Think back to the last time you started a new job – it feels like the first day of school, doesn’t it? However important an investment a new hire is for your business, it is also a significant step in the career of the candidate. You could have headhunted them from a position they were reasonably content to stay in a little longer, so not only do you need to know you got the right person for the job, they need to know that they’ve made the right choice too.
What can you do to make sure they settle in and become a successful part of your team?
- Get to know them quickly – their likes and dislikes, and what does and doesn’t motivate them in the workplace. How you integrate them into the team and the business as a whole will be led by these, not to mention how immediately effective they need to be in their role.
- Be organised – that goes beyond making sure they have a desk and a log in on the IT systems. Map out your, and their, short and longer-term expectations, and make sure they know the team structure, and who they can approach for assistance as they settle in.
- Leave your door open – settling in to a new role can depend on whether a new hire feels that management are listening, and whether they can take any ideas or concerns to them. An open-door policy is essential to build a relationship built on trust and transparency, so establish open lines of communication from the start.
- Schedule regular catch up sessions – it can be difficult to strike a balance at first, as both you and the new hire get used to new ways of working. For example, the temptation to micromanage at first is difficult to resist, and even if the candidate needs specific guidance in their new role, it is important to give them enough freedom to establish their own working methods within a new organisation and to find their place within it. Regular catch up sessions, not just with line managers but with key personnel within their team, should offer the dual purpose of helping the new hire hit the ground running, and you to confirm that they were the right choice.
- And what if they weren’t the right choice? – thankfully, if someone turns out not to be the right fit for the company after all, this becomes apparent quite quickly. This is usually a result of miscommunications during the recruitment process, or inadequately-managed expectations during the first few weeks in position. The key is to manage as painless an exit as possible on both sides.
Of course, your new hire’s career with you isn’t necessarily going to be defined by how their first few months in the job are managed. Taking a longer-term view of how they fit within your particular work culture is essential to help them potentially be with you for the long haul. To do this, they need to feel appreciated and challenged, but most of all, heard. Keep the lines of communication open, and that new hire will live up to their promise.