Did you know that in 2019, 70% of new employees didn’t show up on their first day of work? It’s mad, we know! But sadly it’s true. There are lots of reasons this can happen, from their current employer offering them better pay, being offered a different role by another company or even changing career paths altogether. But happen it does, and it makes things very difficult for you as an employer! 
 
That period between a candidate accepting a job and them starting their first day is incredibly delicate, so you can’t just go quiet on your candidate and hope they show up. That’s just a recipe for you to be ghosted. Instead, you need to put some effort into keeping candidates engaged between the job offer and their first day. Not sure how to do that? Here are some tips for you. 

Hire The Right Person 

This might seem obvious, but you would be amazed at the number of businesses who rush into hiring someone who could maybe do the job, rather than waiting for the right person to come along. Studies have shown that when employees are well-suited to their position there is a positive impact on their engagement levels starting before they begin work, and carrying on through their time with the company. So no matter how desperate you are to fill a role, it’s worth searching for the right person, instead of hiring the first person who might fit the bill. 
 
That might mean your role stays vacant for a few weeks longer, but given how much it will cost your business if you get it wrong, it’s worth it! A few ways you can be sure you’ll find the right person include: 
 
Keep your job ads simple 
Keep job descriptions straightforward and realistic 
Prepare the right questions for your interview 
Compare each candidate’s career goals to the role and progression you can offer 
Include an exercise to determine if they would be a good fit for your company 

Manage The Experience 

If a candidate has a negative experience with your company during the hiring process, they are much less likely to follow through with working for you – even if they accept the job. So, it’s up to you to manage the hiring process from start to finish and make sure the experience is nothing but positive. This requires some proactive thought from you, but some ideas include: 
 
Keeping candidates informed of their stage in the hiring process at all times 
Make your hiring process clear and transparent, with no unnecessary steps 
Make candidates feel welcomed and cared for at all stages – not just the offer stage 
Streamline your hiring process for speed 
 
Never underestimate attention to detail in the hiring experience – it’s creating the key first impression of your business and how you treat the people who work for you – so be sure to get it right! 

Do Some Pre-Boarding 

Onboarding traditionally starts when the employee shows up on day 1 – but while tradition might be useful, here it’s also a little outdated. In reality, you need to be engaging with your new employees before they start with you. This helps to solidify the commitment in their mind, shows them how much you value them and creates a strong sense of investment in the role. 
 
Don’t worry though, this doesn’t have to be some grand gesture! A few examples of pre-boarding we’ve seen work well include: 
 
Sending an email welcoming them to the company 
Have their manager invite them for coffee, or a phone call, to answer any questions 
Send them a copy of an interesting book or article about your industry 
Create a short video to welcome them to the tea, 
Send them a ‘first-day prep’ gift box, including things like access cards, a personalised coffee mug, branded stationery and more 
 
Any one of these small gestures can make a huge impact and takes minimal effort from you. 
By putting some of these simple steps in place, you could dramatically improve your company’s reputation date and reduce those first-day no-shows. And if you’re not sure how to find the right people and keep them engaged, just get in touch with the team at Wildcat Careers, and we’ll be happy to help. 
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