New Hire Success: Onboard with Impact

new hire success: onboarding with impact

You invest a considerable amount of time and money searching for the right candidates, and once found; you don’t want to lose them, right? Put yourself in the shoes of new hires and understand that they are still deciding whether they want to work for you, even after they accepted the job offer.

Over the past 15 years in the HR practice, I have seen a lot! What I have learned is that an engaging onboarding experience doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. The following tips from the eBook, 10 Onboarding Ideas, are based on 2017 Engage2Excel Trendicators data, as well as my experience in HR.

1. Connect Before the First Day

Even after accepting an offer, job seekers often consider offers from other employers if they don’t hear from the hiring company. Reach out with a phone call or send a card between offer acceptance and a new employee’s first day to validate they made the right choice.

2. Make An Impact

You make the offer, now make it more memorable with a personalized gift to follow the offer. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, but it should convey your commitment to integrating this person into your organization.

3. Plan Ahead

You know their start date; arrange for the new hire’s equipment and devices to be ready on day one. If the employee is remote, make sure everything is shipped to arrive before the first day on the job.

4. Food for Thought

The first week should include plenty of interactionwith other people. Take the new employee and a couple of key coworkers to lunch on the first day. If the employee works virtually, send a restaurant gift card. Who says food can’t be the way to an employee’s heart?

5. Create a Plan

Your plan should provide detail for the first one to two weeks and set measurable goals/outcomes for 30, 60 and 90 days. If possible, send the plan to the new hire before the first day. It offers some structure to a situation that can have a lot of unknowns and helps the new hire focus on what is most important.

6. Make Socializing a Priority

Schedule time for the new employee to socialize with colleagues, which includes connecting them with a mentor or buddy. This can pay big dividends, especially with millennials, the largest cohort in the workforce today.

7. Say ‘Yes’ to the Cheat Sheet

New employees can feel like outsiders when the current team uses internal lingo like acronyms or unique terms. Provide a cheat sheet to help the new people keep up.

8. Recognition Is Important

The number one reason an employee leaves, even more than fair pay, is a lack of recognition, appreciation, or respect. Recognition is a powerful motivator, and it should happen early and often.

9. Welcome and Encourage Feedback

“Selling” the job and your company to new employees doesn’t stop now that they are on the team. Keep in mind that, during this period, your new hire is susceptible to second thoughts and counter-offers. Check in with the new hire several times. Ask about what’s going well and what’s not. Don’t assume things are going okay from observation alone.

Respect Is a Game-Changer

Being treated with dignity and respect is the number one reason why candidates accept job offers. We need to renew our commitment to that belief and truly treat employees as the valuable contributors they are.

Don’t give your new hire a reason to leave. The research shows that new hires are vulnerable in the pre-boarding and onboarding periods. Between 30 and 50 percent of new hires don’t stay through the first month, depending on who you ask. To attract, engage and retain top talent in the today’s job market, just saying “Employees are our most valuable asset” is not enough. We need to embrace that statement as a core value that truly drives our behaviors toward candidates and employees alike.

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Jeff Gelinas

Jeff Gelinas is Vice President of People and Product of Engage2Excel. With an extensive background in HR and staffing, Jeff drives Engage2Excel’s product strategy and roadmap. Prior to joining Engage2Excel, Jeff was the Talent Acquisition Product Management Leader at IBM and was responsible for the product development of IBM/Kenexa’s talent acquisition solutions. He holds an MBA from Boston University, School of Management and a B.A. from Tufts University.

Reader Interactions


  1. Onboarding and Induction says

    Nice article! You are ‘on the money’ with regards to ‘connecting before the first day’ and understanding “that, during this period, your new hire is susceptible to second thoughts and counter-offers.”


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