Sorry for keeping you on the edge of your seat for the past month! As a quick refresher, last month, we talked about the first three impressions you have the opportunity to make on a new hire: 1) Your Job Ad, 2) Your Application and Filtering Process, and 3) Your Interview Process. Making massively impactful impressions through that process is the key to finding and engaging the A-players you want to attract to your company. Impressions 4, 5, and 6 are all about bringing it home and keeping those studs around for the long haul. Go back and refresh yourself on last month’s article, just for good measure, and then let’s dig into and bring it home!
Impression #4: Your onboarding process
Just because you’ve officially made the hire does not mean you are out of the impression woods. In fact, you are now about halfway. We hear so often about the number of people we interview, make an offer to, get an acceptance, and then they never show up on day one. That’s because we lose them at step 3 (and maybe we even lost them before step 3, they were just hedging their bet with our offer). In a tight labor market like we have today, this isn’t a huge surprise. The candidate we liked and tried to hire also applied and interviewed at multiple other places. They accepted our job and a handful of others, and the one that pans out the best (a.k.a makes the most positive impression) is the one they show up to on day one. They may even be waiting to decide until after they show up at your job, or even another company’s job before they decide where they really want to be working. To win over this employee, the onboarding process needs to be painless and self-explanatory. If your onboarding involves a whole pile of documents to sign and a bunch of hoops for that employee to jump through, you likely will lose them over to a path of lesser resistance. If you can digitize this process and get it in an ATS, payroll system, or some other automated form that they can complete right from their phone, you have the best chance of getting your new hire documents completed and the new hire into your training program.
Impression #5: Day One
In our industry, it is most common for employees to leave or be let go in their first week on the job. If they are leaving, it’s generally because we missed this opportunity to make a lasting positive impression on them. I recall one story that took place at one of our offices. A new employee showed up and had to walk past a few other employees standing outside the main entrance, smoking and complaining about another employee. The new hire asked if they were in the right place, and one of the loitering employees pointed to the door. When the new employee walked in, she was greeted by a chorus of Monday morning work complaints about jobs on the schedule for that day and numerous other nuisances. A few people stopped to look at the new employee but didn’t say anything, just stared at her like she was in the wrong place. Most others didn’t even notice her, though. Finally, the manager came in and rushed her through a quick office tour and sent her on her way with one of the disgruntled cleaners for her first day of training. Would you believe that the employee didn’t show up for day two?
Here are a few of the sub-impressions we missed. We could have had a greeter meet the new employee at their car or outside the front door. We could have had a policy to smoke away from the main entrance. We could have had core values based on positivity and given a different vibe upon entering the office. We could have offered the new employee something to eat or drink. We could have introduced that new hire to all employees with a handshake and excitement about them being on the team. We could have taken them through some training videos or something at a slower pace to get them acquainted further with what is to be expected and how they can crush it at our company. This is a true story, and we have since done all of those things. It’s obvious but astounding at the difference it makes when you make the right impression on day one.
Impression #6 : Day One out of training
We are almost out of the woods with critical impressions, but there is one big impression left that can make or break all of the work we’ve done up to this point, and that is the experience the new employee has when they get out of training. Often times we have our process dialed-in to get the employee through our training process, but then all of a sudden, things start to change on them. Their pay might change, their job expectations and responsibilities might change, their hours might change, etc. All of these changes are fine and to be expected as a trainee moves on to being a productive employee. Still, if we have been poor at communicating or have been misleading through the first five impressions, then it will leave the new employee feeling duped if the goalposts are all of a sudden changed and their expectations are not met. Hence we need to be setting this impression up right from the get-go, over-communicating what a day in the life of a full-time employee is like and ensuring that we hit that mark with the ultimate role they were hired for.
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Dan Platta – CEO – Blue Skies Services
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