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3 Ways to Connect With New Hires Before Their Start Date

You've gone through the process of recruiting for a position, and after the hard work and effort, you found the perfect new hire. 

Or so you thought. 

Despite doing everything you could to screen candidates to find the right fit for your organization, the person you hired not only doesn't start on their scheduled first day, they don't even bother to explain their reneging to you. 

This problem is one of recruiters' worst nightmares, and unfortunately, it's becoming more and more common. In fact, according to a survey by Indeed, 83 percent of employers have experienced ghosting, while a survey by Robert Half reveals that 28 percent of candidates have reneged on a job offer for various reasons—ranging from getting a better option elsewhere to finding out something negative about a company's employer brand that made them reconsider working there. 

Combat Reneging By Connecting With New Hires Before Their Start Date

A survey by LinkedIn suggests that anxiety may play a role in some reneging, as 80 percent of people admit being nervous before starting a new job. As a result, it's imperative for companies to make new employees feel welcome even before their start date. The following strategies for onboarding before start dates can help.

1. Begin a Dialogue 

All employees want to feel like they’re appreciated—and new hires are no exception. To establish early on that your company values workers’ input, begin a dialogue with them before they arrive. You can start by asking how they felt about the hiring process and what they think can be done to improve it. Do they think your careers website is user-friendly or was it difficult to submit an application? Were they happy with how they were treated as they moved through the hiring funnel? What is their impression of the level of diversity in your company? Getting answers to these sorts of questions not only demonstrates that you care about new hires’ opinions, but it can provide invaluable feedback to help you improve your recruitment. 

And, of course, this dialogue should be a two-way street. Since one source of nervousness among new hires may be caused by the unknown, encourage them to ask questions about the organization and what will be expected of them when they get there. Finding out information about everything from dress codes to training to parking can go a long way toward building new hires' confidence and preventing them from getting cold feet and reneging or ghosting on you. 

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2. Deal With Administration Issues Early

Although you may not be able to have new hires complete all of the administrative tasks that need to be dealt with before they arrive, do as much as you can. If you can have people complete tasks like filling out employment documents, verifying personal information, and activating company accounts, it will go a long way toward making their first day less tedious and freeing up their time to really dive into their work and get to know their colleagues.

In addition, it's a good idea to give new hires access to your company's training platform so they can become familiar with how to navigate the system and get a sneak peek into what they will learn, as well as the organization's culture and values. 

3. Incorporate New Hires Into the Team

Another source of anxiety for new hires is the fact that they're walking into an environment where they probably don't know anyone. To avoid this, one onboarding before start activity can be to have your new hires make a video introducing themselves to the team so they can create a good initial impression before they arrive—and avoid awkward introductions on their first day. 

Also, you can increase new hires' comfort level by having them participate in team activities so they get to know the people they’ll be working with. Invite them to meetings to get a further glimpse into the company culture—and if you’re able to have them visit the office at least once, that makes the experience even more meaningful.

Dealing with reneging can be downright frustrating, and although there are some things that are out of your control, by onboarding before start dates, you can increase the chances of new hires becoming more connected to your organization. These tips can help you build a strong relationship with new employees that will reduce the chances of reneging—or worse, ghosting—by making them feel welcome before they step through the door on their first day.

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