In part 1 of hiring someone, I focused on the employee experience, which is very important. However, this blog is dedicated to the business side of the onboarding experience.
So many times managers forget the journey it took to hire an employee, from last year’s budgeting, the job descriptions, interviewing and making a final decision. Many things can change over the course of time, so its important to realign your new hires purpose, expectations, measures of success and what the first 90 days should look like (or whatever number of days). Here are some things to consider and get you started.
1. Look at the job description with new eyes (yes you are familiar with it, likely you wrote it or some of it)
2. Was there something about this candidate that made you change course a little? (That’s okay by the way)
3. Plan their first week and expected outcomes.
4. Provide the new hire a list of specific and achievable (but still challenging) outcomes you would like to see with some dates
Good luck on onboarding your new hire, you got this!
If I were to think of one phrase that makes me roll my eyes, cringe, or even laugh, it would be ‘best practice’. It’s such an HR cliché, and something that people just throw into a conversation or direction to give it some more umph. At the end of the day there are some flaws with ‘best practices.’ First, they are usually specific to an industry (and rarely disclosed). Secondly, it is usually unknown who has deemed it a ‘best practice.’ Was it a dinosaur who has liked something a certain way for a long time, and solved the issues of the 1980’s? I’m just saying. Next, ‘best’ is not equal to ‘always’ which is a common mistake of practitioners. If you think about it, how many times there is a unique situation and people (maybe even yourself) have tried to cram in a situation to fit a ‘best practice,’ and was it really the best? Lastly, ‘best’ also insinuates never needing revision, innovation, or challenge, which makes is mediocre.
Don’t get me wrong, I use the term ‘best practice’ but specific to an outcome. For example, when a manager sent out an amazing PowerPoint slide deck announcing someone moving overseas for an internal job. But I said the same thing when another manager created a tumbler countdown for theirs! It wasn’t the tool, but the outcome or intention. In HR so few times do we ask why something is a ‘best practice’ or what obstacle it solves. Usually it seems obvious, but than that’s not a ‘best practice’ its just common sense.
I challenge us, HR professionals, to undertake what it means for something to be a ‘best practice’ and sometimes its just a really good solution at your company for your culture and lastly your outcome.
Becton, Bret J., and Mike Schraeder. 2009. “Strategic Human Resources Management.” Journal For Quality & Participation31, no. 4: 11-18. Business Source Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed February 10, 2014).
Being a manager (in both role and skill) is important; this is the first installment to supporting you develop a great onboarding experience for your new employee, regardless of how much or little your company does today. This part is about the human side of onboarding, and the second one as a follow up with be about the business side.
The most common mistake I hear managers make is that they either 1) coddle a new employee for way too long or 2) drop them in the middle of the ocean to swim. Neither are good for them or the business. Here are some ideas to help a newbie feel welcome while getting their contribution right away.
1. Send a welcome email at one week prior to their start date (or at the latest the day before they start) to express you excitement, tips and tricks, and a general feel of the first day will go.
2. Day one is important for both you and the employee, and making sure you are available and visible is important. Its okay to still have meetings, but find ways to check in, invite them, and spend time going through a plan.
3. Week one check in.. A good practice is to spend a casual one-hour at the end of the week and let them do a AMA (as me anything) session.
Remember, everyone has a human side.