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26 July 2018

Preboarding – four reasons why actively engaging new employees counts

From a lack of contact to poor, outdated and uninspiring company communications it’s no surprise that almost a quarter of new employees just don’t turn up for the job on day one. Why is this a big deal for UK businesses and why are the communications around effective pre-boarding so important?

About to join people are a flight risk

New employee scratching the head in confusion during the preboarding process & at risk of leaving

A survey by Personnel Today showed that in the UK, 22% of employees had accepted a job and then changed their mind due to problems they had during the preboarding process.

Communication issues around inconsistent information, too formal documentation and generally uninspiring messages all has about to join employees rethinking their decision to work for your organisation at a time when their options are still open.

The annual cost of replacing employees means you’re making expensive mistakes

The annual cost of replacing employees piggy bank

You’ve put time and effort into finding the right person. You want them enough to offer them a job so if they don’t turn up, it’s going to cost you. The annual cost of replacing employees in the UK exceeds £4 billion. On average that’s a huge £30,000 per employee for your organisation.

Plus, with around 118 people applying for each job on average, that’s a lot of time spent pouring over CVs and scrolling through LinkedIn.

Poor preboarding can be a risk to your reputation

New employees reading Glassdoor reviews on laptop & commenting on the preboarding and the hiring process

Employees are the best ambassadors for your business, with people more likely to believe a recommendation from a friend than a marketing campaign. If you have an unimpressed new starter you can bet they’ll have an unfavourable response when their friends ask, “Are you excited to be starting work?”

The average person holds almost 11 jobs before the age of 42, so it’s important to get this right. Sites like Glassdoor allow employees – past and present – to comment on the hiring process for companies and give a ‘warts and all’ account of your organisation’s recruitment and onboarding processes. So treating new starters with indifference could make it trickier to attract talent in future.

Onboarding first impressions make a lasting impression

Work shoes and kids shoes to represent onboarding first impressions making a lasting impression

Back to Personnel Today’s survey, globally almost four in 10 (38%) said that early or first day problems left them feeling like they had joined an unprofessional company.  In the UK, 32% of employees said problems during onboarding left them feeling unwelcome.

On a more positive note, it also tells us that employees who go through effective onboarding are 69% more likely to stay with a company for three or more years and that good preboarding and onboarding links to improvements in performance, commitment, job satisfaction and employee engagement.

Sequel is supporting organisations with effective preboarding such as our new diagnostic workshop – want to know more? Email

mind the gap

Candidates lines up for a job interview but who's the no show? There's a gap in preboarding. Stats show that 1 in 5 people won't turn up on day one

This article was updated in July 2019 and it is about preboarding, onboarding, the employee experience, internal communications, HR and UK Businesses.

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