Your preferred candidate has accepted the job and the start date has been agreed. Awesome. He’ll rock up in a week and you can pop him in Kevin’s old cubicle, and a new era begins you think to yourself as you move on to the next job on your to do list.
If this is what it looks like when you have a new recruit, then you have just set your new gun hire up for failure. But I hired someone smart and experienced I hear you cry. Surely they can just get in there and get stuff done. Well yes, they most likely will jump in if they are as good as you think, but we’ve got some tips that will help you transition them into your business and provide an excellent base for success. After all, you’ve put some real effort into finding the right person – you must want it to work out long term!
Get Set for Success
1. Prepare in advance
Don’t wait until your new hire’s start date to sort out what they need. Prior to them walking in the door make sure you have provided them with their employment contract and position description. Ensure the contract is signed and returned. In that pack, it makes sense to have them fill out all the necessary info you will require – bank, super and tax details, emergency contacts, medical contacts – anything you require as standard to keep your business running smoothly and keeping your employees safe. Get their ‘tools of trade’ ready too – it might just be a desktop computer and a mobile, or it might be a company car. All those pieces can be prepared and ready to handover the minute they arrive.
What does your new hire need to know and where will they get that information? Of course, knowing where the toilets are and that the soft drinks belong to Marsha and are not there as a free for all is important information. They form part of the basic knowledge of any workplace. But you need to go beyond this and how this look will depend on the position you have filled. They may need to speak to peers regarding how to do certain aspects of the job and where to find the information to complete these projects. Are you going to have them sit with marketing to understand the vision for the company and will they need a LinkedIn profile prepared to assist them with representing your company in a professional manner? When will they get time with their manager or supervisor and what will be covered off in that conversation? Will they need to complete a safety induction before being allowed on the factory floor?
The nuances of any business need to be shared with your new hires and the best way to do this is to prepare an induction timetable that informs them of who they need to spend time with and what will be covered. Share this also with your current employees who need to be involved and ensure that all relevant areas of the business are covered off – this sets the base line for your new hires knowledge of your company and allows them to then dive into the work you hired them to do with a deeper understanding of the why, where, what how and who of the business and provides context as to how their role and the work they do fits in to the bigger picture.
3. Who is responsible?
Work out in advance who will be the lead on your new employees’ induction. Do you have the time and does it require your level of seniority? If not, delegate to the appropriate person ensuring they understand the importance of a solid induction process. Communicating this clearly on the first day is equally as important as it provides clarity for the new hire and will help them understand who they go to for further questions or direction and will allow you to get on with leading the business. Naturally, if this is a senior role – or you have a smaller company and it is all hands on deck – it may make sense for you to oversee the induction. It’s your call but make sure that whatever you decide, it is advised clearly to anyone involved.
No one wants to step into a new job and then be ignored - it’s the adult equivalent of being the new kid at school. So how are you going to welcome your new hire into the business? A morning tea, a lunch with team members, introductions at a weekly team meeting, a bunch of flowers even can all make your new started feel welcome and valued right from the outset. Again, this will all depend on your business and what is a viable option but give it some thought is all we are suggesting!
5. Give it time
Even the most awesome new recruit will need some time to get into the swing of things so give them time to learn about your business and the people who make it amazing. Everyone learns at a different pace and the type of role and level of seniority will determine what expectations you can place on time required to learn. Be proactive though, make sure you allocate some of your own or your induction leader’s time each day to touching base with your recruit. This will allow any uncertainties to be covered off quickly and will also provide some insight as to how they are travelling and flag any concerns early so you can manage them efficiently.
6. Communication is always the key
Communication goes both ways. While a new hire will be asking many questions, you need to take the opportunity to ask them questions about how they feel they are travelling and what else they might need to be successful in the role you have given them. As time passes, also provide feedback on their performance – what they are doing well and what may need improving. This is what the probationary period is all about – making sure you have chosen the right candidate with the applicable skills or the ability to learn those required for the job. But if they have shortcomings, you need to give them the chance to make improvements before making any final decisions.
Whatever you do, remember that starting a new job is stressful. A clear induction program, avenues of open communication, patience and a genuine effort to make someone feel welcome will make all the difference when it comes to establishing a platform for a successful new employee.
The team at HR Staff n’ Stuff are well versed in establishing excellent onboarding and induction programs so call or email if you feel you need any assistance in this area.
The HR Staff n' Stuff team all contribute to our blogs. Enjoy the read!