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Are you rolling out the red carpet for new hires and rehires? Is the red-carpet shabby chic or worn and threadbare?

We can no longer take the new hire welcome for granted. Organizations today must put their best foot forward when it comes to new hires. Don’t lose this fresh asset immediately on Day 1 in the organization.

A strong onboarding program will help retain the new hire that you desperately need. In this tight market where there are more jobs than people to work in those jobs, you need these new hires to stay. Before we dive into the first day on the job, let’s back up a moment. Was the recruiting process something that you as the employer could be proud of? We have addressed this in past columns, but it is worth mentioning again. Here are a few things to ask yourself as a new hire is settling in.

The Job File

1. Were all applicants given timely feedback and communication during the process?

2. Do you maintain a file for each job that records all those that applied, all that were interviewed, and all that were selected?

3. Does each position that you fill get reviewed by management before deciding to fill? Do you have a job description on file for every job?

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4. Are applicants notified whether they were selected for the role once the position is filled?

5. Do you keep records of all communication with applicants (best practice)?

Day 1 

Now, on to the first day for your new hire. How do you communicate with this person before they start? Do they know where to go? Are they assigned a “buddy” or “partner” for the first day to make sure that first day is a success and they arrive at where they need to be? Take it from me, if the employer has multiple buildings within the same town, it is nice to have a map and standard instructions for all.

Put yourself in new hire shoes for a moment. First impressions are important. Likewise, new hires will always remember how they were treated during those first few days on the job. I can think about all of the jobs that I had, and I remember that first day. I remember which jobs were ready for me and which were not. I remember which places I had to assemble my own workstation and those that were set up for me down to the supplies on the desk. I am not even speaking about how I was treated. Some organizations have your new boss come and eat lunch with you. Now that is red carpet treatment.

What about the things that a new person really needs to know? Where is the restroom? Where should you park? Where can you put your coat? Should you bring your lunch? Do other people eat in the breakroom? I remember wishing that I knew the answer to all these things or that I had a fairy godmother that I could ask. Some places have a person like that, a person that will help new people. In some organizations, this is assigned and in some places a person takes on this role informally. If you do not have this role assigned, do it right away. This is very important. Pay attention to who you assign this role to. Not everyone would want to do this and not everyone would be good at it.

Encourage the rest of the organization to not be a stranger when it comes to welcoming new members on board. Whether or not you are a leader in the organization, it does not matter, take this into your own hands and speak to the new hire. Go out on a limb and if you can manage it, be friendly. Step outside of your comfort zone. Remember the Golden Rule. You could be the person that makes a day turn from good to great.

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Angela Holmes is a HRCI certified human resource expert, writer and public speaker.  She is best known for her human resource career in Williamson and Jefferson, IL counties.  Angela is the Vice President of Human Resources at National Railway Equipment Co. (NRE) and can be reached at angelaeholmes2@gmail.com, follow her on Twitter at @Angela_Holmes_1 and Instagram at @aholmes91

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