Tag Archives: new employee orientation

Job Search tips – part 2

Consider the following guidelines when when beginning a new position.  These guidelines will ensure a positive experience for yourself as well as for the company you chose to work for.business suit

‘on the job’ tips

  • Be sure to be a few minutes early on the first day on the job to familiarize yourself with the office environment and routine. (up to fifteen minutes early is sufficient)
  • Confirm dress code prior to first day on the job. If ever unsure of dress code it is better to be more corporately dressed.
  • Maintain a positive attitude and outlook at all times. This will help you naturally turn problems into opportunities.
  • Plan to have at least one or two relevant questions or statements to ask or comment on during the orientation or training session. This will confirm your interest in the role and the company in general.
  • Come to the first day on the job with a pen and notebook to take notes on new details and general information. Ensure you are clear on any position details.  Ask questions—don’t assume.
  • Send a thank you card to the person that offered you the position. As mentioned in Part 1, in the internet age, this will certainly help you stand out in the long term.
  • Be proactive – if you have completed your assigned work, ask for additional work.
  • Respect company and employee confidentiality regarding any information you learn about the company, other employees’ salaries as well as your own.  Compensation (your own or others) is to be held in strict confidence.
  • If you feel that you ever experience unprofessional behaviour from a peer or manager consider the whole situation and any trends. Once you have done this, look to speak confidentially with the Human Resource Manager.
  • It is not always easy being ‘the new guy’, but your positive outlook will always help you get through.

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photo credit: _Davo_
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Hiring right, the first time.

People responsible for hiring often find themselves hiring in a panic. A vacancy occurs, a job description and employment ad are hastily pulled together and the HR department starts recruiting.

Unfortunately, they have missed the point. It is not just about filling the void with a qualified individual; it is about determining exactly what your company needs to be great and finding someone who will go above and beyond that. A great employee is as much about fit as it is about skill.

True, companies will usually spend more time finding the right person for senior vacancies, but the same level of attention needs to be used for all positions, from entry level and administrative to marketing and customer service.

“Finding someone who fits your corporate culture is, in some ways, more important than finding someone with the right skill set.”
~ Sarah McNeill

It’s in the best interests of every company to hire the greatest person for the position; the flip side is the tremendous cost of hiring the wrong person. There are the obvious costs of re-advertising and re-interviewing, but that isn’t all.

You’ve invested time in orientation and training for the new employee, not to mention the time spent recruiting. If you have to let that person go, that time and money have just walked out the door. Making the wrong hiring decision affects everyone in the company; it reduces productivity, and causes internal turmoil.

If you hire the right people, they can hit the ground running. Bringing them on is virtually seamless. Not only do they take less time to train, but they bring passion for their new job.

What went wrong: a lesson about onboarding

Companies with strong employment engagement usually have clearly defined employee onboarding programs. The best talent is drawn to environments where effective programs exist resulting in high levels of employee engagement and low employee turnover. While it seems like common sense to invest in creating and maintaining these programs, they are often overlooked.

Imagine a situation where a new hire has started at your company but there is no formal onboarding system in place. The new hire has a very important but sometimes undervalued role in the company as the Office Manager/Administrator.   The direct supervisor is a recently new hire themselves so there is no clear direction of what to do. The Office Manager has arrived with a job description in mind but no formal training occurs, nor do they have opportunities to receive weekly or even monthly reviews.  In addition, the busy sales company hasn’t had an Office Manager before as everyone just pitched in. It seemed like everyone assumes the new hire was clear on their job requirements and trained by the other team members.

The rest of the employees couldn’t draw upon history to assist the Office Manager in what to do. Frustration is building with the new hire and in a short time the Office Manager quits and everyone is in shock at what has happened.

This situation could create long-term damage to your corporate brand and could be prevented with an onboarding system in place. Ideally, companies need to plan their program before they start the hiring process. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Your company just needs a well thought out plan with a person accountable to see the new hire through a training-feedback process.

  • Have your new hire’s desk ready with computer log-in, e-mail account and telephone system all up. Don’t forget about business cards.
  • Assign a supervisor who is accountable for training the new hire.
  • Assign a buddy for the first month – nothing breaks the ice more than with a person familiar with the company’s culture and core values. Most importantly – to greet them when they arrive on their first day and show them around.
  • Take your new hire out for lunch on the first day – or coffee at very least
  • Train the new hire with a concise orientation book about your company
  • Seek feedback from the new hire- they can tell you where they need more assistance, clarity or direction
  • Communication is key – use monthly reviews to provide feedback and encourage feedback
  • Inform your employees in advance of the new hire’s arrival. Onboarding starts as soon as the offer letter is accepted, not simply just the new hire’s first day at the company.

Without an onboarding program, the investment in a new hire is likely to be wasted away. By simplifying the onboarding process, employers can expect new employees to hit the ground running, and be able to contribute more quickly to a corporation’s success.

