Pre-boarding – help keep your new recruit engaged

We know that it’s a very important part of your recruitment strategy to keep new recruits engaged with you and your business in that tricky period between signing employment contracts and their start date.

This can be a time when your new starter ‘falls out of bed’. They may receive counter offers from their current employer, they could get a call from another business looking to recruit, or they could just get cold feet about the new role.

By this stage you will have invested a lot of time and money to find this person. You want to do as much as you can to keep them keen.

If you are not doing it already, there are some simple processes you can put in place to keep your new starter excited about their new job:

Set their expectations

  • Once your new starter has accepted the job, don’t ‘leave them hanging’ until their first day with you. Sending them an email or letter to confirm what will happen next is a great way to keep them engaged. This can include their start time on their first day, where to park, who to ask for when they arrive, your dress code, what people tend to do on lunch breaks etc.
  • The less formal and chattier your writing style is the better, they need to know you are an approachable, likeable and friendly business.

Pre-boarding contact

  • Are there any meetings or events you could invite them to join you on ahead of their first day? Maybe a team night out or a conference/meeting that’s coming up. They don’t have to accept, but they will know you are interested in them.
  • Get their team and other key business people to link in with them on LinkedIn. It’s a great way for your new person to get to know people a little better.
  • Send them a ‘welcome to team’ or ‘congratulations on your new job’ card. If it’s signed by their new team, they will feel part of it before they arrive.


  • People can often worry about how they will fit in and what they will be doing during their first few weeks in a new job. You can ease this concern by you, or their new manager, sending them a schedule for their first few weeks. Include information about meet and greets, when their equipment will be ready (laptop, mobile, car etc), when they will get their business cards. Anything along those lines can help with your new starter to feel organised or reassured.
  • You could also include details about a team meeting, or team lunch that they will be involved in during their first couple of weeks.

The level of contact you need to have will depend largely on how long it will be between your candidate being offered a role and starting with you.  If it’s an immediate start, some of the contact above will still help to start them off on the right foot. But it will be more important for someone with three months until they start.

If your new recruit is going to be on gardening leave for a few weeks, it is even more important to keep them engaged.