Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The Offer Acceptance to Job Start Transition

Most recruiters, corporate and third party alike have discovered that a candidate’s acceptance does not automatically translate to their start. Many events may occur to prevent the candidate’s transition to employee, particularly if they need to relocate.

Therefore it is important to stay in contact through the period between their acceptance and their start. It is also good for the hiring manager to communicate their excitement that the candidate is joining their team. Why? Well the candidate is about to be re-sold on their current company with a counter offer. Possibly they need some advice for relocation to the new area. Do you have a dependable real estate agent for community orientation tours? Typically candidates convey any trepidation they have regarding the move to the real estate agent. Professional real estate agents can help you answer objections prior to them becoming too large to handle. The different variables working against the person’s start are too numerous to mention in a short blog or article.

When a recruiter feels the need to pull in the “big guns” (the CEO for instance), they need to be comfortable that person is willing to do so and able to sell the candidate on the advantages of working for the client. I’ve been known to travel two states to save a valuable hire (with my client’s blessing and aid) after the candidate accepted a counter offer. Countering the counter offer requires skill and sensitivity. After all, change is difficult for most people.

How do you handle their start day? Do you welcome them on board with a special welcome? Or do you send them to HR to fill out their paperwork? Remember to differentiate your business as a great place to work immediately. First impressions are lasting.

Remember your company just spent a sizable amount of money to identify this person. If they leave immediately (and over the years, I’ve seen a few go to lunch and never return), you company typically is starting over.

Welcome every new employee as a valued member of the team. The hiring manager should welcome them and review the 3, 6, 9, and 12 month goals with them (those are in your job descriptions, correct?). Then the manager needs to introduce the new team member to their immediate team, followed by introductions to other areas of the company where they interface. Then their immediate team and they go to lunch to begin bonding.

But the paperwork! What about the paperwork? Send it to them ahead of time. Suggest they complete as much as possible prior to starting. Then after lunch they can meet with HR for answers to their benefit questions and other paperwork questions.

Is there value in a formal company orientation? Absolutely! Learning the history of the company, its mission, and how to successfully work within the company are all important. Assuming that most people start on Mondays, and that Mondays are typically tough days for Human Resources, begin orientation on Tuesday. This gives the Hiring Manager and their team a day to bond and show the new employee how to be successful in that new group. Where is the software they need on the company network? Show them and then provide cheat sheets.

The first day is the beginning of your company’s employee retention process – and what a day to begin!