It can feel like a long wait between the day a candidate’s offer acceptance and the day they officially join the team, and other organizations may very well still be vying for their attention during that time. Don’t just cross your fingers and let them wait in silence - instead, try these tips to keep a candidate feeling secure and excited to start.
Supply a Variety of Resources
In conjunction with the offer letter, connect the candidate with the HR team, so they have a well-versed resource from whom to gain more clarity regarding benefits and company information.
Once the offer has been signed, send them any company or team news they might find interesting and invite them to follow your social media accounts, blogs, etc. At this time, you should also be able to give them a clear picture of the expectations for their first day - what equipment will they receive before starting? What platforms could they become familiar with in advance if they wish? What training will happen on the first day/week, and how busy will the schedule be?
Foster Belonging from the Start
In the days or weeks between their offer and Day One, solicit from the new hire a short autobiography, including pictures and fun facts that you can share with the existing team. You can take this a step further by making it reciprocal - gather similar information about the team or others with whom the newbie will work closely; exchanging this info will give everyone a foundation for building a connection when the newbie arrives.
Boost Confidence by Creating Familiarity
If you’ve got a brick-and-mortar office near the new hire’s location, organize a pre-start date office visit/tour for them (you could even include a paid lunch with the team!) This will give them a running start on their first day… doesn’t everyone feel more comfortable knowing where they’ll be able to park (and where the bathrooms are)?
Don’t have an office to meet at? Send the newbie a welcome aboard care package with some (useful, quality) company swag! You can also let them be a fly on the wall, gaining insight into company culture and current events by sending them invitations to (or recordings of) virtual company or team meetings before their first day. Recordings of product demos are a great resource too.
A Fully Supported Day One
On the first day, be sure to give them a warm welcome - in person or virtually, with an assigned First Day Buddy. This person doesn’t have to be with them all day but should be familiar with the newbie’s position, the company, and the platforms it uses, and have the availability to check in with them from time to time.
As their direct manager, you should be sure to not only supply the new hire with a schedule for the day, including blocks of admin/self-directed time that will allow them to catch their breath. Let them know that that’s what the time is for, and check in with them a few times that day to see what they may need.
In the Next Few Weeks
Pave the way for learning and self-assurance but ensure that several employees (in multiple levels and departments) intentionally build rapport with them and are available for formal and informal touch-bases going forward. This can be built into the newbie’s training schedule over the first couple of weeks with short, scheduled meetings and optional conversation starters.
Lastly, don’t miss the opportunity to learn from your new employees what you’re doing right and could do better. At the four- or six-week mark, ask the new hire for their honest feedback on the recruiting, onboarding, and training processes, as well as the communication and atmosphere they’ve experienced thus far. Oftentimes a performance and engagement management tool can be used to provide pre-designed surveys like this, but a Google form you create will do the trick too.
The Bottom Line: Effort Shows You Care!
Being intentional with the timing of these communications will keep a new hire engaged and send a clear message that you’re a company that truly values its employees. And, remember - these are not only the crucial elements to successfully bringing on a new hire, but it’s also part of playing the long game; you’re showing all your employees that you’re willing and able to go out of your way to make them want to stick around, and you’ll be creating great word of mouth for their networks too.