Recruitment, pre-boarding, and onboarding are golden opportunities for businesses.  Making a good impression on candidates and new starters within these 3 phases is critical – but many organisations are getting it wrong.

Candidate numbers are rising, but despite this, skilled applicants are proving hard to find. And even when you’ve made job offers, research shows that not all verbal acceptances lead to long-term employment.

Gartner research from 2022, shows that 44% of candidates have accepted an offer but then decided not to start the position, while the Work Institute’s 2019 retention report highlights that 43% of new hires leave organisations within the first 90 days of starting.

The first 100 days are critical.

So how can businesses use the first 100 days to delight their applicants, candidates, and new starters?

Here are our thoughts on how to use the first 100 days to your advantage.

Job acceptance.  Day Zero.

The early period between job acceptance and start date is important.  At this time, new hires may still be receiving calls from recruiters, being enticed to attend other interviews or getting cold feet about leaving an established job. Counter offers are rife in the current market which only helps to encourage anxiety about starting afresh.

New employers should use this time to build engagement and establish trust.  Successful pre-boarding ensures new starters are committed to the company culture from the start.

Some ideas.

  • Send a simple “welcome” email including company literature such as the Handbook or recent blogs, or vlogs.  These are marketing collateral and will help your new hire feel they belong and create Buy-In.
  • A check-in call from a familiar line manager or HR personnel a week or so before the start date helps to relieve anxiety. Use this as an opportunity to help address any worries your new starter may have. Do a test Teams or Zoom call to check connectivity. This is especially important when onboarding remote or hybrid roles.

Day 1-7.  Early days.

Try to avoid giving too much information too early in the process. By not overwhelming your new hire, you’ll make sure that they feel confident this is a job they can do.

The early stages should revolve around establishing a support network, creating opportunities for learning and development, and building community and buy-in.

Make sure any non job specific training such as Health and Safety is completed during this time. This will leave your new recruit free to concentrate on their job role and responsibilities further down the line.

Some ideas.

  • A thorough tour of the office and building.
  • An explanation of technology and systems
  • Team introductions
  • One-to-one and small-group interactions
  • A Peer Buddy scheme – this should be someone your new hire will be working closely with or has done their job before.

Day 8 – 30.  The first milestone.

This period is a milestone and marks the first 30 days. This is where the onboarding can start to become more specific.

Learning and development have gone past surface level, and you can begin to become more direct regarding expectations, KPIs and metrics.

This is also a great period for organisations to review and assess their onboarding performance.   Questionnaires are a great way to review how your new hire is feeling. Teaming these with sit-down conversations will allow you to address any issues swiftly. Sorting out small, ongoing niggles prevents quick turnover of staff.

Recruiting and onboarding is a “sales period”, and organisations must follow through with all they promised in the early stages of the candidate journey.

Day 31 – 90.  Post honeymoon!

Employee disillusionment is common once the onboarding is over and the realities of the role kick in.

Gartner’s 2022 candidate survey highlighted that just 59% of candidates would repeat their decision to join their organisation.

To help stop early resignations, HR and line managers must create opportunities to talk to new hires in this period.

Some ideas.

  • Have early performance conversations to discuss how employees are feeling. Talk about what they have learned and what they are looking forward to next. These early career conversations indicate that you are considering people’s long-term careers, not just the here and now.
  • Create a 30, 60 and 90-day plan. This will help focus performance, create goals, and set objectives.
  • Create buy-in by helping your new starter see where, and how, their work fits into the organisation’s long term objectives.

Day 91 and beyond.

After 3 months most new starters will have completed their probation and had an early review. Many will have found their feet and will be taking control of their role.  Consequently, many employers feel that all onboarding is complete.

As the earlier statistics show, this is a mistake.  Organisations spend a lot of time and money on recruitment and onboarding.  To get the best ROI, employers should continue to support new hires to keep them invested, motivated, and determined to perform.

Some ideas.

  • Schedule regular catch-up meetings or retention interviews where you can discuss general role satisfaction.
  • Prepare properly for more formal quarterly and annual reviews. Set dates and stick to them.
  • Remind employees about incremental benefits they may receive as they approach significant employment milestones.

The takeaways.

  • The first 100 days – Recruitment, pre-boarding and onboarding – are critical phases in employee retention.
  • Keep red tape to a minimum, be efficient and keep appointments. In the early stages, skilled candidates are being contacted by recruiters and may be attending other interviews.
  • Regular contact is important to important to build trust and create buy-in.
  • Give opportunities for candidate feedback to ensure that niggles can be ironed out quickly.
  • In the early stages of employment, don’t overwhelm your new starter. Reduce anxiety by creating situations which are manageable and build confidence.
  • Provide networking opportunities and enable learning and development.
  • Follow up on all periods of induction.  Complete reviews on time and allocate them a proper period of time.
  • Give a broad overview of the role and allow employees to see how they fit into the organisation’s long-term objectives.

Are you looking to grow your tech, digital or data team?  We can help.

Reach out today.

About the author: I manage the recruitment for a range of digital roles for my clients on both a retained and contingency basis. I specialise in senior and confidential appointments, always giving a first class representation of a client’s employer brand.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Scroll To Top