Make your Candidates a Member of the Team Before They’re Employees


You’re a hiring manager and you’ve just had an offer accepted from the ideal candidate. Now what? Well now the nail biting wait starts as to whether the candidate will turn up on his/her first day or indeed, last the first month.

This is a key concern for organizations today, as a candidate that drops out at this stage can cost between $3,000 to $18,000 to replace, and they haven’t even stepped in the front door yet! Therefore, the onboarding process (in this context “onboarding” will refer to both the pre-boarding and onboarding process of a candidate) is a key concern in today’s competitive job market. The reality is though that a bad onboarding experience might not just result in a candidate not arriving on their first day, but could have detrimental effects in the near and long term:

  • Dropout rate in the first 45 days can reach as high as 20%. Although this issue doesn’t end here as up to 86% of candidates make a decision to leave an organization within the first six months of their employment.
  • Underperforming employees who have not aligned with a company’s culture or processes are often a hidden cost. Studies have shown that keeping on underperforming employees costs the U.S. Economy around $37 billion a year.


Tools emerging on the scene will help “escort” the candidate to the starting line to increase the odds of a smooth transition on day one.

Since many companies provide various forms of booklets and induction courses, it’s not necessarily an issue of education or training about the company being joined. What is needed, is to establish a candidate within the culture of an organization from offer acceptance. Being able interact with line management and future colleagues, as well as easily access training materials on company “ways,” policy and procedure, will imbed a candidate within the organization prior to physically joining. For example, ADP has a tool for on-boarding new hires that uploads pictures and personal messages from new colleagues and managers, as well as providing online access to information.

These interactions do not have to be overly formal or heavily focused on training, as the candidate could be serving notice at a previous employer. Rather they can be regular “pulse checks” to make sure a candidate is up to date with pre boarding documentation and also that he/she is interacting with future colleagues. During this time mundane tasks such as laptop preference and tax filing should also be completed. The end goal is that the candidate can hit the ground running on the first day, already having an idea of the company’s policies and procedures as well as having already become acquainted with colleagues. Hexaware’s new ONe mobile application for example, enables interaction between management and a candidate from the time of offer acceptance through to first day, and also provides analysis on candidate’s state of mind to preempt potential drop out through a continuous mood assessment undertaken with the candidate.

A key take away here is for hiring and HR managers to move past the notion of employees only becoming part of the company on their first day, and then having to quickly assimilate or feel isolated or left behind. From offer acceptance a candidate should begin their induction, both through social interaction with management and colleagues through to light-touch training and administration. Think of a candidate as an employee even before they start their first day.

Posted in : Digital Transformation, HR Strategy, Mobility, Talent in Sourcing


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