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Are You Sending Mixed Signals to Your New Hires? [Webinar Excerpt]

May 17, 2022

The recruitment phase doesn’t end once a candidate accepts your job offer. You need to make sure that you’re being clear with your communication from acceptance until well after their start date.

Check out this excerpt from our webinar 5 Ways Your Pre-Boarding Process Fails.

More from this webinar

Video Transcript

LeAnne Lagasse: We’re gonna jump in and talk about kind of the first way that your recruiting might be falling flat.

Joy O’Steen: Yes. So, first of all, you might be sending mixed signals, and once you think… And you are definitely welcome to further this in the chat. But I want you to think about what are some of the intentional persuasive cues that you send candidates that you want to hire.

What are some of those cues that you’re sending them? We get answers like, “We’ll take them to dinner.” Right? We’ll go all out. We will even have someone on the team reach out to them, or maybe.

LeAnne: Right, we’re sending personalized messages. We’re holding interviews in really cool locations.

Joy: Constant communication. Being very responsive, Yes, Nancy. Excellent, yes. Sandy said, “Company growth and stability and internal…”

Oh, wait. Sorry, the chat is popping so fast that I’m starting to read two messages together. So, yeah, some really good things that you’re doing, right?

Oh, Catherine, I’m glad you said that because we’re gonna talk about that. What are some intentional persuasive messages you’re sending once the candidate accepts the position?

LeAnne: Crickets, sometimes.

Joy: So, it’s so funny when we talk about this in conferences, and so they’re sitting in the audience with us, we will get a buzz when we talk about, “What are you doing with your candidates?” And then as soon as they become employees, what are you doing? And it’s silence. We have a few people that are doing some things, and that is awesome. That is actually good news.

LeAnne: Good news.

Joy: Because I know we have some threes on there, and you can definitely learn from each other.
But here’s what we know. The majority of our clients, the majority of the people that we talk to, HR professionals, they are actually sending mixed signals. They are doing a lot to woo a candidate, and then once they do, they almost ghost them, right?

And they’re not sending much communication or they’re being very slow with their responses. It’s not a top priority for them anymore.

LeAnne: Yeah, because they’re not thinking… Your question about what persuasive messages are you sending? To a lot of us, we breathe a sigh of relief. “We got them to… You know, they’re on, they’re coming to work for us,” and so we don’t think about the fact that we still need to be sending persuasive messages to them.

Use belonging cues to communicate to new hires that they are valued

Joy: Yes. And I’m seeing some great examples of not sending these mixed signals. So sending welcome emails to the company. Those are all good things to do. We do a one-on-one welcome call to go over the onboarding process. Talk a little bit about our company, we go over the benefits and other things. Yes, that’s awesome. And so, this is an area I think you’re struggling with a little bit. Read these comments, they’re fantastic.

Let me tell you what you need to be sending. We want you to be sending belonging cues. So, we want you to communicate four major things. And some of these examples that you’re giving us are communicating these things, so that’s fantastic.

First of all, we want you to communicate that “We value you.” Right? That, “You are a person that is going to add to our team.” I heard someone say the other day, “Isn’t it funny how we’re so specific with our criticism and so general with our praise?”

LeAnne: So true.

Joy: Right? Let’s be very specific about why we value them. So tell them why, specifically, you are excited that they are joining the team. What value are they bringing to your team, right?

LeAnne: Yeah. And for some of you, I’ll say you may be in a position where you get to communicate that directly to a new hire, but for many of you, again, you’re mobilizing, your equipping managers, and so it’s you doing that slow drip, reminding them, “Here’s the conversations that we hope you’re having during preboarding…,” or, “Here’s our expectations even for how you’re going to facilitate that preboarding process. Don’t forget they need to hear this, this, and this.” So, we realize there are varied experiences and roles present here, and so you wanna think critically about your role with respect to those new hires.

Joy: That’s so good, yeah. Also, “We need you.” That value that they’re bringing is important, and maybe your company is lacking that. Of course, you’re very careful with these messages you’re sending. You don’t want to give them a God complex or build up that narcissism a little bit, right? No, I’m just kidding. But you do wanna be communicating those messages early and often to them so that you are ramping up and gearing up for them to be joining your team. “We’re invested in you.”

I love the information that is being shared during the preboarding phase. Some of that information can center around how you invest in your employees. So what options will be available for them? And you can even work on maybe having something that you’re signing them up for.

Maybe you’re thinking in your head there’s a conference, and you’re already in communication about, “Hey, there’s this really cool conference that we’d love to send you to. You know, don’t worry, it’s gonna be six months into the job, so you’re already gonna know what you’re doing.” But, you know, starting how those conversations about how you’re gonna invest in them, and then that, “you’re safe with us.”

Here’s the deal, psychological safety is incredibly important, especially for building a very diverse, inclusive, and equitable workforce. And so, you need to be building cues that are saying, “You can be your authentic self. We want you to be a part of our team. And, we want you to be yourself as a part of our team, and so you are safe to be yourself with us.”

LeAnne: And if you think about it, if you’re sending messages… we wouldn’t have time to tell you all the super-specific ways you could do this in your organization because you represent such diverse organizations and sizes, in scope and industry.

But if you could figure out with your team, “How are we gonna communicate during preboarding that we value this candidate, this new hire, we need them, we’re invested in them, and we’re safe with them.” What you’re doing is reducing that uncertainty, and you’re increasing predictability. Or another way to say that, too, is perceptions of security or psychological safety. So important.

Joy: Mm-hmm, I love it. Yes, oh, and those comments are rich.

LeAnne: Oh, I know.

Joy: I mean, that’s probably the best part of this entire presentation, so, please, please be reading those. Don’t listen to us. Read the comments. You can come back and watch us on replay.

Your Speakers:

Joy O’Steen, SHRM-SCP

Delia J. O’Steen is an HR Consultant & Coach. She is also a Gallup-Certified CliftonStrengths Coach and former Director of Business and Professional Communication in the College of Media and Communication at Texas Tech University.

LeAnne Lagasse, SHRM-SCP

LeAnne Lagasse is an HR Consultant & Coach. She is also a Gallup-Certified CliftonStrengths Coach, and adjunct communication faculty at Missouri State University where she teaches MBA classes.

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