Don’t “Surprise” New Hires
Nothing is worse than getting off on the wrong foot with a new hire who is suddenly caught off guard about some aspect of the job. It sets the stage for all kinds of trouble that can eventually lead to the employee quitting and adding to your turnover number. The goal is to have the employee feel great about the decision to join your company. Making this happen starts in the selection process, where you have an opportunity to paint a positive, yet accurate picture of what it’s like to work at your organization. It then requires you to resist overselling the company or job, a pitfall that can result in people feeling deceived and duped. Always painting a true, credible depiction of your business and its culture will support healthy, long-term relationships with your new hires.
When considering potential job candidates, avoid assuming they know what you want them to know. Always be as upfront and clear as possible…
…about the job. Candidates need to know the responsibilities, duties and expectations of the position. If everyone in the company works one Saturday a month, if weekly travel is involved, or if employees must be proficient with a certain type of software — make sure all such information is crystal clear. Also let them know what “success” looks like, e.g., discussing goals, accountability, evaluations, good habits, critical processes and procedures, pay, benefits, and rewards or other perks, etc. Make sure you’re profiting a 360-degree picture of the position, emphasizing any vital aspects of the job’s responsibilities, duties and expectations.
…about the boss. While it’s ideal to have a face-to-face interview meeting between the boss and the potential employee, that doesn’t always happen in the hiring world. But regardless of whether it’s the boss communicating with that candidate in person or it’s a hiring manager tasked with the duty, that job prospect needs to know about the boss, including some honest information about his/her work traits, company priorities and leadership style. The boss-employee dynamics should also be discussed, so that this potential hire isn’t blindsided there. Explain how much they can expect to be working solo vs. in a team with the boss. Again, review what “success” looks like from the boss’s point of view. If this candidate looks great on paper but is clearly not the best “fit” for the boss’s expectations and goals, this is a major red hiring flag.
…about the company. Potential hires need to know about the environment in which they’ll work. Is it casual or formal? Is it a place in which creativity thrives or is it a bit more rigid in terms of how it operates and achieves its goals? Is it fast-paced and full of exciting unknowns vs. more methodical and rooted in certainty? Paint that picture of the company and its culture, so your job candidate won’t be caught off guard by the atmosphere, behaviors, and personality of the place and its people. Also, make sure you’ve communicated core aspects or critical facts about the company that are important to making it a hiring success. For example, if the company takes pride in having a team of staff members who have all worked with Fortune 1000 clients in the past, this sort of information is important to share. These little factoids and nuggets of truth can help shape a solid depiction of what sort of company it is. Also, consider communicating key company values and ethics. Finally, make sure that if there are any company “Dos and Don’ts,” make those part of this discussion with your candidate. You don’t want to go through the costly onboarding and/or training process with anyone only to discover they don’t agree with a particular company rule or regulation.
What do you feel is important to communicate upfront to potential hires that can make or break their long-term success?