Written by James Caan CBE
After 30 years in recruitment, I’ve found it’s all too common that some managers will spend months trawling through CVs, shortlisting candidates and interviewing potential recruits and then drop the ball when the new recruit steps through the door. Failing to make that all important first great impression.
A new employee will have high expectations if they’ve been successful in passing a thorough recruitment process, and once they’ve done their bit in proving to you that they’re ‘up to the job’ it’s time for you to prove that you’ll be the employer you promised you’d be..
There are severe consequences for businesses who do not plan successful introductory programmes for new recruits. Not only are disappointed new recruits likely to leave within their probation period, it could also severely damage your employer reputation. You only have one chance to make a good first impression, and the first few days will leave a lasting impression.
Here are some of my top tips on how to make new employees feel welcome, appreciated, and part of the organisation’s work and culture as soon as possible:
Have you ever shown up for your first day at a job, been given a desk, and then left to your own devices? It’s isolating and scary and that’s why it’s important to have an induction plan in place before your new recruit begins. Set an induction timetable (typically around 30 days), think about who they should meet in their first week and get all the new starter admin sorted in advance. This includes; informing team members of the new recruits start date and role and preparing all their workspace and equipment in advance. Also, it is absolutely essential that your new employee understands the deliverables and objectives of their induction plan.
Make them feel welcome!
It sounds obvious but from management down, everyone has a role in making the new person feel welcome and part of the team. You should always refine and perfect your introductory programme by asking existing staff how they found their first week and asking for feedback.
Make a point of involving your new starter in all the social and fun activities and ensure they know how to get involved in anything which sparks their interest. If your office has Friday night drinks, invite them. This should be encouraged because the bonds made with the team in the first few weeks will nurture them and the business.
I’ve always found it really useful to assign someone in the team as a friendly ‘go-to’ face for a new starter. This will help the new recruit learn the ropes and how things work alongside all the little touches which make for a good working day such as the best lunch spots and local coffee shops too. It’s worthwhile to encourage all your existing team members to jump in and do their part to do small things to make the newcomer feel welcome.
Involve the new starter in real work as soon as possible. The key thing here is to evaluate their understanding at every stage. Ensure your door remains open at this critical stage because every question you answer and help with now will ensure they fully understand and take the lead in future – I suggest organising frequent informal progress reviews. Also, encourage new recruits to contribute to team meetings straight away by asking for their views on areas up for discussion. You hired them for a reason so why wouldn’t you want them to add value wherever possible?
Ultimately, making new employees feel welcome isn’t rocket science, but investing the time in getting this right will result in higher employee loyalty and retention and of course will be reflected positively in your bottom line! So it’s a win-win for you, your wider team and of course your impressive new recruit!