Recruiter Report: Engaging New Hires Prior to Their First Day

Posted by The Jacobson Group

In past editions of Recruiter Report, we’ve discussed many different aspects of the hiring process and best practices for being effective in a virtual environment. However, one topic that has frequently been coming up in our recent conversations with hiring managers is the time after an offer’s been accepted and before the individual’s start date. In this issue of Recruiter Report, we’re focusing on the few weeks following interviews, offers and negotiations and answering the question, “How can companies make new hires feel welcomed and valued prior to their first day of work?”

Recruiter Report Engaging New Hires Prior to Their First Day-01-1

Especially for passive candidates, the space between giving their notice and starting their new role may have them feeling anxious and uncertain. Afterall, they’re often leaving a team and company they’re familiar with and taking a leap of faith into unknown territory. Even small gestures from their new team and company can help alleviate these feelings and make individuals more confident and excited for what’s ahead.

Recruiter Report Engaging New Hires Prior to Their First Day-039 Steps to Prepare for Vacay Mode-04Encourage current employees to reach out. 
While it’s likely those involved in the offer process have expressed their excitement for a new employee to come on board, encourage others within the organization to reach out as well. This could simply be asking team members to connect with the individual on LinkedIn, having those from throughout the interview process send a quick welcome note, or assigning a buddy to assist with any questions prior to the first day and beyond. These small touchpoints set a positive tone and convey a piece of your company culture, while maintaining a sense of momentum and anticipation.

9 Steps to Prepare for Vacay Mode-04Set them up for a successful first day.
In today’s environment, a first day could mean coming into the physical office (whether it’s where they’ll be primarily working or not) or logging in from home. Provide information on when, how and with whom meetings and other onboarding activities will take place. Also ensure any necessary equipment, including laptops, screens, headsets and keyboards are set up in-office or have been delivered to the employee’s home ahead of time to avoid unnecessary delays and technical difficulties. 

Recruiter Report Engaging New Hires Prior to Their First Day-049 Steps to Prepare for Vacay Mode-04Schedule a one-on-one with HR. 
While more in-depth benefits and logistics questions may be answered during onboarding, provide an opportunity for new hires to connect directly with your benefits team in advance, if they prefer. This can help them gain a better understanding of what your organization offers on a more detailed scale and ease any concerns, outside of what they might have felt comfortable asking during the interview process. 

9 Steps to Prepare for Vacay Mode-04Identify who else lives in or near their community.
Even if your organization is fully remote, it’s possible there are other employees working in close geographic proximity to your new team member. Consider if it makes sense to arrange for them to meet face-to-face for coffee or lunch. This provides individuals with a chance to learn more about the company on an informal level, while beginning to build a connection to the organization and its people. 

9 Steps to Prepare for Vacay Mode-04Remember small gestures can go a long way.
Whether it’s a hand-written note from their manager or a welcome gift, letting individuals know their new team and company is thinking of them can go a long way in igniting engagement and loyalty. We’ve seen many employers send specialty food items or branded swag such as t-shirts, office supplies or mugs to employees prior to their start dates. 

Recruiter Report Engaging New Hires Prior to Their First Day-029 Steps to Prepare for Vacay Mode-04Consider personal welcome calls from leadership. 
While hearing from teammates and managers is meaningful, a personal call from leadership is unexpected and further demonstrates the company’s commitment to the individual. The right leader – whether it’s the CEO or a division lead – may vary depending on your company size and the role, yet cultivates the beginning of a meaningful connection with the larger organization.

The time between signing an offer letter and starting a new role can bring on many emotions and questions for professionals. By maintaining ongoing communication and being thoughtful in making individuals feel welcome in the time leading up to their first day, you’ll be able to alleviate their concerns and start your relationships off on the right foot. 

What are you currently doing to engage new hires prior to their start dates? Share your insight in our LinkedIn poll below. For more recruiting best practices, view our past editions of Recruiter Report.

Recruiter Report Engaging New Hires Prior to Their First Day-05-1