5 Best Employee Onboarding Practices to Prevent New Hire Fallout

best employee onboarding practices

Candidates have been known to disappear even after they’ve accepted an offer and agreed to start on a specific date. In fact, a study by Indeed cites that in 2019 alone, 22% of new hires accepted a job offer but didn’t show up for their first day of work–oftentimes with little or no communication. So, how can businesses avoid getting “ghosted” by candidates and mitigate these types of new hire fallouts? The answer rests in having a well-defined set of best employee onboarding practices. We’ve prepared this basic checklist to help you get started!

The Ghosting Phenomenon

According to the Indeed study, 69% of employers noticed an increase in ghosting within the two years leading up to 2019. And, 83% of employers reported they had already previously experienced it at least occasionally. This trend is expected to continue into 2023 and beyond. 

This phenomenon is not only leaving jobs unclaimed but also seriously impacting the majority of employers. Why would job seekers go through the trouble of completing the various steps to receiving a job offer only to leave it on the table, never to be spoken of again? Employers may never understand, but there is a pattern among candidates that could use some further investigation. 

Why Do Candidates Get Cold Feet?

Respondents from the Indeed study claim several reasons for leaving their new employers high and dry. The article states that “over half decided the job wasn’t right for them, and 40% ghosted after receiving another offer. Others say the salary (22%) or benefits (15%) weren’t up to par.”

While these are all valid reasons for not wanting to accept a job offer, the problem lies in communication. It can be uncomfortable to tell a new employer you had a change of heart. However, there’s an opportunity here to prioritize the need for curating a more open and effective line of communication. The lesson to be learned is that a preboarding strategy can not only save you time but also save you a new employee. 

Five of the Best Employee Onboarding Practices to Lock In New Talent

1) Send a Personalized Onboarding Package

Everyone appreciates a gift in the mail, especially a new hire. Sending a personalized gift in the mail lets your employee know you are excited about their future and serious about building a relationship with them. 

Take a page from the books of tech giants, like Salesforce and Google, that send elaborate welcome kits. Branded swag and tools to set the new employee up for success are great items to include. Plus, go the extra mile and write a personalized card that shows you took time out of your day to thank the employee for joining your company on its journey.

2) Send a Thorough Onboarding Email With Expectations

Every company comes with its own unique expectations, which is why it’s critical to communicate effectively early on. Let your new hire know exactly what they can expect during their onboarding and training week. Paint a clear picture of their day by including an itinerary, so there are no surprises on day one. Doing this can eliminate the potential apprehension and second-guessing that naturally comes along with starting a new job. 

3) Proactively Ensure New Hires Are Set Up for Day One

Day one will inevitably be busy, but you don’t want to fill it with busy work. Allow new hires to get ahead by setting up systems before their arrival. For example: 

  • Activate their company email
  • Add them to your productivity tools 
  • Verify their personal information 
  • Send over paperwork to give them the option to complete 

Again, make expectations clear by letting them know that it isn’t mandatory to come to work on day one with everything filled out in full, but explain that it might be a good idea. You want to leverage their excitement, not minimize it with tedious, mundane tasks. A checklist of things to be completed would be helpful for all parties involved. 

4) Prepare Your Team

Preboarding and onboarding are when new hires determine first-hand if they feel the culture is a good fit. This is why cultivating a sense of community is one of the most critical factors during this time. 

Let your existing team know when a new hire is starting to ensure they provide a warm and comforting welcome. Allow new hires to sit in on your routine Monday meetings to see what a “day in the life” looks like at the office. Set up one-to-one meetings with managers and HR reps so the new employee can meet people immediately. First impressions are crucial during the preboarding phase, so putting effort into day one planning is important. 

5) Ask For Feedback On Your Hiring Process

One of the easiest, most efficient ways to prevent a new hire from ghosting you on the first day is to ask them how they felt about the hiring process. Requesting feedback lets the candidate know that you care about their experience and are also open to improving your processes. 

An article from Harvard Business Review states that “the importance of employee empowerment can’t be overstated; it promotes productivity, creativity, and alignment of personal and company growth.” Empowering your employees before their first day can immediately send the message that you are fostering a positive company culture. Let them know you value their opinion and are open to having conversations about improvement. 

Thoughtfully executing a preboarding strategy is one of the best ways to cement the relationship between a new hire and your company. It will also help set the tone for your onboarding and orientation process. Read on for additional insights and best practices on how to keep new hires engaged as they enter your organization: What’s the Real Difference Between Onboarding and Orientation?

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