Simple Tactics Can Optimize Onboarding

You just made a great hire, and the new employee starts next week. You invested a lot of time and energy in finding just the right talent, and are relieved that you can finally ease up on the gas pedal.

However, the research says you shouldn’t relax — new hires are still vulnerable during this period. Statistics regarding turnover in the first month vary from 30% to 50%, but even 30% is alarmingly high. In addition, in a recent study, 71% of employees stated that onboarding experiences would influence their decision to stay with a company. That’s from the 2017 Engage2Excel Trendicators Report, based on a survey of 1,500 job seekers.

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Fortunately, there are simple, relatively inexpensive preboarding and onboarding tactics to engage new hires and set the stage for a long relationship between your company and the new talent. Here are five ideas from the eBook, 10 Onboarding Ideas, which also draws on the Trendicators data.

1. Send a welcome gift

Onboarding starts the moment you make an offer, and it pays to make that moment special. According to the report, 82% of individuals between the ages of 25 and 34 say that a personalized gift at the time of offer would influence their decision to accept. The gift does not have to be extravagant, but should convey your commitment to bringing this person into your organization.

2. Reach out before day one

More than half of job seekers, 58%, say they would consider other offers if someone didn’t engage with them between offer acceptance and their first day. Give new hires a phone call to let them know you are looking forward to their becoming part of your team.

3. Do lunch

An employee’s first day should be about more than just filling out forms. In fact, 69% of job seekers say that their first-day experience will impact their decision to stay for more than a month. Take the new employee and a couple of key coworkers to lunch. Who says food cannot be the way to an employee’s heart?

4. Schedule socialization

This is a big one, especially for the largest generation in the workforce today: millennials. Give your new hire time to socialize with their new colleagues. Among millennials in the study, 81% rate socializing or collaborating with other employees as very important or important. That’s higher than other generations, but all cohorts consider it valuable.

5. Recognize early milestones

It would be hard to underestimate the significance of recognition throughout the employment continuum. In the study, more than half of all respondents indicated that praise and recognition are important during the period between offer and start date (54%) and during onboarding (56%). A sincere compliment to a candidate can make a big impact. You might praise how they handled themselves during interviews, or point out an impressive accomplishment on their résumé.

Whether you implement all of these ideas or just a couple, treat new hires with respect. Being treated with dignity and respect is the No. 1 reason candidates accept job offers, and the No. 2 reason they reject job offers. Today, it’s no longer enough to post, “Employees are our most important asset,” on your website. We need to renew our commitment to that belief and truly treat employees as the valuable contributors they are.

MORE: Does Your New Hire Feel at Home? Get Employee Onboarding Right With This Simple Checklist

Tom Brennan

Tom Brennan
Tom Brennan is manager, creative services at nationwide recruiting firm Decision Toolbox.

Tom Brennan

Jeff Gelinas

Jeff Gelinas
Jeff Gelinas is vice president of people and product at Engage2Excel.

Tom Brennan

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