How to Engage New Employees Before They Start

How to Engage Your New Employees Before Day 1

Finding the ideal candidate is a delicate balance – from experience to skill to cultural fit. Not to mention their availability and willingness to make a change. Inc. states that 70% of the workforce consists of passive candidates, leaving only a paltry 30% of active candidates. Why does this matter? Because once you’ve found the ideal candidate, it’s simply not enough to just give them an offer letter and hope they show up on the first day. You have to engage new employees before they ever set foot in your office or log on to their remote workstation. Now more than ever, it’s vital your new hires feel like a valued member of the team before the first introduction to the team.

We’re not talking about grand gestures here (think: teenagers with boom boxes outside of windows in 1980s movies) but small, significant gestures that show you care.

3 simple & easy ways to engage your new employees:

1. Gather a couple of fun facts during the interview
While you hire people for their skills and experience, you’re still hiring the whole person who has an entire existence outside of the office. Without prying, ask about hobbies and interests. Do they like to surf? Spend their free time quilting? Glean a couple fun facts and then follow up about them in subsequent conversations.  

Asking for fun facts humanizes the experience and makes the new hire feel like more than just a number. This valuable information also helps you more meaningfully introduce new hires to the team, plan engaging team building events, and give small gifts that resonate.

2. Find out if they prefer texts or phone calls
You don’t want your new hire to cringe when they see your name pop up on their voicemail when they prefer text. Asking about their communication preferences and styles shows you respect them and want to develop a rapport in a style that works for both of you.

3. Send a thoughtful gift
Remember how great it felt in college to receive a sweatshirt or trinket with your university’s logo on it? It felt great to receive the gift and made you feel like you belong to something bigger than yourself.

Gifts are powerful – by sending your new employees a gift before their first day you’re showing them that they’re significant and valued. The gift also acts as a thoughtful visual representation that they’re now part of your team. Company swag is always appropriate – such as a pen or t-shirt – but for a more senior hire you could consider something more substantial. The gift could also be related to one of their three fun facts – which would be a thoughtful way to demonstrate you’ve genuinely been listening to them.  

The time between the offer acceptance and first day is a golden opportunity to begin the foundation of the relationship with your new hires. Try out the tips above and develop an automated system so you have a consistent preboarding engagement process for each new hire.

Engaging Experiences