Ten tips to avoid ruining your new hire

by |
Given the number of hoops an HR department often jumps in the hiring of new people, it seems inconceivable that a company could then inadvertently “ruin” said new staff.

But, according to author and business coach David Finkel, it can and does happen.

One of his solutions is to avoid ruining new hires is coming up with a written action plan for the orientation of new staff.

“Before you even hire, create a draft, written onboarding and orientation plan for how you'll optimally bring that new hire on board,” he wrote in a blog on Huffington Post.

“What will their first day look like? Their first week? Their first month? Who will they meet with and what topics will they discuss?”

A “fancy, 20-page detailed” document is not necessary, he said.

“Just the fact that you invest 30-60 minutes before you hire thinking through how you'll bring your new hire onboard is enough at this point.”

This is just one of the 10 tips formulated by Finkel’s company to address the issues of ruining new hires.

“[It is] surprising … how many business owners unintentionally subvert their new hires and in the process radically lower their new employees' odds of succeeding on the job.”

1. Before you even hire, create a draft, written onboarding and orientation plan for how you'll optimally bring that new hire on board.

“How will you orient them on their responsibilities? The team they'll work with? The company culture? The market you serve? Your products and services? Your internal company systems?”

2. Use your time spend roughing out your orientation plan as an opportunity to enhance your interviewing and selection process.

This will give you a more concrete sense of exactly who you need to hire, Finkel said.

“Talk about the onboarding and orientation process with your finalists for the position. Solicit their input and feedback about how they think they could best be onboarded.”

3. Have all the infrastructure set up before your new hire starts so that they walk in to a powerful first "golden hour" of their first day on the job.

“The way you bring on your new team member that first golden day makes a difference. It sets a mood and standard,” Finkel said.

4. To help you flesh out your initial training and orientation process, start with the job description itself.

“Use the job description as a checklist and lay out a timeline of how you'll orient your new hire on each of the key responsibilities.”

5. With each new hire, refine your orientation process so that it becomes better, faster, easier, and more consistent. 

“This is made easier because 50-70% of any new hire's orientation will likely be standard across positions in the company.”

6. Early on, get your new hires to help you document and improve your orientation process.

Encourage your new hire to take notes, Finkel said.

“Not only will this make your system better for the next hire, but it will help your new hire pay closer attention and learn the key information at a deeper level since they will be placed in the role of "teacher", not just student.

7. Give your new hire the "day in the life" experience of your customer.

“This will give them an immediate context with which to make sense of the orientation training you've given them. It will also help them connect their work to the real value they're creating directly or indirectly for your customers.”

8. Break your training into smaller modules.

Don't try to do a 3 hour marathon session, break your orientation down into 30-60-90 minute blocks, with breaks between to meet more of your staff, to get a tour of the office, and to get a rough start doing some meaningful but simple work for the company, Finkel said.

“This takes more thought than just flooding your new hire with hour after hour of information and dumping them back at their desk to "get to work", but the results are worth it.”

9. Check back in with your new hire on a regular basis over the first 90 days of hire.

This can be with a formal meeting, a scheduled meal, or even just an informal drop in visit to their workstation, Finkel said.

10. Get feedback from your new team member on how he or she thinks the orientation process could be improved for future team members.
At your check-ins, while it is still fresh in the mind of your new hire, ask them for their "liked bests" and "next times" to improve the orientation process, Finkel says.

“How would they make it more impactful? Faster? Easier? More engaging?”

HRM Online forum is the place for positive industry interaction and welcomes your professional and informed opinion.

Name (required)
Comment (required)
By submitting, I agree to the Terms & Conditions