Q&A: Hiring New Employees

Q:  We know we hire experienced staff, which permits us to limit our training and have a strong team player when they start with the company. We give all our employees the same orientation however; our new hire turnover rate is higher than expected. Once an employee has been on the job for a year our turnover is low. Can you give us some suggestions we might consider when hiring new employees.
– Keith, Legal Industry
A: Here are some tips on how you can be one of the employers that improve the turnover rate during the first year and save everyone time and the company money. Motivational Manager published an article that provided tips for “Improving The Odds That New Hires Will Take Root.” In the article, it stated studies show the workers most likely to leave an organization are those who just arrived, your new hires.

???  Define your needs. If every employee receives the same introduction to your organization – Big mistake. While some aspects of the orientation should be the same for everyone, for instance, distribution of the employee handbook, showing them around the building, or introducing the management team, the other parts of the orientation should be personalized. Look at the job description of your new hire and make a list of the things they must know in order to quickly get up and running. Then determine how you can provide for each person’s specific needs.

Remember, just because someone is highly qualified for a job does not mean they know your culture, processes, style of presentation, etc.

  • Ask for feedback. The best way to learn whether you’re welcoming, and the orientation is accomplishing its purpose, is by asking new employees for their feedback immediately (one to two weeks) after they join the team and then again three and six months later. Questions might be – What information provided was useful? What wasn’t? How are you doing? Are we meeting your expectations? Do you feel you are meeting our expectations? What can be done better next time we have a new hire? Don’t forget to thank them for sharing their point of view with you.
  •  Assign a mentor. More and more companies are assigning mentors to new employees. You will want the mentor to have, or have had, similar duties to those of your new hire. The mentor can help shepherd the new employee through the process and introduce them to others who may be of assistance. Use orientation as an opportunity to bring these people together. Just be sure you pair the new hire with staff who are positive role models.
  • Allow sufficient time. It takes time to adjust to a new culture, new people and new processes and procedures. I have seen clients that want to show the new employee where the restrooms are and then want the new employee to sit at their desk and get the job done. Don’t expect new hires to become perfectly molded to your organization after a single orientation session. Orientation is a beginning. It’s important you follow up after the initial welcome with ongoing feedback and reinforcement and that you give your hires sufficient time to adapt to their new environment. The more time given in the beginning will pay great dividends long term. 
  • Promote ongoing development. Training shouldn’t end with orientation.Demonstrate your commitment to professional growth by scheduling new hires for follow-up training at regular intervals. Engage a coach and/or set up leadership training for your staff and ask the new hires to participate. If they see you are committed to them, they will typically remain committed to you.

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By Kerry Sokol