Consider this scenario — As the hiring manager of your organization, you were tasked to quickly ramp up the team in preparation for a new project. You put in your best efforts – leveraged internal referrals and partnered with external recruitment agencies to find potential hires, created a nice pitch for your brand and product to impress the interviewees, finalized on a few quality hires, and finally made the offers. Relieved and happy with the job well done, you now anxiously wait for the hires to report, after serving the notice period at their respective companies, on the joining date and get going on the project. Contrary to your expectations and true to your fears, some of them don’t turn up. You probably lost them to some other company. This implies you need to repeat the effort cycle all over again. Does this scenario sound familiar? If yes, you’re not alone.
Such dropouts are not uncommon. In fact, the following three factors are the key contributors to the increasing dropout rates:
- Those candidates were good, that’s why you hired them, and for the same reason there is high propensity of them being picked up quickly by other companies as well.
- The lean time between the day of offer and the day of joining provides an attractive window of opportunity to the candidates for scouting and evaluating multiple companies/offers and pick the one that best aligns with their career objectives.
- Most importantly, not engaging the candidates during the pre-join period makes them anxious, resulting in overthinking and generating doubts about your company.
So, how can you reduce the dropout rate and save yourself from reinvesting precious time and effort in the hiring process?
The answer is simple – create opportunities to engage with the new hires during the pre-join period. Such engagements allow the candidates to know more about the company, build a strong rapport with the company, and help alleviate their anxiety, and thereby prevent last-minute surprises.
Here are some tips to build the engagement:
- Create Networking Opportunities: Identify events or occasions when you can invite the new hires to the company premises. You may opt for the formal “meet and greet” sessions with C-level executives to help the new hires understand the company’s vision and clarify any questions they might have, or invite them to an informal setting such as an office party or an offsite to allow them to bond with their future managers and colleagues.
- Start On-boarding Much before the Joining Date: While technically the hires are still not your employees and you may not want to put in a lot of time upfront, there are a number of ways in which you can help the new hires understand the company’s history and culture without investing too many resources, for example through online portals. Pushing it a little further, HCL uses gamification techniques to make on-boarding fun and promote learning. Using such techniques, the company was able to reduce the dropout rate from 10% to about 1%.
- Maintain a Regular Flow of Communication: There are many ways to do this, but make sure you don’t bombard the new hires with too much information. For example, few days before their joining, you may send the new hires a welcome package with information about the company, a personal note from the HR manager, and additionally a gift, such as a company-branded item. Apart from gaining context about the company, such gesture makes people feel valued.
Adjusting these small things in your hiring process can exponentially improve the success rate and the quality of hiring.
What techniques have you used to build engagement during the pre-join period? What has worked and what hasn’t? Please let us know in the comments section below.
Posted by Vineet Arora, Co-founder, TalentNiti
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