It Doesn’t End When the Candidate Says Yes!
Congrats! You have successfully recruited and agreed to terms with the candidate you have been seeking for that critical role. You are done and can return to focusing on your long list of open projects. The new team member will start soon and everything will be perfect. Not so fast!
In the final part of our four-part series on the candidate experience, we’re going to cover how to make sure all your hard work recruiting great candidates doesn’t go to waste. This means onboarding, supporting them, and setting the tone for their career within the company.
A great candidate experience doesn’t end when the candidate says yes. Make sure their onboarding starts immediately, and not only on their first day of employment with your company. This phase in the relationship building process is as critical as the recruiting courtship that you just spent weeks or months pursuing.
Candidate assimilation is just as critical as interviewing
The onboarding and new team member assimilation process is just as critical as the interviewing process. The time between offer acceptance and through the first day in the new role sets the tone for the rest of their time at the company. Make sure you’re setting them up for success.
Assign them a buddy to make their onboarding process more productive and less intimidating. Make sure expectations are clear. Remember, they may have all the skills necessary but your company is still completely new to them, and you most likely have a different “way” for everything you do. Give them the tools to succeed by orienting them. Provide organizational charts, offer tours of the online project management software, and offer tips about the culture and unwritten rituals on the team.
Set very clear expectations for the short-term
To help candidates start off on the right foot, you should set clear and documented expectations for the first week, month, and quarter of a new team member’s experience. Populate their calendar with the regular team meetings. Provide checklists for daily tasks. Be explicit about the progress you’re hoping to see within the first month of their tenure.
Of course, the first 90 days of onboarding are all about getting their sea legs. They will be learning about the company, getting to know their coworkers, and discovering their own preferences. Let them know that they don’t need to overwork themselves to impress you during their first month. Tell them it’s okay to take the time to acclimate. Use clear expectations to reduce anxiety and confusion, and then let them take off the training wheels after the first month.
Facilitate peer-to-peer relationships for new hires
The first day of a new job is a bit like transferring to a new high school. Nobody wants to sit alone in the cafeteria. Thankfully, hiring managers can intervene so that new employees don’t feel left out. Peer-to-peer relationships are critical in making people feel welcome in their new organization. It’s even more important when teams are working remotely.
Facilitate these relationships by assigning the responsibility of advocating for the new team member to a specific company representative. Make sure it’s not their direct manager, as this could bring up conflicts. It’s important that new employees feel safe raising questions. Connect them with an ally to be their buddy for the first month as they acclimate. Create a schedule and add these distinct interactions as calendar invites.
Send out a welcome message on day one and include background about the new team member that might help establish a new connection for them. Identify what the new candidate would like others to know about them and ask them to write their own introduction. Encourage your team to reach out and be friendly. Peer-to-peer relationships are good for retention. They can also help surface issues before they become problems. New hires need to feel like their colleagues want them around, both personally and professionally.
They’re people first, and team members second.
Remember, your new team member has a life outside of their career. They might be dealing with personal events, like a relocation or an ill relative. Make sure you show empathy in the workplace and see them as a human being, not just a solution to a business problem. Talent management is a long game, and employees are a long-term investment. A little patience during someone’s rough patch can pay you back tenfold in the future.
Congratulations! Now you’ve got a great candidate and a solid plan to keep them. We hope this series helped you understand what it takes to attract and retain the best of the best. Bell Falls Search is expert at building successful teams — we offer assistance to emerging growth companies who need great talent to power their ambitious goals. Please reach out today if you need a recruitment process or talent management strategy.