Congratulations on your first hire! 👏🏼 You’ve no doubt spent bags of time (and perhaps money) recruiting your new employee. It’s now time to reinforce why they’ve made a fantastic decision to come and work for you.
How? By making sure they’re happy, engaged, and delivering for you – as soon as they possibly can.
Here’s what to do next
MAKE IT A PRIORITY
After the initial high – and relief – that comes from filling your vacancy and getting all the paperwork and admin sorted (like an employment contract and setting them up on payroll etc), you’ll be wanting to make up for lost time by getting on with running your business. After all, you've been busy recruiting so your to-do list is now off the scale!
But, let me tell you, the days before they start will fly by and there is nothing worse that their start date being upon you, and you being totally unprepared.
Which is why sorting out an amazing induction for them is a total must.
- Because, the recruitment ride you’ve just been on is long and hard, so you need your new recruit to stick around. A shocking number of newbies leave their job – soon after they’ve started it – so you don’t want that happening to you.
- You’re more likely to get a fabulous return on your investment more quickly. There’s loads of evidence to show that fantastic inductions result in more productive employees.
THERE’S NO TIME TO WASTE!
Loads of candidates accept job offers, but then it’s radio silence from their new employer until they rock up on their first day 😶
That might sound okay to you, but put yourself in their shoes for a minute 👠 This person has made a humongous decision to accept your job offer. They’re probably excited, keen to impress – but also a tad apprehensive and nervous.
So, before they start, do the right thing:
- Organise the basics so they hit the ground running e.g. a car parking space, building access, a desk, IT and communications 🖥
- Email them a timetable for their first day – so they know what to expect – including when to show up, what clobber to wear, what they should bring, what they’ll be doing, who they’ll be meeting and why 📄
- Send them something useful to read e.g. a customer brochure, or sales report, to give them even more insight into your business 📚
- Ask them to help you to draft the exciting announcement about their arrival 📣
- Invite them to pop along – or listen into – any interesting meetings or calls you might be having 🎧
- Send them a nice card or a gift to say how much you’re looking forward to them starting 🎁
These investments will make a massive impression on them and help your employee to settle in more quickly. They’ll get a much better feel for the job they’ll be doing and the type of business they’ll be working for.
Remember, every interaction you have with them between now and their first day, provides really important clues about the culture of your business. You want these to be positive not negative. For example, if you’ve said your new employee won’t be working Fridays, but their contract arrives and says they might have to – that’s not a great first experience to have ☹️
IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT WHERE THE PRINTER IS
Okay, so during their first week, a part of their induction will need to be functional. In other words, you’ll need to give them the tour, introduce them to people, show them how things work, and begin training.
But don’t forget to integrate them socially. They’re human beings after all! You know, social animals? They’ll probably feel a bit awkward at first, not knowing anybody and feeling like a pain in the backside for asking so many questions. So, the sooner they get comfortable, the sooner they’ll relax into the role.
Assign them a ‘buddy’ to show them the ropes. And make sure you take lunch breaks together in the first few days. This is where the barriers will come crashing down and everybody will get to know each other a bit better.
This quote sums it up perfectly for me: “Often an induction can be a functional ‘tell’ exercise that aims to convey information that will help the person find their way around, and find out what they are and are not allowed to do. Yet when a newcomer is seen as a source of energy that needs to be integrated into an even bigger source of energy, induction becomes something different. You see it as a process of socialisation.”
SET SUPER STANDARDS FROM THE START
Right from the outset, be totally clear what you’d like your new employee to achieve and by when. In other words, the results you’d like to see. This is far less boring than telling them how they need to get there – and gives them permission to be proactive and fly!
Explain how and when you’ll review their performance and what you’ll do to help them to shine 🌟
Lots of newbies out there – who leave their jobs early on – say they would have hung about a bit longer if they’d known what was expected of them.
To set your new employee up for success, give them access to every bit of useful information they need. For example, things like reports, research, and customer feedback.
And don’t forget to paint the broader picture for them – so they can see how they fit into your master plan.
REMOTE ONBOARDING CAN WORK TOO
Here’s the reality. Your newbie might need to start their job remotely. For example, if your business is made up of homeworkers who are on the other side of the country or planet 🌍 But, it’s really important you set a date for when you’re eventually going to meet up – even if it’s not on their first day.
For remote onboarding to work, IT is a deal-breaker. Most of the recommendations outlined in this blog still apply to remote onboarding. And what’s more, there are lots of fun and engaging ways to socially integrate a new remote worker.
One company does this brilliantly with a ‘Through the Keyhole’ game during lunch. Now, don’t judge ✋🏼 this really works! It’s where employees have to submit a picture of a room in their house, and the rest of the conference call attendees have to guess whose house it belongs to. Prizes are then put in the post for the winner.
On the other side of the spectrum, an employee from one firm said their first team call was a “car crash”. She said: “The chairperson asked all the remote workers to introduce themselves with interesting facts – but there wasn’t a running order – and because we weren’t yet familiar with each other’s voices, everybody started talking over one another.” Uh-uh 😱
TO SUM THINGS UP THEN
🙈 Oh my! The recruitment process can be a proper slog if you don’t know what you’re doing. Don’t waste all that hard work by failing to plan a great induction for your new recruit.
📆 The induction itself should not start on their first day. Get moving! There are things you can do NOW to help your new hire to acclimatise more quickly.
📣 An induction isn’t just a ‘tell’ exercise. As much focus needs to be on socially integrating your new employee into your business culture.
📈 Be crystal clear on what results you want to see, as opposed to how they should go about achieving those results. This is way more empowering.
💻 Remote onboarding is totally unavoidable for some businesses. But the fantastic advances in IT make it easy to bring your employee into the fold. But, make sure you have a face-to-face scheduled ASAP.
If you need more help, check out my Induction Toolkit, which is designed to save you bags on time and stress.
Virtual HR Director & Leadership Mentor. I create game-changing HR & Hiring Strategies for ambitious small businesses in the UK and support you to lead your team with confidence. Check out my shop to download HR Templates & Contracts designed to make life easier.