Pro Tips for Ensuring Your New Hire Starts and Stays
Sorry to burst your celebratory bubble but the game is still on! Research by The Wynhurst Group found that a staggering 22% of staff turnover occurs within the first 45 days of employment. To make matters worse, those stats don’t include candidates dropping out before their start dates. Shut the front door I hear you say!
Eager as you may be to move on, the period between the candidate’s acceptance and start date is fraught with peril. Avoid an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ attitude and plan to avoid the predictable risks of inaction.
Here are a few of the major pitfalls and some ideas to help avoid them.
Time Kills all Deals
If you think your chosen candidate is great, so too will other people including current bosses, recruiters, ex colleagues, network connections and of course, other rival employers. Even the candidate’s own sense of entrepreneurialism can derail your plans. With so many people working from home now, in the daily habit of job searching, the threat of losing them is very real.
Your best weapon against all of them is speed. On the day of offer, strike while the iron is hot by having the offer letter and contracts ready to send, ideally by both email and post. Help them to feel part of the team at this early stage by ensuring the letter contains warm, welcoming details describing the plan, before and after, their start date, including any special instructions for remote working if appropriate.
Encourage them to resign at the first opportunity by asking for a start date commitment and keep in touch throughout their notice period. If you’re using an agency, check the consultant is in touch with the candidate too.
Your desirable candidate is good and will likely be offered more money to stay with their current employer. Remember your own recruiting headaches – Even if the company is upset by the resignation, it is often cheaper and easier to increase a salary instead of the expense and effort of recruiting someone new. Expect counteroffers.
Counteroffers can generally be beaten simply by making a good offer in the first place combined with a challenging and exciting career opportunity. Generally, people move for emotional, career-focused reasons and not for money however, the salary is still important. Offering someone a like for like salary leaves you wide open for a challenge. Ensure the whole package is appealing to ensure your candidate won’t be talked into staying. Wise employers keep some of the recruiting budgets aside just in case they need to increase the offer.
Make a plan, work the plan
Before starting a recruitment campaign, think about the end and map the process journey in between. The end, by the way, is when a happily inducted, settled and well performing employee successfully passes their contracted probation period. Depending on your contracts, this may be up to 6 months. Plan events for every stage from casual team introductions to more involved professional meetings during the notice period, first day induction, job objective setting, reviews and appraisals. Stick to the plan and pay attention to red flag signals of discontent. Addressing issues quickly will help to overcome any risk.
First (Day) Impressions Count
For a new starter, there is nothing worse than feeling like an afterthought on day one. Book time to properly prepare for your candidate’s first day and ensure all required personnel is informed and equally prepared ahead of time. Ideally, include an induction timetable in the welcome letter with clear instructions on what to expect. Remote starters are more challenging, so ensure they are made to feel welcome. We have seen companies set up a ‘buddy’ system rota with a select group of colleagues who can help and guide your newbie through their early days. WhatsApp groups, teams, etc are just some of the digital solutions you might consider.
Avoid the classic unprepared faux pas by arranging for all equipment including pens, phones, computers, etc are with them, ready to use before the candidate sits down on day one.
If they are working on-site, don’t let them loose at midday to find their own way. During the morning, invite them to join you and/or members of the team for lunch to immediately build rapport and allay any social fears.
Be imaginative with your welcome approach. Google search some ideas of what others have done. You might be surprised!
16.45% of all candidates leave their job within the first week due to a ‘bad’ first impression.
Assumption is someone’s mother
During the first 45 days, your new employee is constantly assessing, comparing, and judging the reality of the job versus the dream-like picture painted during the interview process. Don’t allow their polite reluctance to complain to lull you into a false sense of security. Find out.
Create opportunities for open conversation and encourage honest feedback throughout the induction process and beyond. Address issues as they arise and take immediate action where possible to demonstrate your desire to support them.
Manage expectations. It’s the secret to the whole show. Meet commitments, be honest about the job and company culture, and stay in touch with them as much as possible.