate your business and feel included in your story.

        3.      Build a strong culture

Whether you like it or not, your business has a culture.  As a business owner, you should be doing all that you can to ensure the culture that is communicated and demonstrated by your team is the culture that you want to promote and the culture that reflects your values.  If not, take steps to change it immediately.

        4.      Guide your team’s performance

        The strength and cohesiveness of your team is reflective of many factors.  These factors include your ability as the business owner to set your team up for success by providing them with the necessary systems, processes and guides to do their jobs effectively and in a way that is reflective of your business values and desired culture.

        Whether you have a team of 2 or 22, it is important to comprehensively document all of your processes and procedures and implement strong policies and procedures and review those documents regularly.

An excellent onboarding process is crucial for a successful business and a strong team.  For more information about how to design, develop and maintain your onboarding process or to express your interest in our next “Recruit and Retain Masterclass”, please get in touch with the team at Vitality Law Australia. 

This article originally featured in the May 2023 edition of Retail Pharmacy Magazine. This article is intended to be for general information only. It does not constitute legal advice nor does it establish a relationship of client and lawyer. Specific circumstances or changes in law may vary the accuracy or applicability of the information published. We recommend seeking specific legal advice particular to your circumstances before taking any action, or refraining from taking any action, on any issue dealt with in this article.


Sarah Stoddart is the director of Vitality Law Australia, an award winning commercial and property law firm specialising in the pharmacy and broader healthcare industry.   Sarah prides herself on being approachable and helping clients resolve their legal issues in a practical and timely manner.

If you require assistance with healthcare related matters including business or property transactions, regulatory approvals or leasing, please contact Sarah Stoddart on 07 2140 0522 or sarah@vitalitylawaustralia.com