preboarding for the long haul

Preboarding Employees for the Long-Haul

Fighting to attract and keep good employees is a challenge for all companies; but it appears to become more relevant in smaller to medium sized businesses. Companies not only want to find and keep good employees to avoid high turnover rates, they need to create a partnership with employees. In doing so, smaller businesses provide a layer of protection to their own entrepreneurial success.

First Impressions

Pre-boarding begins the instant job seekers land on your job opening and begin evaluating your company’s ability to provide a stable, fulfilling workplace. It’s a part of the hiring process that is often overlooked and regarded as being unimportant. But this train of thought couldn’t be more wrong, and it is a frame-of-mind that could potentially result in the loss of good employees.

Whether you are actively recruiting for your open positions or simply using an ATS to find employees, the way you present your job is important. Make sure that the position is clearly defined and presented without typographical or grammatical errors. Provide the information that a potential employee will want to have to make an informed decision about working with your company. Many ATS providers offer ways to enhance the look and feel of your advertisement with HTML, images, videos, and links to company information. Don’t overlook these little items when searching for a team member.

Face to Face

During the interview process your company should provide a clear timeline with regards to future communication and the next steps that will take place. This includes responding to every applicant that has applied to let them know their application was successfully submitted. It may not seem important, but it really does help build that relationship early on with the right candidate.

Once an offer has been made and accepted, the race is really on to make that new employee comfortable that the correct decision was made to work for your business. Letting the new hire know what is expected and communicating employee information before the first day is imperative to creating a lasting relationship. Think about accepting an offer for employment and then having your new employer go ghost until you show up at the office in 2-4 weeks. It is unsettling, at best.

Take the Work Out of Paperwork

If you use electronic onboarding, you can set the new hire up and let them know what information is available to them. This would likely include the benefits information, policies and procedures for their role, an employee handbook, and other paperwork that takes time to review and complete. Of course we aren’t lawyers, but you might want to check with yours on what is okay to release before the first day on the job. We suggest offering the employee the opportunity to complete the paperwork before their first day but make it very clear that it is not required to start anything before they are on the clock. Another side note would be that state and federal identification and tax forms, including the I-9, should not be done until the employee is in the office with the proper representative to sign off on those items.

Be Prepared

Finally, in order to round out preboarding and the first impression of your new hire, make sure that the first day is structured and that the company is prepared to impress your employee. Nobody wants to start a new job and arrive to find out that nobody has prepped anything for their arrival.

Designate the new hire’s office space, phone, computer, and any other equipment that is needed for the job. Creating your new hire’s email account and setting up their printer before their arrival are added steps that show you care about your new hire’s first day.  If you are planning a pitch-in or taking the team out for lunch to welcome your employee, he or she should be aware before they walk into the office on the first day. Creating an outline for the first day or even the first week can give your new employee that warm feeling that your company is excited to have them on the team.

Getting the employees engaged before the first day can create a bond and some excitement for the new recruit. Additionally, the manager can gauge the employee’s drive to jump right into business. All of this is vital to ensuring that your hiring decision will hold up for the long haul.

Image credit: hunt truck in ca desert by Ted Gresham (contact)

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