When it comes to your new hire, roll out the red carpet.

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As a recruiter, your days are so jumbled with a medley of meetings, resumes, and interviews that it’s easy to forget basic recruiter doctrine: when you hire someone, you change a life.

It’s a responsibility one shouldn’t take lightly. There’s a wave of excitement that spills over the moment a candidate gets the “you’re hired” email or phone call. And when it happens, reciprocation is paramount.

I spent a lot of time and blog space last year talking about the candidate experience. But here’s the thing, the candidate experience doesn’t end the moment you send a job offer. In many ways it’s the beginning.

In the current era of job-hopping, one-third of all new hires reportedly quit after six months. So how do you improve employee retention at your company? It starts by extending a stellar candidate experience through the onboarding process.

The “you’re hired” email.

Nothing is more deflating to a new hire’s enthusiasm than an email exchange like this:

New Hire: Thank you! So excited to join the team and start next week!

Hiring Manager (two days later): Sorry I’m just getting to this. Yes, glad to have you on board.

Congratulations. In one email you managed to change the way your new hire views the company, and make them reassess whether or not accepting the job was the right decision.

Let’s examine where this hiring manager went wrong. First, the two-day response time. Yes, everyone’s busy, but it takes all of one minute to respond to an email like this. Make the email a priority so your new employee feels like a priority.

Second, if you truly have only a minute or two to respond, at least fake some enthusiasm. Try this:

“Hey there, so excited you accepted the job! We can’t wait for you to start Monday. Everyone here at [insert company name] is excited to meet you and to start working with you. Till then, enjoy your weekend!”

That email took no time and very little effort, but see how much better it reads? Your new hire will show up Monday excited to meet the team, and excited to get to work.

Lastly, a little creativity can go a long way in earning a new hire’s loyalty. Think about how we consume content in 2016, and apply that to welcoming a new hire. Film a short video welcoming them to the company, and maybe even introduce some people they’ll be working with.

You could also take a page out the software company Lever’s playbook. Lever has made welcoming new hires part of its company DNA by getting its entire office involved in creating a Welcome GIF with signs and choreographed dances for every person it hires.   

Actions like this are guaranteed to help your new hire feel immediately welcomed to their new work family.

The first week on the job.

Human beings are prone to making snap judgements. From meeting new people to watching a movie trailer, we decide early on whether or not we’re interested in something.

The same goes for our professional lives. That’s why ERE Media reported that 33% of employees know within the first week of employment whether or nor they’ll stay with a company long-term.

This stat is important because it impacts your bottom line. With recruiting costs, training costs, loss of productivity, and everything in between, one study suggests replacing a salaried employee costs on average anywhere between six and nine months of his or her salary.

With tens of thousands of dollars at stake each time you lose an employee, you can’t afford to sit back and wait for your new hires to settle in and find their place. You have to take action in those first five workdays and engage new hires with your company’s mission, unique culture, and goals. By dedicating time and effort to onboarding, you usher a new hire not only into his or her role with the company, but also into an exciting part of their professional lives.

So the next time you make a new hire—after you’ve gone through the stacks of resumes and rounds of interviews—don’t be afraid to join in on the excitement. It’ll go a long way.


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