Welcome to our TeamI love to hear from candidates after they start with our client companies.  We work especially hard to make a great match and post-start feedback is a valuable measure for us.  We recently placed a candidate with a large company in a role where they would have peers and employees all over the globe.  It was wonderful to hear the lengths her new employer went to ensure that she was introduced to varied team members and walked through the internal processes and tools that she needed to hit the ground running.  We’ve heard a different story from candidates who want to network with us because they are disenchanted with the company they recently joined, leading them to continue their search.

We’ve all been there.  It’s our first week and we don’t even yet know where the rest room is located!  Learning new names, places and the lay of the land can be daunting. Organizations who are great at helping new members feel immediately welcome and part of the team do these key things:

  1. Focus on On-boarding – It’s not all about the paperwork!
  2. Get to know them as a Person
  3. Provide Single Points-of-Contact
  4. Have Relevant Training
  5. Help to Quickly Engaging in their Work
  6. And if they’re Relocating, they do more

Yes, there is paperwork requiring completion to allow access to systems, provide tools and, of course, get paid.  But a key focus while on-boarding should also be to make your new hires feel connected.  Some companies put together a photo collage of teammates, delineating what each team member does, how they can help you, and perhaps most importantly, what interests each individual in their work and outside of the job.

Assessments are sometimes used as part of the interview process.  I’m a proponent of using them for this purpose and also the added benefit of using the data to target customization of the on-boarding process based on the individual’s style of processing information and communication.

Assigning a mentor for the first 30 days is common.  Whether you assign one mentor or a single point-of-contact for different areas of the job, having a defined go-to person is a benefit.

You hired this individual for a specific skill set and experience.  However, there are things that the rest of you know about the company’s objectives, drivers and approach that the new hire needs to understand.  Having a well thought out training program pays dividends.  I was extremely impressed by one of our US-based client’s objectives to have all new hires for their sales expansion on-board before their sales strategy kick-off meeting in Europe.  While there was expense to send a multitude of new sales executives to this week-long international meeting and training sessions, the pay off in allowing them to hit the ground running was huge.  It’s interesting to note that every one of those individuals remains with the company and reports a high level of satisfaction!

A key desire when someone has started in a new role is to “get started!”  Thinking through the tasks you will assign in the first four weeks, 30 days and 90 days and communicating these helps to give the new hire an understanding of what will be expected of them from the get-go.  It will also allow them to prepare and focus their attention and feel like they are contributing more quickly. Ideally, you’ll be developing this plan jointly.  It’s important to seek your employee’s opinions and this is a way to show that you value their opinion from the beginning.

Finally, if you’ve had to look outside of your area to find the right person, helping them and their family to have a smooth transition to their new home location is a way to differentiate your company culture as welcoming, as well as helping to remove some of the distraction that goes along with a relocation.  Some companies put together a full book or packet of information from real estate data and Realtors to schools to favorite restaurants and service organizations.  These are always appreciated!

The risk of not implementing a strong on-boarding process is that the person you invested so much in finding and hiring, turns your opportunity into their bridge job to a position with a new company whose culture they view as more welcoming!

You’ll never regret investing to hire right or in your employees’ start with the company.  We’re interested in hearing what you’ve experienced as a new hire.  And, we hope you’ll also share your creative ideas to help a new employee to feel welcome, quickly integrated into the team, and set up for success in their role.