During the interview and selection process, it can be easy for a hiring manager or company to forget that the new employee is interviewing the company, manager and team just as much as the company is looking for the best candidate for the job. Recruiters, HR leaders and managers spend so much time narrowing a competitive pool of applicants (many of whom look really, really good on paper) that by the time The One has been finally been selected, they immediately jump into Let’s Get This Rockstar Started mode.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing…it’s great to engage that incumbent right away. Does this sound familiar, hiring managers?
Related post: An Open Letter to Hiring Managers
As you are preparing for the arrival of your newest employee, it’s important to know that she probably has a number of questions bubbling beneath the surface. Questions that she might be holding back, for one reason or another. As the hiring manager, anticipate these 5 questions and incorporate them into your preboarding and onboarding plans:
1. Will I fit in with the team?
Do what you can to make introductions early. Start getting your new employee acquainted to the existing team. Encourage your team to connect with the new employee on LinkedIn or send a quick, friendly email. Create a “Who’s Who” document with photos of the team, their roles and contact information – include any key individuals the new employee will be working closely with. And be sure to organize a team lunch or social event shortly after the new employee starts!
2. Will the reality of the job/company match what I was told during the interview?
During your new employee’s first days, it is important to clear your calendar to spend ample time with the new employee. Discuss the job description. If anything has changed since the interview, or if there were any “gray areas” about the role, be sure to clarify and set expectations right away. Your new employee deserves to have a clear understanding of what is expected of her.
3. What kind of training will I receive after I start?
Prior to her first day, share an onboarding schedule with your new employee. By communicating any organization- or team-sponsored events, training or meetings upfront, you are alleviating possible stress or “fear of the unknown” that may be on her mind. It also sends a clear message to the new employee that her manager has an organized plan in place. This sets a foundation of trust: something that is easy to build, but difficult to RE-build if broken.
4. How will I contribute?
In addition to reviewing the job description and discussing the role, projects and responsibilities, take a moment to identify a few quick wins. Provide opportunities for the new employee to work independently and showcase the strengths for which she was chosen. This makes both the new employee and her manager (read: you) look good!
5. What set me apart from the other candidates?
In an earlier post, I shared a piece of advice for hiring managers to connect with their new employee and build her confidence. Remember, she has chosen your organization (and YOU) just as much as you have chosen her over the other candidates. Remind her of WHY you chose her for the role and what value she brings to your team. If you remind the new employee of this from the beginning, she will be more likely to spend every day proving it to you.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times…but it bears repeating: Be the manager you would want to work for. Prepare for and answer these 5 questions, regardless of whether your new employee asks them.
Because chances are, they’re on that new employee’s mind.
Your turn: What conversations do you have with a new employee, either before or after the start date? Share your go-to talking points in the comments below!
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