Are all stakeholders engaged and involved?
Manage expectations, don’t over promise and under deliver, a mantra I live by and believe has helped me to build long term and trusted relationships. As a recruiter we often have to help to manage / guide expectations set by the client to pre-empt and buffer any potential areas of disappointment for the candidate in the early phase of their new role. If you’ve created a big hurrah during the ‘attraction’ stage make sure when it comes to ‘onboarding’ it has the same feel and level of energy and consideration. It is not unusual to feel once you have been successful in securing your candidate that you can relax and let things just take their natural course with little input. Remember emotions are heightened when people move on to new ventures. The candidate could be feeling pressure, most likely self-induced, on their first few days, possibly even questioning the move they made. Your style of ‘meet and greet’ / ‘welcome’ is an opportunity to ensure they don’t question their decision for any longer than necessary and a chance for you to reinforce your values, approach, and culture. Plan for their first day / week / month in advance and involve the necessary people to ensure you make the best possible impression.
Recruiting the right person into your business takes careful planning and a fair amount of effort and investment of time and money, usually from a number of key stakeholders. Securing the candidate of choice in a competitive market does not happen by chance. Let’s rewind a few weeks / months even, to recall the kick-off meeting discussing the role remit, the person brief, the team dynamic, the salary to be paid, the future development of this person etc, etc. And that’s before you have even started to speak to recruitment partners, assess shortlists and meet with real live prospects.
We know it can feel like a bit of a marathon sometimes and on top of your ‘day job’ however it is a critical task that falls to you once in a while, often at the most inconvenient of times.
Now let’s fast forward to a better place, the candidate has accepted your offer, notice period worked and the start date finally pops up in your calendar. Had you parked the date and not given it much thought? Can you reignite the interest of the original stakeholders who invested their time, are they going to be able to help you make the candidate feel welcome, and spend some time with them given their hectic workload?
Your new person needs to feel welcomed into the business and their respective team for them to start off on the right foot and to be able to start to piece together the team dynamics, values, and culture of the business. If their transition into the business is smooth and inclusive with a level of consistency, they will be up and running that much quicker than if they are left to fend for themselves. How much hand holding needed will depend on the person, however everyone needs a guide and a helping hand to navigate though their first few weeks. This is not the time to throw them to the sharks and test their resilience. Being blasé about them now that you have them on board can be a reckless game to play. The first 90 days of a new starter can be a bumpy road and the more you can iron out for them the better chance you have of keeping them.
In conclusion investing time with your new starter, over delivering on their expectations, and making them feel welcome doesn’t cost a thing but it can result in a huge cost if you don’t do it well and have to revert back to Plan A