Workforce retention is paramount to any company’s success, and planning for employee retention starts long before their first day on the job.
For any manager, the hiring process can feel cumbersome and time consuming. You need someone in that position now, yet, for some companies, it can take up to two months or more from start to finish. There is nothing worse than fine tuning a job description, posting a position, reviewing applications, interviewing and eventually hiring to be given a letter of resignation by that same employee within months. The time lost during that process is very costly and can have grave impacts to your company’s bottom line.
While you cannot predict whether an applicant will get a better offer with a different company during your hiring process or shortly after they have accepted the position, setting a new employee up for success even before they “officially” accept the position is the way to go. By doing this, you will be more likely to retain that new hire and set them up for longevity with your company.
Clear communication from the beginning
Clear communication sets the tone for your relationship, establishes preliminary job expectations and lessens the new hire’s anxiety about their new position. Once the applicant accepts the position, make sure that you are clear about next steps. You can do this via email or phone.
- What forms they need to turn in, to whom and by when?
- When and where do they report to work?
If your HR department does most of the hiring for you, be sure to remain closely in the loop. Try to place yourself in a new hire’s shoes. What would you want to know if you were starting a new job with an unfamiliar company? What information would you need to have to prepare you for your first day on the job? In less than 10 minutes over the phone you can provide your new hire with some basic yet pertinent details.
- What type of clothing attire is appropriate for the job, including piercings/tattoos.
- What are the work hours (if known at time of hire), including any breaks that they will receive during the day?
- How to best reach you between now and the first day in case questions arise.
- A brief synopsis of what they can expect on their first day or week on the job.
Keep in mind that in the beginning many new hires will be reluctant to ask questions, which can lead to assumptions being made. By providing as much information as you can upfront, your new hire will feel confident and prepared for their first day on the job.
No matter how experienced of a manager you are, having a cheat sheet or template for “need-to-know” new hire information is wise and ensures consistent practice.
Logistics, logistics, logistics
Have you determined where the new hire will work, what their job duties will be and what equipment they will need to perform their job? Making these decisions early and getting “the ball rolling” if you have to put in a work order is the responsible and proactive thing to do before your new hire starts.
Develop a plan for your new hire’s first 1-2 months
It is essential that every new hire, regardless of their title, have a training plan in place. This “new hire plan” is a blueprint for what it will look like to get your new employee up to speed and ready to independently and confidently execute their new position.
This plan may be detailed with a daily agenda and training plan that you wish for your new hire to follow or it can be less detailed and function as a guide for their first two months. This “new hire plan” is essential to helping the employee focus and a first step towards gaining competency of their job.
Set your staff up for success by doing a little additional planning before you hire and consistently putting these steps into action. By respectfully and proactively communicating with your new hire, developing a plan for their success and regularly checking in to provide support and encouragement, you will forge a strong and trusting relationship from the start.
Keina Ritenburgh is founder and owner of EG Career Consulting.