The art of anticipation: building excitement before day one 

Great candidates or employees will always be hard to keep hold of unless you keep them engaged. This matters throughout their career with you and starts even before day 1; it starts through the whole recruitment process. 

Your pre-induction/onboarding process needs to kick in seamlessly post recruitment, to provide a positive candidate experience and ensure a smooth transition into your organisation. Green businesses have a real opportunity to imprint their purpose during every touch point. 

Some of you will have experienced the pain of interviewing and offering to a great candidate, only to be gazumped at the final hour and return to the drawing board!   

Here are some tips to help you demonstrate integrity in your mission, get your new recruits excited while they work their notice periods, and help them start to feel part of the team even before they join you for day 1: 

The process part   

When it comes to sending out all the documents they need to review and sign; transitioning to paperless by digitising forms, documents, and training materials is really important especially for environmentally driven organisations. Use electronic signatures and online platforms for documentation to reduce paper waste. 

Remember that less is more! Sending through 100 pages and expecting them to digest and retain it all will be a challenge, so consider pacing information. They might be working notice in a job, so don’t want a second one to do alongside it! 

It’s good critical to talk! 

As soon as you’ve received their YES, you need a plan to keep in touch while you wait for them to join. Counter-offers from existing employers are common with great candidates, so disappearing on them post-offer might make these proposals a little more attractive.  

Equally you don’t want to bombard them, so think about putting a date in the diary for a casual catch up, consider inviting them to meet the team, social events or identify a buddy to connect them with in the business so they have a familiar face and different voices to ask questions of throughout.  

Consider your carbon footprint as you do this, it’s likely you’re already considering your impact on the planet, so virtual meet ups would support this, but if they’re going to be office based part of the time, some face to face time might be equally as important. 

Involve them in the plan 

Like in many green businesses, if you’ve sold a role that has lots of autonomy and a collaborative culture, getting them involved in what their induction will look like is important. Hopefully you’ll have already established how they like to work, but asking questions about learning style, frequency of check-ins or discussing two-way feedback processes is really important. It demonstrates you’re creating an experience that’s bespoke to them, rather than a one-size-fits all.  

Sharing your induction plan ahead of them joining, gives them an opportunity to prepare ahead of key stakeholder meetings, important projects in the pipeline and any key milestones they’ll be expected to achieve. 

Getting the basics right 

Don’t forget the small stuff that you’ll likely be so familiar with and may not even consider; dress code, start and finish times, their options for lunch/refreshments at work, who to ask for if they’re arriving on site, any sign in arrangements, your preferred method of transport if you have a green travel policy etc.  

Particularly for first or second jobbers, these “common sense” basics give a level of comfort and confidence. It also shows a robustness in your processes, sets expectations for how the business operates and what will be expected from them. 

Questions, questions, questions… 

It’s likely they’ll have questions a plenty before joining, so let them know who their key contacts are in the business if they need to get in touch.  

Offer support and guidance to help alleviate pre-first day jitters and at the same time, share success stories from current employees who have gone through a similar onboarding process. This can help alleviate any concerns and build excitement about joining the team. 

Kitting them out   

Branded merchandise is often an attractive “go to” when thinking about new starter kits, but does this align with your mission? Consider the footprint of what you’re issuing, does it align with your purpose? There are lots of sustainable welcome kit options that include ethically produced and reusable items and send a much better message.  

You could also consider a welcome gift, hopefully you’ll know a little about their interests outside of work, so something that reflects more about how they are demonstrates a real interest in the person, as well as the skills they’ll be bringing to the role. 

Get them excited 

Build anticipation for their start date by sharing exciting company updates or upcoming projects they will be involved in. This can help keep candidates engaged and excited about their new role.  

Linking these back to their purpose is really important so they can see where they’ll have an impact in the business and on your wider green purpose. 

How did you do? 

Once they’ve started, don’t forget to ask for feedback on their pre-start experience. This can help identify any areas for improvement and ensure that future candidates have a positive experience too. 


By implementing these strategies, you can help keep candidates engaged and excited about their upcoming role, reduce drop outs and ultimately lead to a smooth transition into your organisation. 

Not sure on how this applies to your business or what to do next? Get in touch and we’re happy to help contact the friendly wayvie team for a free consultation

The art of anticipation: building excitement before day one  was written by

Pete Starr

Pete is the Founder of wayvie, with a wealth of experience in learning and development, sales, and leadership. He’s passionate about helping green businesses excel by investing in their people. Pete’s expertise includes selling, account management, leadership development, performance coaching, and he’s an enthusiast of Wim Hof’s cold water techniques.

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