The good news is you landed that rock star new hire you wanted. The bad news is that you might be missing a valuable opportunity to get him or her off on the right foot. Executive recruiter Steven Raz has worked as a management consulting at industry giant KPMG, and now to runs his own boutique executive search firm, Cornerstone Search Group in Parsippany, N.J.
Here are his tips to super-charge a new employee's first day:
1. Share a taste of the culture. The weeks between "You're hired!" and the employee's first day can be used to get the individual used to the company's culture and expectations. In addition to having your new hire sign forms, contracts, nondisclosure agreements, and direct deposit paperwork, share materials like handbooks, videos, and other collateral material, that gives a flavor of the business culture.
Do you have a creative, open-space environment where people are expected to share? Or is this more of a road warrior culture where your people communicate through video conferencing? Let him or her know more about what to expect on Day One.
2. Schedule Lunch. It's a good idea to schedule a lunch or other informal get-together with your new hire and at least one or two members of the team he or she will be joining prior to the first official day at work, says Raz. "It's never too early to start teambuilding. The sooner these team members are comfortable with each other, the better," says Raz.
3. Assign a mentor. Call it a mentor, colleague, buddy, or whatever you wish--Raz calls it a smart way to start off right. This is different from a management mentor, who would help the individual navigate his or her career path. Instead, Raz recommends assigning another employee to show your new hire around, field basic questions, make introductions, and act as a sounding board, which can go a long way toward alleviating that dreaded "fish out of water" feeling during the first weeks.
This person should be prepared to help with everything from recommending the best coffee spot to showing your new employee how to transfer a call, if necessary.
4. Set some immediate and attainable goals. Talk to your new hire about accomplishing a couple immediate assignments, such as completing a simple project or organizing a small event. The goal should be appropriate for his or her job description and should also be attainable within the first few weeks of their employment. By giving him or her some attainable goals, you'll build morale and allow the new hire to feel a sense of accomplishment right off the bat.