Finding, interviewing and hiring a qualified job candidate can be a complicated task. Recruitment is not an exact science, and there are many potential curveballs that can pop up out of nowhere and send you back to square one. Once you’ve found and hired the newest member of your staff, however, the work isn’t done. Data shows that top prospects decide within the first six months on the job whether they want to stay in their position long-term or seek employment elsewhere. In many cases, the roots of that decision are planted on the first day.
Start with a Tour
Big or small, most companies have a structured onboarding process to make sure they follow state and federal employment laws and relevant industry-standard practices. This usually takes place (or at least begins) on day one. It’s critical to emphasize that this is the point where your company truly makes their first impression. When a candidate comes in for a job interview, they are likely nervous or at least operating on more adrenaline than usual. After the anticipation and excitement of the process is over, the first day brings it all down to Earth. If they are uncomfortable with how this is handled, they’ll see it as a red flag that may color their entire time with the company.
Most employee’s first day consists of computer/paper work and watching or reading tutorials. That makes it very helpful to start out by taking the new recruit around the building, giving them a tour, and introducing them to their coworkers. Even if this was done during the interview, it helps reinforce faces with names and make them feel welcome.
Have a Printed Schedule
Nobody likes the feeling of not knowing what happens next, especially during a long day of paperwork and consumption of corporate training videos. Something as simple as a single sheet of paper with an hour-by-hour itinerary lets them know how long each stage will be, and what is coming up around the bend.
Use a Simple Interface for Data Collection
Nothing is more frustrating than being outsmarted by a computer when you’re inputting data. Whether it’s just a matter of appointing dependents or inputting standard personal information, if it’s hard to figure out who to perform simple functions, new employees may question the business’ judgement.
Provide Variety in Tasks
Going back to the day’s schedule: It’s very helpful to not expect a person to stay in one place and absorb information seated alone in a conference room all day. As you build your new hire’s itinerary, take the time to consider mixing up the day with facility tours, training videos, paper work or data entry, and even orientation with various department heads. This will help make time go by more quickly. An employee who feels like their first day drags on forever may worry that their entire time at the company will too.
Have People Available to Help
Whether it’s the new employee’s hiring manager or an HR executive, it’s always good to have someone close by who can assist with any questions or problems. This person should be a positive problem solver who knows the process and software intimately. They should check in without hovering, and they should also not blame “corporate” or “management” for having bad procedures, rather if there are issues, they should find solutions and cheerlead for the company whenever possible.
The hope is always to get new employees into their normal routine as quickly as possible, but training and orientation is also critical. Using these tips to build a series of best practices to onboard newly hired staff should help make this hap