Improving your New Hire Welcoming Procedures: The Pre-Hire Experience

Written by Julia Goebel | February 4, 2019

As we discussed in our last installment, new hires are the lifeblood of any organization. Every time an employee begins, it is an opportunity.

Whether the opportunity means new ideas, new talent, extra hands at the oars - or welcome relief to a long task list - a new hire is a chance to set the tone for their time with the company. Start with the offer letter and continue with these practical tips for welcoming new hires. 

As an HR leader, you can influence how your organization sets the pace for helping hiring managers bring new staff on board. Consider these ideas when making changes to the program. 

Engage the hiring manager. Recruiters work with the hiring manager to bring in the right applicants. They've met and considered candidates. And the hiring manager may be part of the reason the candidate is joining your firm. Which leads us to tip #1: Have the hiring manager make the offer call. 

"I'm putting together an offer for you to join the team and I think you'll be excited."

-- Your New Manager

What a difference a call like that from a hiring manager can make, taking just a few minutes. When an employee is made to feel welcome - with a personal message, the tone is set for the next stage of negotiation or offer acceptance. From there, the recruiter takes over, issues the letter, and subsequent discussions can occur. 

Re-evaluate the Offer Letter template. As an HR leader, it's the first time a candidate receives official correspondence reflecting your employment brand. You need to ensure it includes key components, such as start date, job title, hourly rate or salary, and reporting manager - to name but a few. However, the offer letter also includes a marketing message - perhaps it states your core purpose - or reinforces the company values or brand position. Tip #2 - Ensure this is up to date by engaging your brand, marketing or communications group for a periodic review.

Offer a better benefits preview. More than a pdf or packet, give candidates and new hires an interactive website. Such a website can allow a new employee (and family members) to explore the various benefits you and your team have worked hard to deploy. Ensure that your company can take full advantage of the hard work - and this key component of compensation. To preserve your strategic position, the microsite can be a hidden (non-indexed) URL, meaning it will not be found by search engines. Bonus? Not only does this save money in print expenses, it also supports green initiatives -- part of many companies evolving corporate and social responsibility goals.

Upon acceptance, send a little gift. Here is something that can surprise and delight, distinguishing your company in a competitive space. A level-appropriate gift, whether the new hire is front-line or senior executive, can make a difference. Consider a small branded gift - such as a pen or leather journal, or go inexpensive. If your brand color is blue - send blue M&Ms (many candy stores sell single color candies in bulk) and include a brief note:

"We're glad you're joining the team. See you soon."

--Signed, your new colleagues.

Sending new hire gifts at scale may give you pause. Instead, work smarter. Rely on a promotional vendor to fulfill such items, or stock these in a company webstore built for ordering and shipping branded items.

Have a favorite pre-hire employment branding practice? We'd love to hear from you. Add it in the comments below.

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Topics: For Employers, Benefits Administration, Company Culture