Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Starting off on the right foot

Did you know that your hiring process and the first days of work for a new employee have tremendous impact on how they settle in to their new job?

If your hiring process is straightforward and transparent, it goes a long way towards establishing mutual trust and respect from the very beginning. As we highlighted last week, communication from the receipt of the application to the scheduling of interviews is key. Is your process clear to the candidate?

Once they're in for the interview, if the hiring manager takes the time that's needed, both to get to know the candidate and to answer any questions s/he may have, you'll be much more secure in the knowledge that you're hiring the right person. We've heard of situations where the candidate didn't even ever meet the person who would be his/her new manager until after he/she was hired! This sets everyone up for potential failure, as the chemistry between people cannot be underestimated and it's only fair to both sides to have the opportunity to meet.
Do the assessments you put your candidates through reflect the level of the job and the expectations you have towards the potential new hire? They should - a whole battery of tests for an administrative job might not be appropriate, but it could be appropriate if you're hiring someone who will manage a large number of people. Your process should fit the job as well as the person does.

Once you've selected the right candidate and they have signed their contract, the next step is the way in which you welcome them into the company. When they arrive on the first day, is someone expecting them? Does their new manager welcome them and introduce them around the office? This could happen in a meeting, or by taking the person around to meet everyone. What's important is that the manager takes the time for this.

Have you prepared a program for their first week on the job? A introduction to all of the tasks, people and departments they will be working with is the minimum that's appropriate. On top of that, the little things can really matter - is the person's work station or office prepared? Is there a computer and a telephone ready? Can they immediately get onto the network? Are there office supplies in their desk - pencils, pens, a stapler, etc. We've heard of companies where some of these things took weeks to come and it's very demotivating for a new employee to have to navigate an unfamiliar system just to get the things necessary for doing his/her job. These things really matter.

It may not be that your company provides a bouquet of flowers on the first day, but many companies do and it gives an extra boost to make the new employee feel welcome.

Not every company happens to be having their big annual company party on the first day a new person starts, but making sure that they are invited if you do can make a GREAT first impression. You just may have a loyal employee for a long time to come if you start their experience with your company on the right foot.

J2 Research can help you assess your hiring and induction processes and give you the information you need to ensure your new employees start off on the right foot.

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