Helping your new hire to become a success
Hiring employees that enhance and complement your business is part and parcel of being a business manager. The process of recruiting the right candidate can be lengthy and costly - both in terms of time and hard cash - so it is important to make the right decision and hire wisely.
Once chosen, it is your duty as the hiring manager to ensure that your new employee brings value to your organisation and helps to ease some of the workload burden - in short fulfilling the tasks they have been hired to do.
However if these desires are to be met, then you must set up your new employee to succeed. Here we offer you some simple steps to make sure things go well.
Setting up your new hire for success starts before they even take up the position. During the interview stage it is vital that you have a very well defined job specification, which maps out exactly what is expected of the person taking up the role - from day-to-day duties to the skills and expertise you expect them to possess in order to carry them out. Too often an unfocused job description that lacks direction and unclear expectations on the part of the recruiting manager won't allow even the most brilliant candidate to succeed. Furthermore, as recruiters, we do see candidates looking to move within a relatively short space of time due to the fact that their role hasn't lived up to its interview promise.
Before you commence interviewing, make sure that:
• You have a clear job description
• You have an excellent understanding of the expertise the candidate must possess in order to do the job on offer well
• You ask candidates to give examples of situations and their solutions so that these skills are demonstrated
• Don't compromise and hire an average candidate that lacks knowledge just to fill the role
• Make sure your expectations are reasonable - have you hired candidates in the past who have succeeded and achieved all their set goals? If so, then your expectations are reasonable - if not, then you might have to adjust them.
• Ensure the candidate clearly understands your expectations - many candidates fall at the first hurdle due to miscommunication, which can lead to bitterness and even disciplinary action. To avoid this, ask your candidate to describe in detail how they will fulfil your requirements.
Induction or on boarding process
You might associate an induction with human resources jargon for an employee's first three months. But the way a new employee is inducted into an organisation is defined differently by nearly everyone you talk to. Its advocates describe it as a comprehensive approach to bringing on new hires that goes beyond simple orientation.
Here are some steps for successful on boarding:
• Remember induction plans are intended to make new employees familiar with the overall goals of a company.
• Make sure you have a detailed plan in place for the first 90 days, so everyone knows what is expected.
• Operate a buddy system - someone who has been at your organisation for a long time and knows the ropes and can be a sounding board.
• Ensure you support your new hire as they embark on early projects all in an effort to achieve the perception of success and productivity quickly.
• After one week on the job, the employee should begin to feel comfortable with their responsibilities and their team members.
• A good idea is to offer an informal session of drinks, cake, or something similar with the other team members at the end of week one so that the new hire can assess their learnings, ask any questions to the group and hang out in a less formal setting.
Remember, the ultimate payoff is to reduce turnover and encourage recruits to stay with an organisation for a longer tenure - which is more achievable if the induction process is carried out carefully and thoroughly.
While your employee professed and demonstrated experience during the interview, do remember all organisations are unique. Different computer systems, policies, procedures and corporate culture can prevent good employees from being immediately successful. Make sure the employee is appropriately trained and has had sufficient time to practice their new skills. But do include both short- and long-term projects for the new hire from an early stage. New employees feel an inherent desire to contribute to the business right away. You don't want them working on the big projects though, until they're really up to speed on the way your company works.
Checking-in on your new hire
Do official check-ins specifically about their experience of the induction process after the first week, first month and first three months. Make sure to schedule these conversations in advance. Also remember to:
• engage the new employee by communicating and asking how things are going and by taking them to lunch or coffee, even if it's just in the office.
• maintain an open-door policy as a manager and ensure that this is communicated to every employee - not just the new hire. This conveys that if they have questions, you'll be there for them.
• set up a regular meetings
• conduct a review at the end of the first 90 days that actually involves the employee: make it two-way feedback.
Making a success of your new hire is not rocket science - it is down to communication and proper preparation. Take the time to get things in place before you commence the interviews, and that way you will get an employee who is clear of what's required of them and possesses the skills you need to really add value to your business. After employment commences, good communication, regular meetings with goals and deadlines, and a smattering of teamwork will ensure your new employee is a resounding success who feels valued. In return, you'll get loyalty and a happy and productive employee!