Notice Period

Does the start date seem like a lifetime away? Learn how to use your new joiner’s long notice period to your advantage.

Written by: Daniel Shaw
7 minute read
Image: Steppingstones from now up to their first day

Does the start date seem like a lifetime away? Learn how to use your new joiner’s long notice period to your advantage.

So the candidate who has accepted your offer has a three month notice period that they can’t get out of?… Great news, that gives you three months to give them all the tools and insight then need to get match fit for their first day. And the best thing is, someone else is paying them whilst they do it.

There’s often a sense of panic that sets in when someone agrees to join the company but can’t get out of their long notice period. But let’s unpack that panic for a moment and see where it comes from: you’ve communicated the offer in a positive way, you’ve matched their financial expectations, you’ve listened to their key drivers about wanting a new job and feel you’ve answered them, and they’ve handed back their signed contract and agreed a start date.

So really, all you’re panicking about is a three month period where you have no control over the candidate. Sounds pretty negative when you read it that way doesn’t it?

All the groundwork has been done but it can be hard to step back after such a frenzy of activity. So why not use those three months more productively.

Steppingstones from now up to their first day

Using the idea of getting match fit, why not see their notice period as a training camp. Build in a programme that will keep you and the new job front of mind with them, but also equip them with all the information they need to hit the ground running on their first day.

  • Send them any marketing collateral or company information that you think it would be beneficial for them to digest whilst they wait to join.
  • Email them links to any publications or subscriptions that you want them to be familiar with.
  • Set up a monthly coffee and lunch (virtual or real depending on circumstances) with some of the team or key stakeholders that they will be working with, to get the relationships started so it’s not totally cold when they join.
  • Invite them to dial in to any strategy or team meetings that are happening before they officially start. NDAs can be signed if anything is particularly confidential.
  • Use the time to invest in some external training for them. Technical or personal, they will appreciate the upskilling and be able to focus on it in their own time, rather than juggling it with the expectations of a new job.
  • Go through the company benefits that they would like to opt into, and get them set up with all relevant parties in order to activate them ready for day one.

The most important thing is to build mutual trust and keep communication open. There are always going to be times when people change their minds, or life throws them a curveball. That aside, this should be an exciting time for both you and them. Panic only creeps on when there is uncertainty or doubt, so keep talking, keep them engaged, ask lots of questions, and give them reasons to look forward to joining.