You spend time and energy finding the right candidates for open positions. But. . . all the discussions, interviews, assessments and evaluations are for naught if these future employees disappear before their first day of employment. Yes, it happens more than we realize. Why? Once a candidate accepts a position, the following few weeks are often void of communication from their soon-to-be new employer - except for some typical paper work to complete. If this is the only communication they receive during the two weeks to a month before the first day on the job, don't be surprised if one of the other opportunities they were pursuing has a more attractive offer and . . . they are gone.
How can organizations avoid this "flight?" Keep the communication alive. This is a perfect time for many pre-boarding activities. These soon-to-be new employees are ripe for learning about the organization, their future colleagues, the work they will be doing, and the opportunities for them. Don’t miss this chance! Use this time to your advantage by doing the following:
Introduce the new hire to their future co-workers through a social network. Enable chat interactions and have pictures on the network to help new hire recognize their future co-workers and get to know what they do at work and what their non-work interests are.
Use this time to introduce a well-being program. Show via video how the organization supports employee physical, social, mental, and even financial well-being. Get new hires enrolled in programs they are most interested in.
Provide a video tour of the new office including all those important essentials like parking, places for morning coffee as well as lunch, process for working late or coming early, and security (have their picture badge—have new employee send in a photo -waiting for them at their desk!).
Use video to introduce executive team and their roles including a message from the CEO and division leader. A video on the founding purpose and history of the organization will help communicate the organization's culture. Show other company locations with a quick video meet and greet.
Provide some learning experiences around how the payroll process works, paid time off, benefits, internal groups they can join, volunteer opportunities, and even some learning directly related to the job the new hire will be doing.
Provide most paper work for new hire to complete and submit so orientation can focus on company values, opportunities for growth, and performance discussion and expectations with manager.
Identify a mentor for new hire to chat with before the first day who then becomes their "go-to" person after the first day adds to new hire comfort level.
Is technology available to facilitate this process? Onboarding technology is offered by many vendors that have a talent acquisition solution. But make sure the solution includes the “pre-boarding” activities discussed above. For many vendors onboarding means new hire completing paperwork, reading material, and maybe watching a video before the first day but doesn’t address other activities for the critical waiting period after accepting the position. Examples of onboarding solution come from some talent acquisition vendors like Jobvite, iCIMS, and SmartRecruiters; talent management vendors like Cornerstone OnDemand, Oracle Talent Management Cloud, Ultimate Software, and SuccessFactors. KPMG developed a technology onboarding solution that focuses on their clients’ desire for the pre-boarding to help retain new hires. A leader in software for employee well-being that adds to a more holistic concern for new hires is VirginPulse.
The bottom line - after all your hard work to find just the right new hires - engage with them during this silent waiting period. In evaluating technology, make sure it has pre-boarding as part of the onboarding offering. These activities will pay dividends and let these soon-to-be new employees know the organization cares about their overall success in the workforce.