Recruitment and Integration 201

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So you just did everything right in hiring a new employee: identified hard and soft skills, evaluated potential, and orchestrated a carefully executed interview process — all resulting in an ideal employment decision.

February 01, 2002

 

Bill Carpitella

So you just did everything right in hiring a new employee: identified hard and soft skills, evaluated potential, and orchestrated a carefully executed interview process — all resulting in an ideal employment decision.

From there, most builders launch a new hire’s career with a short to virtually nonexistent orientation. It’s only right that the new hire begins earning his or her keep and provides immediate return on your investment. Right? Well ... maybe not.

What most builders forget is that employee turnover typically occurs within nine months of hire. Why? These reasons are at the top of the list: poor supervision, little direction, unfulfilled job expectations, improper fit into the work environment and lack of initial preparation for success. The latter is the real culprit and is almost always associated with orientation or, more appropriately, the absence thereof.

I have encountered top-20 builders who give five days or more of new hire orientation, including time with senior executives, beginning with the CEO. Conversely, I have encountered builders who believe that any time spent outside their actual job responsibility area reduces return on investment. Where do you fall within that spectrum?

Maybe you remember the time you started at a new company and the desire to get things going in the right direction.

A new employee is very much like an infant in the early stages of child development. The first behavioral settings and expectations are usually imprinted for life. A proper orientation absolutely should include these elements:

  1. A comprehensive overview of the business: its history, current state and long-term vision.
  2. A detailed overview of how one succeeds culturally within your business and what defines failure.
  3. A robust dialogue on how the employee will fit into the mix. This helps guarantee understanding of what is expected today, tomorrow and by the first review.
  4. An overview of how each employee affects the operation. Paint the picture clearly so the employee can visualize how results depend on his or her contribution.

These processes are best-served if delivered by a well-trained, well-versed employee who tends to be pro-company and can connect easily with others.

Ensuring that this orientation is as informative, comfortable, interesting and directed as possible dramatically increases your chances of launching a productive, satisfied employee who delivers, particularly after the effort you put into creating a win-win interview process.

Make your hard work produce for you long term. Set the stage for success with an orientation that makes a positive difference and sets a standard of excellence.

Bill Carpitella is president and CEO of The Sharrow Group, a Rochester, N.Y.-based human resources firm. Contact him at bill@sharrowgroup.com.

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