“You’re hired.” There are few phrases sweeter than the one that puts an end to weeks or months of searching for the right candidate, and from the hiring manager to the recruiter to the new hire, everyone breathes a sigh of relief once those magical words are uttered. But if this phrase puts an end to the quest for the right hire, it’s hardly the end of the story or the work that goes into getting a new hire through the door.
A recent study found that nearly 30% of workers reported that at one point they have accepted a job and then backed out. A lot can happen between the hire conversation and the start date. So just because you have a verbal acceptance for a role doesn’t mean your work is done. Here are some things you can do to avoid losing your new hire before they start.
Don’t dilly dally on the paperwork. A verbal acceptance is great, but make sure you follow the final discussion of the offer and acceptance quickly with a written offer letter. Most candidates won’t resign from their current role until they have something in writing from their next company. So the ball’s in your court to get the process started—and fast. Candidates should feel that you’re eager to get things ticked and tied for them—not dragging your feet or procrastinating getting the details squared away. To that end, make sure that you wrap up the background check, including checking references. If background checks must be completed before you can get a written offer in your candidate’s hand, start that process before you finalize your offer.
Make sure your best offer is on the table. Don’t break your budget or your compensation strategy, but know that even with an offer in hand, a candidate’s head can be turned. Their employer may counteroffer when they try to put in their resignation. Or if they’re actively searching for a new role, there’s a chance they’re interviewing elsewhere, and a risk they might get a more attractive offer from another company. So if you’re hearing any hesitation in the negotiations, address them with confidence and sweeten the deal if you can. Signing bonuses are great, but even non-monetary incentives like work from home arrangements or a commitment to work-life balance might be the X factor that helps your hire commit with confidence.
Welcome them to the team before they start. Make time in between their acceptance and their start date for outreach. Send an email to see how they’re doing, or even take them to lunch. If they’re out of town or relocating, make a video of the team they’ll be working with to make them feel welcome. Any effort you can make to let them know you’re excited to work with them soon will go a long way to make them feel included and welcome.
Plan for their first day. This one might sound obvious, but your new employee’s first day should make them feel welcome. Make sure they’re ready to hit the ground running by helping them get their HR paperwork checked off quickly. Make sure their office or desk is ready and clean and their equipment—like their phone or laptop—is all set up. Make a welcome sign for their desk or buy donuts or a snack and encourage people to stop by to grab a treat and introduce themselves. Take them to lunch. One of my favorite personal touches at Lucas Group is that during every employee’s first week, the CEO calls to welcome them to the company.
I know the list feels a little overwhelming—especially if you’re one of those who considers things wrapped once an offer is accepted. But you’ve invested your time and sometimes your budget in recruiting the right fit. Anything you can do to protect that investment is worth the effort.