New hires will always need a helping hand in the beginning. Taking the right steps at this crucial time is essential toward giving them the sturdy foundation on which they can build.
By DeLynn Senna, Robert Half® Finance & Accounting
Setting an unachievable bar for new hires is unproductive for the long-term health of your company and your employees. While it’s reasonable to hope that new hires will hit the ground running, regardless of their skill level and experience, employees just starting out are entitled time to onboard—and will benefit greatly by you providing a career road map for their first 90 days on the job.
So how long is a fair amount of time to allow them to get up to speed?
A majority (54%) of chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed for a recent Robert Half Finance & Accounting survey said they give new hires less than 3 months to prove themselves. Another 9% of respondents said they give new hires less than 30 days to prove themselves.
Clearly, the burden of success during the first 90 days doesn’t rest entirely on employees’ shoulders. It’s in your company’s best interest to set your new hire up with the tools needed to succeed and become a productive member of your team. Ensuring that you avoid the costs of a bad hire begins with the candidate vetting process long before a job offer is made.
Here are five tips managers can follow to bring new employees into the fold and help them thrive in their new role.
- Make onboarding a priority.
You worked hard with human resources to craft an accurate job description, sift through applications, interview candidates, and negotiate an attractive offer. After you pause and pat yourself on the back knowing the hiring process is behind you, now’s the time to help the new employee get acclimated with the work environment, office technology, and duties.
- You’ve already laid the groundwork by having your Information Technology department (IT) set up the workstation and voice mail before he or she arrives.
- You’ve contacted campus security about scheduling your new employee to get a new identification (ID) badge and office keys.
- Onboarding is the component that continues your work and will help your new hire be more productive and, with any luck, more inclined to stay with the company.
- Elements of a successful orientation strategy.
- Structure. Onboarding periods vary depending on an individual company’s needs, but it’s wisest to begin with a schedule. This will enable staff members involved to understand their roles and to budget appropriate time. You should also provide new hires with a schedule so they know what the expectations are for the first few days and weeks on the job.
- A proper welcome. Make it a priority to introduce new hires to their immediate colleagues and others at your company with whom they will interact on a regular basis, and encourage tenured workers to reach out to them. This period of icebreaking will be beneficial to both sides.
Pro tip: Offer coffee and morning pastries or a light lunch as part of your introduction for the new employee.
- Education. During the first 90 days, encourage new employees to learn as much as possible about the company, its history, priorities, and best practices. During this time, provide new hires with information in digestible bites on special initiatives, products and services, major clients, do’s and don’ts, quarterly and annual goals and, most importantly, how their role contributes to the overall organizational picture.
- Set targets for success.
During the starting weeks, provide new hires with tangible short- and long-term goals to work toward in their first 90 days. It’s easier for new hires to hit targets when they know what to aim for. Explain that this list of goals will be part of their 90-day performance review.