Employee Onboarding – The Gift That Keeps Giving

Thu 17 November 2016

So it’s nearly December, your potential candidates are holiday planning, and the focus shifts from work to downtime and having a lot of time for reflection. That’s great, but it is also a dangerous time for those about to welcome new hires into the corporate fold. This time of year has greater significance for prospective employees who are about to transition into a new role within a new company. What do you think these people will start to do? They’ll get excited about the new opportunity for sure, but they will also have time for critical reflection. As an employer, you need to take action and step up the pre-boarding of your new hires.

Put yourself in the shoes of the potential new hire as he or she ponders: Am I making the right decision? Is this new company going to give me what I need personally and professionally? What if I have been sold a cultural fit that doesn’t exist? The list goes on. It would be easy for someone to get cold feet and think ‘staying put’ is best. How do you mitigate this and deliver the reassurance and confidence that your candidates and new hires are looking for?

A poll of senior HR executives at a recent HRO Today forum in Edinburgh categorized the following as truly important:

  1. Extend your pre-boarding to the family and not just the individual. This might include a shipped gift or heavily discounted membership program.
  2. Deliver meaningful content – Videos, testimonials, company literature.
  3. Give them a buddy – A real employee to guide, support and deliver the truth about work and culture.
  4. Make it personal – Tailor it, with personal welcomes to the company.
  5. Keep the contact going – It’s not just a one-hit wonder of info. Too much is overwhelming, too little is meaningless.

The talent shortage is a major concern of CEOs and HR teams, and it’s a candidate market in the sense that your most valuable employees can find work outside your firm. Attracting and retaining this level of talent is costly and time consuming, so after you’ve landed this talent don’t get complacent and accept that the job is done. It’s now that the real work starts. This is a strategic process that should last at least one year. The first few days and even month are crucial.

  • One third of new hires quit their job within six months.
  • 33 percent of employees knew whether they would stay within a company long term after their first week.

You don’t want these stats at your organization. As you lead up to the holiday season, think about two things:

  1. Catalyze your pre- and onboarding activity – Don’t allow your new employees’ minds to wander to other opportunities. These new hires are not yours until they walk through your door and you have them emotionally engaged. Studies show that candidate satisfaction increases by an average of 38 percent when the hiring team (including supervisors and peers) is completely ready for the new hire.
  2. Focus on your employer brand – Create moments that matter and are remembered.

Holiday periods often show peaks in job searches. Make sure your brand matters and your employee onboarding is memorable.