Congratulations. After spending considerable time, energy and money, you’ve found that perfect new hire.
Next, shouldn’t the same sort of care and attention that went into finding that employee be invested into preparing for his or her arrival? Companies spend weeks, even months, recruiting for a position; a job description is written, the job ad is placed, qualified applicants are phone screened, top candidates are personally interviewed and reference and background checks are completed before (finally) the job offer is extended, negotiated and accepted.
Employees who feel welcome and prepared for their new role will be able to contribute successfully more quickly and stay with the company longer. The following steps can help your new hire get off to a good start.
First, send a new hire packet (including the necessary legal forms, handbook, offer letter, starting time, dress code, parking information, etc.) prior to the first day on the job. Include the first week’s agenda, so the new employee knows what to expect.
The hiring manager should ensure the employee’s workspace is set up and necessary equipment (computer, e-mail and phone) is available and operational. If your company uses name plates, have the new plate ready, and post it as a visible sign that you’ve prepared the space. If business cards will be needed, be sure to have them printed.
The manager should then send an introductory e-mail to staff outlining the employee’s background, the hire date and a suggestion to welcome the new employee into the organization.
Secondly, organize the new hire’s first day of work. As the manager, you should make sure someone is available to greet him or her upon arrival; provide a tour of the office, restrooms and kitchen; and make introductions to co-workers and arrange lunch with other colleagues for the first day. Ideally, a mentor or peer should be identified and available to the employee for questions that arise.
Third, as the manager, you should make time available to meet with the employee on the first day to review the job description, expectations and current projects, and outline work for the first week. Human resources also should meet with the new hire on the first day to collect the required documents, review benefits and payroll information, and answer any questions.
The impressions the new employee forms during the first few days will have an enormous impact on his or her early experience with your organization and will directly impact his or her tenure. It is well worth your time and efforts to make sure those first impressions are positive.
Lisa Congedo is the senior human resources generalist at The HR Team in Columbia. She can be reached at 410-381-9700.