Onboarding Strategies and your Seasonal Workers

During peak periods – around the holidays, tax season or over the summer – it’s critical that businesses can easily manage the addition of temporary employees and quickly get them up to speed. And from recruiting and training to offboarding, seasonal employees can put your human resources software and processes to the test. Not only do you have to find and hire the right people, you have a very short time to train them and get them connected to your organization. Here, I’ve outlined a few ways to go above and beyond your normal onboarding process to get seasonal employees geared up and ready to go.

5 Tips for Onboarding Strategies

Some people may assume I’m focused on training when I say “onboarding,” but the fact is that the employee experience starts in the recruiting stage. With this in mind, here are a few key strategies to help you throughout every phase of the process:

1.  Tailor your recruiting strategies. Your recruiting efforts should be tailored to meet the specific needs of a seasonal workforce. It’s important to make the details of the opportunity clear from the get-go. Also, be wary of how you communicate potential for further employment, as you don’t want folks making assumptions.

2.  Perform due diligence. Don’t skimp on due diligence in collecting legal papers and monitoring employees’ schedules. “A lot of people short-circuit processes like verifying work eligibility or tracking hours correctly. It should go without saying, but you really need to be sure you’re following the law,” says John Rossheim, a senior contributing writer at Monster.com.

3.  Provide proper training. According to Forbes Woman columnist and onboarding expert Emily Bennington, onboarding should focus on integrating new employees in three areas:

  • Technical Skills: To what depth of expertise do seasonal employees need to be trained to perform their jobs?
  • Company Culture: How thoroughly do seasonal hires need to understand company policies and values?
  • Social Integration: In what ways can you connect seasonal employees to your organization so they feel like they are part of the team?

Furthermore, Rossheim suggests designing your seasonal workforce “to accomplish the task at hand, rather than haphazardly training everyone to do everything they may possibly have to do. Specialize rather than throwing everyone into the same bucket.”

4.  Know your capacity upfront. Whether you have a general human resources management system or a hodgepodge of spreadsheets and checklists – it’s important to know your capacity. Can your back-office system efficiently handle an increased volume in applicants and new hires?

5.  Make them part of the team. Seasonal employees can easily feel isolated if an onboarding program doesn’t successfully connect them to the organization. According to Eddie Baeb of Target Corportate Communications, Target is focused on engaging seasonal employees and making them feel just as valued as anyone else from day one. With nearly 40 percent (about 35,800) of seasonal team members joining as permanent employees last year after the holidays, they’ve got this down.

End Things on a Good Note with Offboarding

You may have discovered a few star performers you’d like to bring onto your team permanently. For the rest, though, Bennington says “there’s definitely an opportunity to establish brand ambassadors.” Offboarding provides a chance to make a lasting positive impression, while gaining insight into the worker’s experience.

Standard offboarding practices include surveying workers on their experience. Bennington suggests going beyond surveying, and having one-on-one exit interviews with select employees to get more candid responses.

This guest post was written by: Kyle Lagunas

Kyle Lagunas is the HR Analyst at Software Advice. On the surface, it’s his job to contribute to the ongoing conversation on all things HR. Beyond that, he makes sure his audience is keeping up with important trends and hot topics in the industry. Focused on offering a fresh take on points of interest in his market, he’s not your typical HR guy.

Onboarding = Retention

Both research and common sense tell us it’s wise to invest in preparing employees to be successful at their jobs. Follow up reviews and regular feedback can facilitate a positive relationship between the employer and new hire. Higher engagement equals happy employer and happy employee.

~ Cheryl Nakamoto

Corporate Culture Minute

~ Sarah McNeill

The Rookie Card

A recent conversation with a local business leader stuck with me.  “Ms. Fabulous” shared her philoshophy on new employees: she gives every new hire a Rookie Card. This card allows the bearer to learn, make mistakes and ask multiple questions during the first six months.

As an example, she recently hired someone at an intermediate level with over eight years of industry experience.  I enquired how the new hire was adjusting, and Ms. Fabulous’s response was surprising. With a laugh, she candidly explained the employee had made several small mistakes and was having difficulty navigating their complex regulatory system. However, rather than being upset or concerned, she stated she was thrilled with all the progress! Ms. Fabulous could see that this new employee frequently asked questions and was very engaged in learning their complicated systems. As an experienced and adept manager, she understands every company has slightly different rules of play, even in this particular case where she hired someone from a direct competitor. Regardless of seniority, new employees have to be part-student and part-employee. Ms. Fabulous knows from experience that no external candidate can exceed expectations within a few months in every area, as their business is complex and their standards are high.

The industry buzz about Ms. Fabulous is that she is a sought-out leader who manages an exceptional talent group. Due to her philosophy of hiring people with the best attitudes and promoting from within, she rarely hires above junior level. This has a marvelous side-effect of keeping employees motivated and happy. If you have made a recent hire, regardless of seniority, you might want to consider passing them a Rookie Card. This sets them up for success, which ultimately reflects well on your entire organization.

~ Julie Steele