Onboarding new employees can be an arduous process. First, you have to create job listings and read resumes and cover letters. After this, you have to pick a few candidates and conduct interviews that actually tell you something about them—no easy task.
But even after you’ve selected the right candidate for the position, arguably the most important part of the onboarding process is still left to be done: getting the new employee up to speed to the point at which he or she can start producing. It’s especially important for start-ups and small businesses to make this process as smooth as possible, because the growth of the company is often tied to new workers’ abilities to be quickly initiated into the work flow.
Entrepreneur.com’s Gwen Moran recently talked to seasoned executive recruiter Stephen Raz about his recommendations for quickly assimilating employees on their first day, as to start this process as quickly as possible.
Raz’s top recommendation is to give new employees a taste of the workplace culture. How do employees typically communicate with each other? What are some unwritten (or written) rules he or she might otherwise overlook? Are there handbooks or videos that may be helpful for workplace initiation? Familiarizing employees with with workplace culture on their first days should be just as important as making sure they’ve filled out their paperwork.
Another important to-do for a new hire’s first day is to set up a lunch with the rest of the team members they’ll be working with. This is a great way to kick off the teambuilding process and help each side get familiar with the other.
Your new hire will undoubtedly have a ton of questions in their first few weeks, so Raz recommends assigning new employees a mentor who can help answer these questions, which can range from “how do I go about tracking my time” to “what’s the nearest sushi restaurant.” Assigning new hires a mentor will save them uncertainty and save you time, because you won’t have to be the one answering all of their questions.
Finally, take the time on each new employee’s first day to set some short-term goals relevant to their new position. Failure to do so could leave new hires feeling uncertain, so get them motivated and provide them with a chance to earn a sense of accomplishment right off the bat.
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