November 4, 2022

Onboarding – Stage 1 – Yes to Desk

We are in the 4th industrial revolution they say with bots and apps taking a centre stage narrative nowadays, but the war for human talent is still highly active, and it’s brutal. Organisations are lobbying for the cream of the talent crop with innovative employer branding strategies and value propositions aiming to secure the best of human assets available.

Unfortunately, the lobbying will continue beyond resignation letter submission.

The day that the Yes letter (contract) lands in your inbox, does not in any way guarantee victory just yet. A candidate’s resignation period requires four weeks of exerting continuous effort on your part, to secure this new human asset safely into your organisational territory.

The onboarding programme should kick into gear on the very day of a candidate’s offer acceptance. The aim is to provide adequate assurance, support and information to your new employee for a seamless transition from their current organisation to yours.

RPMs – Resignation Period Monsters

Statistics show that 57 percent of candidates who sign employment contracts will end up not starting at their new employers. This is mainly due to onboarding programmes lacking in resignation period defence ingenuities.

Hence, before one has a high-five with the hiring manager and schedule a follow-up date with the newbie a week prior to their starting date, take note of the RPMs (resignation period monsters) about to come your way.

1. Delayed Counter Offer Tactics

Your human asset is now in enemy territory for the next 180 workable hours where their feelings of displaced loyalty are intentionally played upon with promises including all but the kitchen sink to persuade them to stay.

2. New Offer Temptations

Hiring top talent is not mutually exclusive. Your “to be employee” has probably been interviewing elsewhere too which makes alternative offers from other companies during their resignation period a very high probability.

3. Fear of Change

Buyer’s remorse is real. Regardless of the salary number, benefits package or stellar career opportunity that your offer entails, humans are inherently resistant to change. At some stage, during these 30 days, your candidate will be susceptible to emotions of doubt, fear and anxiety which can make them reconsider their decision to join your company.

Onboarding Armour – The Pull Tactics

Implementing onboarding tactics before the employment commencement date creates a pull phenomenon, almost like an invisible magnet, continuously drawing the individual towards the new company.

1. Congratulatory Contact

A personal phone call from the hiring manager is essential to put the candidate’s mind at ease, ensuring them that they have made the correct decision.

2. Regular Check-Ins

These should happen weekly, either by the hiring manager or senior team member. Remember though; there is a fine line between checking in and annoyingly hovering.

3. Mini Project

Allocating a small task or project to the candidate during the second week of the resignation period will be a welcome distraction to alleviate the pressure of handover meetings, counter offer discussions and retention proposals they may need to sidestep.

4. Team Meet & Greet

Whether it is breakfast, lunch or drinks, schedule a meet and greet for the candidate with the rest of the staff members. To avoid the awkwardness of uncomfortable silences during this event, prepare an agenda with a few discussion points (icebreakers). These may include topics like upcoming projects, team goals and current business undertakings.

5. Onboarding Roadmaps

They serve as preparatory initiatives to brief candidates regarding the onboarding logistics and also to manage their first day expectations.

Time to get creative and perhaps present an infographic type document containing information about arrival time, parking, induction activities, dress code and relevant contact details of the onboarding facilitator (or hiring manager).

A map with focal points such as the coffee station, canteen, ablutions, and the location of their workstation will be like gold for a nervous employee trying to navigate their way around in a new building on their first day.

6. Welcome Packs

These packs should contain information about organisational visions and objectives, company structures, workplace culture, policies and procedures to act as informational aids to the new employees.

Furthermore, access to sufficient reading material gives newbies something to do on the first day when Murphy’s Law has you running around with other crises that trump the priorities of requesting their computer equipment, access cards and system login details.

In our next article we will discuss Stage 2 of the onboarding process from Day 1 to Week 1: Introduction, Orientation and Inclusion strategies for newcomers in your company.

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