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Onboarding Tips to Ensure Your Candidates Stay Engaged

So you finally hired your “purple unicorn” after months and months of endless searching. Now what? What is your organization's strategy to engage this (impossible to find) hire and ensure he/she remains long term?

Keep Calm Purple Unicorn Onboarding Employees
In Fortune500 companies alone, about 500,000 managers take on new roles each year, and 
overall, managers begin new jobs every two to four years. Unfortunately, in the midst of all these transitions: 

  • Half of all senior outside hires fail within 18 months in a new position
  • Half of all hourly workers leave new jobs within the first 120 days*

(*Source: Onboarding New Employees: Maximizing Success By Talya N. Bauer, Ph.D)

In this blog, I'm going to walk you through how to onboard employees and achieve above average new hire retention rates for all employees, especially those purple unicorns! 

Before Day One

Even the most seasoned HR teams often miss the fact that onboarding and engagement actually starts before your new hire even steps foot in the door. You probably weren’t the only recruiter seeking out this purple unicorn, so it’s important to keep your new hire excited and engaged from the time you connect. It’s possible he/she may still have other job offers pending or that will come through, so engage (cannot stress this enough) these new employees!

How much does your new hire really know about your organization at this point?

The dilligent ones will search for this info, but why not make it easier and send them links, articles, and resources – especially those that share how great your organization is? Are there accolades to share? Team volunteer projects to highlight? A Facebook or LinkedIn channel that showcases your employer brand with pictures of corporate events and celebrations? 

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Introducing your company's intranet is also a way for new hires to expore in advance. You may have announcements, policies, or content that can be reviewed before Day One to continue the learning path and streamline activities. I would advise that you start collecting new hire paperwork, signatures, ID’s, tax forms, etc. prior to Day One so your purple unicorn doesn't get buried with paperwork.

I've seen where organizations start onsite introductions or “welcome” calls from key players within the organization to serve as touch points, check-ins, opportunities for Q&A and virtual meet & greets. This is yet another tactic to keep new hires engaged if there are several weeks between the offer letter and Day One. 

If there's a small window between offer letter and start date, you should still make a point to introduce your new hire to key team players (HR, Manager, and a Mentor/Peer) on Day One. In-person meetings are better than virtual, if you ask me! 

Orientation Day / Day One

Are your new hire's Day One activities planned? Did you make a checklist (if you're not using a technology solution)? Outside of key activities like obtaining signatures for paperwork and introductions – does your new hire know how to get around your building? Do they need a map? Is there a plan for lunch? Nothing is worse than getting lost on your first day or sitting alone in a break room. I'm a huge advocate for planning lunches! Whether you coordinate with the entire team or just a few colleagues, it’s an easy, casual way to connect your new hire to others in the organization. 

After Week One

It's common for HR teams and organizations as a whole to lose touch with a new hire after week one. Remember, you've done the work to land this purple unicorn and he/she is still deciding whether this is a long-term match. Be sure to set up weekly touch points/check-ins for the first 90 days. HR should check in weekly at first, then monthly for the first 90 days. This helps ensure questions are being answered, the employee is successfully learning the ropes, and navigating things like benefits enrollment, 401k, and after hours/networking activities.

The time and effort spent on the onboarding process during the first 90 days helps ensure a rewarding and long-term relationship between the employee and organization, which is win-win!

Looking to automate your onboarding process? Check out this demo video of SAP SuccessFactors to learn how a comprehensive approach can accelerate the HR and new hire process, and improve productivity.

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