Recently my colleagues and I were asked to research pre-employment employee engagement. In my research, I came across a study from The Wynhurst Group that says, “new employees decide whether they feel at home or not in the first three weeks in a company and 4% of new employees leave a job after a disastrous first day.” Additionally, according to the latest Aberdeen report entitled “Onboarding 2013 – A New Look at New hires” most organizations believe that about 90% of employees decide to stay within the first year, and this statistic has been the driving force behind many organizations taking their new hire orientation program very seriously. Still, there are some organizations that do not put forth as much effort in engaging their new hires, and in return have seen very high employee turn-over rates. There are also instances when a new hire, even after signing on the dotted line, decides not to join the organization for a variety of reasons including the uncertainty of a cultural fit. This is where pre-employment onboarding can play such a critical role.
Here are 4 pre-employment best practices and trends that you can implement into your onboarding process to ensure that your prospective hire will feel welcomed before they accept the offer:
- Provide the “Tools of Engagement”: At least one week prior to the employee’s start date, assemble and send out an orientation packet that includes the a copy of job description, organization chart, mission, vision and values statement, benefit summary and open enrollment forms, payroll forms, confidentiality agreements (if applicable), and employee handbook. This will give the employee ample time to properly review the forms, jot down any questions, and complete and return the forms on the first day of employment, freeing them up for other employee engagement activities.
- Be Proactive: New hires often ramp up their search efforts for information about their perspective employers in the days leading up to their start date. Be proactive and provide a helpful resources guide that points them in the right places. Providing links to blogs, videos, announcements, company policies and procedures, and newsletters will set the ball rolling and get them up to speed quickly on the company’s happenings.
- Connectivity: Create a group on a public social network like LinkedIn or Yammer as a means to introduce the new hire to the rest of the team. As the current team members extend introductions and exchange pleasantries the new hire is sure to feel connected prior to their first day.
- Socialization: Socialize early by inviting them to team meetings and team building activities, ensuring that they can see the team’s interaction inside and outside of the office.
Here at Helios HR one of our core values is operating with intention. As such, during our pre-employment onboarding process we strive to make the new additions to our team feel welcomed long before their start date. From sending welcome packages up to two weeks prior to their start dates, to inviting them to meetings, company events, and team building activities, we want to give a realistic experience into our environment. I recently asked our Talent Acquisition Practice Director, Amy Stark, who joined the organization in 2013, about her Helios pre-employment onboarding experience and she shared the following, “having the ability to meet the team while still in the interview process was instrumental in joining the organization and also made me feel like a part of the team much faster.”