|Many companies and hiring managers forget that interviewing, making a job offer and getting an acceptance is only half the work when making a successful hire. There is an entire checklist of actions that need to occur in order to complete a successful hire.
“Successful onboarding is the completion of the recruiting process, and if done right, studies show it can increase both the effectiveness and tenure of a new hire,” says Lisa Chang, Century Group’s Director of Talent Acquisition. “The first impression is strategic in successful onboarding.”
PUT THE WELCOME SIGN OUT
In the weeks leading up to a new employee’s first day, the company should continue to foster the developing relationship between themselves and the new employee. This transition is often a formal onboarding process that requires the completion of pre-employment paperwork. However, less formal measures should also be taken, such as communicating with the new hire right up to the first day.
Calling to check-in before a new hire starts is crucial. Sharing valuable information with them, such as where to park, how to gain access to the building, and even inviting them out for an introductory lunch contributes to this personal touch. A new employer needs to both stay in the forefront of the new hire’s mind and help them through this transition. Don’t fall prey to thinking that getting an acceptance is the end of the recruitment process.
Remember, the candidate you have selected is adding valuable skills to your department. They were also valuable to their former employer, and as the notice period ends, the value of the employee and the difficulty in replacing them will become apparent. A counter-offer may upset your best-laid plans, so the more welcoming and accessible you are to the candidate, the less likely they are to accept it.
MAKE THEIR FIRST DAY SPECIAL
Your new hire was excited when they left their final interview, and they were excited when they accepted the job. It’s important to keep that excitement alive right up to and beyond their first day by updating them about the latest company news, introducing them to the company in an upbeat manner, and helping eliminate any first-day anxiety.
Megan Geraghty, Century Group’s Associate Director of Recruiting, reminds clients to “make sure they are set up in the company’s systems. Provide a tour of the facilities and introduce them to the rest of the team. Make the new employee feel at home in their new space. Let them know you are prepared and you have your act together.”
The first day is a great day to go over the job expectations and objectives during the transition. You may think you’ve covered everything during the interview, but there is an overload of information when starting any new job. The first day of work can set the tone for a long-term relationship and has a tremendous impact on the new hire’s future success with the company.
GIVE IT A HUMAN TOUCH
Assign your new employee a go-to person who can answer their questions. All employees experience some degree of difficulty in making a transition during the first 90-to-120 days, which is a common period to lose a new hire. Learning about both a new job and a new company culture, as well as creating a new routine in their daily life, can be stressful for anyone.
Anything you can do to help ensure their success is a plus. A candidate who doesn’t feel they have been set up for success at your company is susceptible to returning to a prior job or inquiring about another opportunity they had been pursuing. It could even be the former boss they used for a reference who says, “Let me know how that new job works out, because we may have something coming up for you.” Good candidates are good candidates, period.
KEEP THEM IN THE LOOP
Managers need to let the new hires know when and how they will garner feedback on their job performance. A regular, monthly meeting can let a candidate know they have access to you as a resource, they are important, and they are able to get help. Francesca Brooks, Century Group’s Managing Director of Human Resources, even goes as far as to recommend setting up a schedule for the entire first week. You may think you are providing constant feedback, but having a pre-arranged meeting is always a good policy.
Periodic reviews are also crucial. You would be surprised how many times we hear, “Well, I haven’t had my annual review, so I am not sure what that means.” You think it means they are doing fine. They think it means, “I am (or my job is) not a priority for you.”
Finally, ask for your new hire’s feedback. This is helpful for their assimilation into the organization, and it will help you improve the process for future hires. If you only ask for feedback during a resignation, you are closing the barn after the horse.
You may say, “I am so busy, I am not sure how I will fit this in.” Well, ask yourself… if you are that busy, how are you going to fit in another recruitment process?
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(This article appeared in the January 9 issue of the Orange County Business Journal)