A black hole has existed in the recruitment process for many years. It’s something that isn’t generally recognised, but most of us have been on the end of it as candidates and are guilty of perpetuating it as recruiters and hiring managers. This is the period in between acceptance and start date. In this article we look at ways to tackle this recruitment black hole and grow your recruitment pipeline in the process.
Keep the door open
This might seem obvious and simplistic, but keeping the door open during the period in between acceptance and start date is a sure way to build trust and rapport with your new starters. They’ll always have questions to ask and things they want to find out about before they start. Some of the questions can be covered in FAQs, but there will be some you haven’t thought of. Letting candidates know that they are able to ask questions, and that there are no ‘stupid questions’ will put them at ease and keep them engaged. It shows that you care and you are bothered about their employee experience, which starts from the moment they apply to your open role. It’s a fact that many employers leave new starters to their own devices during the period before they start, or they let them fall through the cracks between the hiring manager and the recruitment team. This period is so often clunky and difficult to navigate that candidates may well be tempted away to other employers who have a slick process. Keeping the door open and providing a named contact will keep your new starters on side.
Interview current employees
You already have all you need in order to find out what works and what doesn’t in your recruitment process; your current employees. If you’re not spending time with them and finding out what they liked and disliked about your process, then you are missing out on some critical information. Set up interviews with people who have just joined, those who have been through the initial onboarding period (4 weeks) and those who have completed three months. You’ll get so much information from this which can be fed back into the process and used to make improvements. Honesty is key here, you need people to give you every detail and not to hold back for fear of upsetting someone. Equally you need to make sure they are aware that a completely honest and open assessment is what is required. Once you have sufficient data, assemble your team and work through the changes that are needed. You will improve your hiring ratios and candidates will start to learn that you are an employer that takes care with their new hires. This will attract further candidates into your pipeline.
Meet ups with staff
Allowing new starters to meet with existing staff is generally a good way to integrate people into the new organisation. They’ll be able to ask questions, get to know people and have a greater understanding of the culture before they start on their first day. This is best done in a social setting, as new starters and existing staff will still have their day jobs to do and you wouldn’t want to put the new starter in a difficult position. A meet up after work one evening is a non-confrontational setting where people can get to know each other. This can be done offsite but is often better done in the office itself. Get some food in and make it into a social thing. Obviously inviting all new starters is better here rather than individuals who might feel overwhelmed meeting everyone on their own.
The best possible way to keep new starters engaged during the onboarding period is to give them a login to your onboarding platform. As soon as they accept the role, they should be sent a login where the journey to their first day begins. We take things a bit further and use the platform to guide them to the end of their first three months in the role, adding modules as they progress. This is a great way to keep people close and give them some of the knowledge they’ll need upfront, rather than dumping huge amounts of information on them in their first couple of weeks in the role. It’s well known that a third of new hires will leave within the first six months. There are going to be several potential reasons for this, from a mismatch in expectations to a dislike for the culture. One thing is for sure though, guiding people to their first day and not overwhelming them with information is a much better approach than what happens currently.
The one thing you can’t do is to do nothing. The black hole between acceptance and start date is a common problem that is relatively easy to solve with a bit of effort and the right tools. This is an opportunity to both differentiate your organisation from the competition and to realise a quicker return on investment in recruitment, as motivated, informed and enthusiastic new starters start to pour into the organisation. These are of course preferable to uninformed, ‘rabbit in the headlights’ new starters who eat up resources and money as they get up to speed in their first few weeks.
Let’s say you are hiring customer service specialists. What would it mean if the new person already knew how to use the phone system on their first day? How many hours would it save not having to train them? How many of these people do you hire every year? Does this time saving add up to hundreds of hours or thousands? What would that mean for productivity and the bottom line? An onboarding platform such as Onbrd can help you to maximise your return on investment and improve productivity. Contact us today to learn more.