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4 Things To Do Right The First Time With New Hires

Written by David Jones on June 14, 2017

When you need a new employee, do you toss up a quick post on Craigslist by copying and pasting a job description you found on an official job website? Do you relist a former ad for the position? Furthermore, how much involvement do you have in your new hire process from start to finish?

Unless you have a proven training program in place like most major corporations, you should be completely involved in hiring and onboarding your new staff members, starting with the ads you create.

The onboarding and training process for new hires is inefficient in most companies, and it might have something to do with business owners wanting a hands off approach. That’s fine once your gears are all moving in the same direction, but if you haven’t established a solid foundation of tracks for those gears to follow, it’s too early to go hands off. Your onboarding process should be quick and smooth with minimized errors to be effective.

Here are 4 tips to do things right with your new hires so you can avoid the onboarding and training mistakes that cost some businesses their A players:

1. Don’t lure in prospects with exaggerated ads

Whether you realize it or not, your relationship with your new employee begins with their first impression of your company. For most employees, that first experience occurs with the job posting they respond to.

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is crafting ads that sound good and look good, but don’t target their actual needs. Yes, you want to land a rockstar employee, but rockstars aren’t fooled by fancy words and big numbers.

Don’t write an ad that tells people they’ll have the unique opportunity to gain exposure in the industry or their job will be to make the world a better place through building relationships. That tells your prospects nothing about what they’ll actually be doing.

Instead, write your ads with the intention of telling people what they’ll be doing, and what a day at the office looks like. If you’re looking for a programmer to write custom quiz software, mention that in your ad. Those details might excite people who would otherwise be unmoved by the words “looking for a software programmer.”

2. Understand the credentials you list as requirements

Chances are, you’ve missed out on several perfect employees because your ad has requirements they don’t meet – and those requirements aren’t actually necessary. For example, many businesses post ads asking for web designers who are proficient in HTML5, CSS3, Photoshop, Java, Javascript, PHP, WordPress, Python, Ruby, XML, and C+. This would make sense if the company’s assets or projects were written in any of these languages; most of the time they aren’t.

When filling a role in your company, do some research with your team to find out what qualifications are actually necessary. You may not understand the full extent of the duties performed by your former employee, but your team will.

You might think you need a website developer and programmer proficient in all the latest languages but if your website is built on WordPress, you don’t need someone fluent in C+.

If you can’t directly tie a credential to the actual job role, then don’t list it in your ad.

3. Eliminate self-service onboarding

Onboarding and training new employees was never designed to be a self-serve process, at least not by any business that knows how to do it right. If you’ve developed a system where you place a stack of papers on your new hire’s desk and expect them to onboard themselves, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.

Self-service onboarding doesn’t create rockstar employees. People learn better when they’re instructed personally. It’s okay to have some resources for self-help, but it should be supplemental to a well thought out training program.

Instead, consider taking a couple of days to personally orient your new hires to their new environment and take them through the day with you and ask questions in person. This will save you time and is an efficient way to get your new hires to absorb the information.

4. Always give clear directions

An Accountemps study reports that 44% of employees and 60% of managers say that mastering new processes and procedures is their number one concern when taking on a new job.

Nothing confuses new hires more than receiving conflicting directions about what to do and who to report to. This may be ignored by your seasoned staff, but if you want to keep those new hires, you need to be clear with them from the start.