How to keep a candidate engaged between getting their job offer to their first day

At Vanilla we know how important it is to keep a candidate engaged between getting their job offer to their first day in their new role. Placements can ‘fall out of bed’ during this time for several reasons:

  • The candidate is persuaded to stay in their current role
  • They get offered a different role
  • They lose confidence in the role they have been offered

If a placement doesn’t work out it can mean that all the time and money you invested in interviewing, negotiating and planning, all needs repeating. We work really hard to help keep the candidate’s levels of engagement as high as we can so we can smooth the way. But there are some things that you, as the employer, can also do to help.

Companies understand that employee engagement has an impact on their business, but the majority of today’s employees are not engaged at work. A recent sur­vey of more than 4,500 work­ers, based on a com­bi­na­tion of six pos­i­tive engage­ment fac­tors, com­pared employ­ee engage­ment around the world. The UK record­ed aver­age engage­ment scores of 45%.

Start employee engagement before day one with these three tips:

1. Hire the right person for the job

Sounds obvious but studies have shown when employees are well-suited to their position, there is a positive impact on employee engagement levels: 59% of engaged employees say that their job brings out their most creative ideas, while only 3% of disengaged employees say the same. A diligent selection process can help ensure that the right people are matched up with the right positions.

Selecting the right person for the job lays a solid foundation for employee engagement throughout their time at your company. It may sound simple, but here are a few ways to drive engagement from the start:

  • Keep job descriptions straightforward and realistic
  • Prepare the right questions to ask during the interview process
  • Make sure the applicant’s career goals and passions are in line with the position
  • Determine if the candidate is a good fit for your company’s culture

2. Manage the hiring experience

Set positive expectations for potential new hires by demonstrating efficiency, organisation and respect during the hiring process. A proven way to engage applicants from the beginning is to keep them informed of where they are in the process, making them feel important and cared for – this is obviously something that we can help you with at Vanilla.

Another way to keep applicants engaged is to keep the hiring process moving quickly. This can save you time and money, and also guarantee that you hire the best talent. With such high competition for talent, speed is of the essence — don’t lose great candidates to a lengthy hiring processIn addition, a streamlined process ensures the right talent gets to the right position at the right time, making hiring managers and other internal customers happy.

3. Ensure adequate “pre-boarding”

“Pre-boarding” refers to a set of actions that take place before new hire onboarding begins. Driving engagement before a new hire’s first day at your company doesn’t take more than a simple gesture:

  • Send an email welcoming them to the company
  • Have their manager give them a phone call or invite them to lunch
  • Share an interesting article, book or piece of information about the company with them
  • Create a short, personalised video to welcome your new hire to the team


Any one of these small touches can help your new hires feel more prepared and excited for their first day, which sets the stage for increased engagement throughout their career. Read more tips on pre-boarding here.

Keeping people engaged through the recruitment process is essential for a successful hiring process and sets your new employee up to be engaged and productive in their new role.

Other pages of interest

For more useful information, news and resources feel free to look around our website and in particular our Client and Candidate pages including Client Journey, Candidate Journey, Training Courses, Case Studies, Client Resources, Candidate Resources and our regularly updated Blog.

We recruit throughout the East Midlands covering Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Rutland and the surrounding areas, especially Market Harborough, Lutterworth, Leicester, Corby and Kettering. We help people find their perfect job and match suitable job seekers with businesses looking to hire the best candidates across our five specialisms – SalesMarketingAccountancy & FinanceHR and Office