Navigating your new hire's notice period
Congratulations you have got that new hire! The hours of work, the countless interviews, the follow-ups, calls made, screening and salary negotiations completed to get the person to sign on the dotted line have paid off - brilliant!
But now what? Sure, they have signed but what can you do to ensure you navigate their notice period successfully? Often people can have a long notice period. In the USA it can be as short as 2 weeks but frequently it can be up to 3 months in some parts of Europe and even longer for some more senior roles.
So what can you do to minimise the risk of that person not starting with you? They may have signed a contract but they may have multiple offers from other companies. At the end of the day, things can change, hence it is really important to keep close during the notice period so they still choose you above the others!
Here are some tips to make sure that great hire still starts!
Ensure they have had a great hiring experience
Make sure they have had a great hiring experience culminating with receiving the contract, the paperwork and the offer letter. The whole hiring process will reflect your company. It should have been mapped out and made visible, with no delays and the candidate kept informed at all stages along the way.
This process will be the main reason the individual wants to join your company so invest the time to make it a great experience.
Outline the first tasks and challenges
Is there anything else you can send them about what they will be doing during their first week, or month in the role? Is there any documentation or information that will give them a sense of purpose so they can hit the ground running?
You should outline what technologies, platforms and specific tasks they will be working on. This will energise them, give them the chance to do their own research and give them the opportunity to plan their approach.
Show you are investing in them
Have you thought about the tools and devices they will need during that first week? Let them know what they will be provided with so they know they are included in your planning and you are already provisioning for them.
You could let them know things like when their laptop has been ordered, when their email has been assigned and when their building access pass has been allocated for example.
Get the team to reach out
Have you thought about the people they will be working with? These may not be the people they will be working with the whole time, but can those people put some touch points in between the time they signed the contract and when they will be onboarded?
If they will be assigned a buddy or mentor ensure they are introduced early and arrange a few familiarity sessions where the buddy can tell them about the company, how they work and the culture from a first-hand point of view. Make sure the buddy stays in touch.
Is there any documentation that will be useful for them within the role? The more you can share the more engaged they will be over other companies that may still be talking to them.
Your onboarding plan may not be ready to share on day one but let them know there will be a comprehensive onboarding program ready for when they start. Let them know company familiarisation, equipment set up and procedures will be covered in a structured manner.
Open up training content
Are there any training resources you could provide to them so they can start to ready themselves for the role? Most training is now available online and much of it is free. This will also make them feel part of the team and enable them to hit the ground running.
Invite them to relevant events
Virtual or physical, are there any social meetings, coffee break chats or after-hours drinks that they could attend? Could they be invited to be introduced to their new colleagues at a team meeting?
This will get them engaged with the team and foster a sense of belonging. The social aspect of a role is very important and anything you can do here to reach out will help.
Ask if there is anything they want
It is likely they will be less involved with their current company and will already be thinking about their next role and want to get involved with yourselves. Ask if there is anything they want to help them transition to the new role.
Research shows up to 20% of new hires leave their new role within three months of starting if they are not supported by the organisation so don’t fall into this trap.
Enquire about how the resignation went
Asking how the resignation was received will often uncover any red flags. Were they offered any career progression or promotion? Were they offered a pay rise? Were they offered a wider role or more responsibilities?
If they are still keen on the role with your company with no issues verbalised, it is a good sign. Any counter-response did not have the desired outcome, which is good news for you! Anything they mention will give you the chance to discuss and take action if you see fit.
By email, by phone or by instant message, make sure you keep personally communicating frequently with your candidate during the notice period. This will ensure they do not feel neglected, or under-appreciated and illustrates the sort of boss you will be!
It is really important that after all the time, effort and energy to get to this point, to think about how you are going to make sure they are ready to be onboarded.
These tips help you to minimise the risk of them being poached between the period of you making the offer and them starting the role with you - Good luck!