There is no doubt that identifying, recruiting, and hiring the best candidates in the marketplace is not easy. Even if you’re able to accomplish that, it is no guarantee that those candidates will become immediately successful as employees.
Sure, they’re ambitious. Yes, they’re motivated. However, as intelligent as they might be, they’re NOT all-knowing.
That why’s how company officials handle the first few days and weeks of their employment is so important. That’s the time during which the employee must be pointed in the right direction, infused with confidence, and given the inspiration needed to accomplish the great things that they want to accomplish.
How to influence them in a positive way
The good news is that there are things that you can do on these employees’ first few days of work that will influence them in a positive way. The worst thing you can do is nothing, simply leaving them to “fend for themselves.”
You might be thinking, “Well, if they’re that smart, then they’ll figure it out.” There’s a good chance they will, but will how long will it take? How much time, energy, and money will be wasted in the meantime? And will they be as far along as management would like?
While the employee is ultimately responsible for their own success, not everything falls directly on their shoulders. Below are six ways to set your new star employee up for immediate success:
#1—Reinforce their belief that they made the correct decision.
When a candidate accepts an offer of employment, they are rarely 100% sure that they made the correct decision. There is usually, at the very least, a little bit of doubt nestled in the back of their mind. That’s why it’s crucial to set 100% of their mind at ease as soon as they start work. This can be accomplished with a comprehensive onboarding program that addresses all of their concerns.
#2—Reinforce your belief that YOU made the correct decision.
All candidates want to feel as though they’re wanted, and top candidates are certainly no different. In fact, they might yearn for the feeling of being wanted more than most. That feeling is probably one of the reasons they chose to accept your offer of employment. So the goal of the onboarding process should be more than to just onboard them. It should also make them continue to feel wanted and valued by the organization.
#3—Describe (in detail) the value of the organization.
Ideally, your organization’s unique value proposition was one of the reasons that the candidate accepted your offer—and perhaps turned down other offers. More specifically, it was the promise of that value proposition that enticed them. Now you must “make good” on your promise. Explain in detail how the company provides value to both its employees and its customers. It’s important to make the new employee feel as though they’re part of that value and they’ll be a key component of it going forward.
#4—Describe how the employee fits into the company’s vision for the future.
Top candidates (and star employees) are drawn to organizations that cast an ambitious vision of the future. These are goal-oriented individuals, and they want to know what the company has planned in terms of objectives. More than that, though, they want to know where they fit into those plans. The start of their employment is the best time to describe this to them, since they’re excited by the prospect of a new beginning. You want to keep stoking their excitement.
#5—Set expectations for performance (starting with short-term goals).
What you want from your new star employee is productivity. That’s because productivity proceeds profitability. And since they’re an ambitious, proactive, goal-oriented individual, they should be just fine with those expectations. However, the expectations must be communicated to them and they must be clearly defined. That engages the employee immediately and taps into their natural desire to achieve results and achieve them quickly.
#6—Provide feedback and ask questions.
These new employees will undoubtedly have plenty of questions during their first few days and weeks on the job. Make sure that you answer those questions. (If you’re not their boss or supervisor, make sure that somebody answers them.) At the same time, make sure that you—or somebody else—is asking questions to ensure that the employee is on the right track and there is no miscommunication. All it takes is one mixed message or signal to send them down the wrong path.
An important question to consider
As part of a survey that The VET Recruiter conducted last year, we asked candidates what they look for in an employer. Below were some of their answers:
- Company culture/supportive environment
- Integrity/honesty/great reputation
- Fairness/to be treated with respect
- Strong leadership and vision for the future
- Opportunities for growth and advancement
What candidates want in an organization does not change when that candidate becomes an employee of an organization. They want the same things, and they will respond in a positive fashion when it becomes apparent that those things are available and within reach.
Here’s an important question to consider: what’s the point of going to all the trouble of identifying, interviewing, recruiting, and hiring the best candidates in the marketplace if you’re not going to do what’s necessary to ensure that they become productive employees as quickly as possible?
The value of hiring top candidates lies in what they can do for you after they’re hired. That’s why it’s in your organization’s best interests to make sure that they’re onboarded properly, that they’re given ample instruction and resources, and that they’re fully engaged in their position and within the company culture.
Otherwise, you won’t receive a return on the hiring investment of time, energy, and money that you’ve made in the timeframe you want or that your organization needs.
We help support careers in one of two ways: 1. By helping to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2. By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of organizations. If this is something you would like to explore further, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.