We have all been there. You walk into your new office. You’re excited, maybe a little nervous, but ready to take on this new challenge. And…no one is expecting you. The receptionist says, “Oh, was that today?? No one told me. I’m not sure where to have you start…” Bad first impression, sure, but what’s the big deal?
The big deal is that in today’s market, qualified job seekers have choices. Chances are that from the time you agree to hire them to the time they walk in your door, they have had multiple other requests for interviews and maybe job offers. You spent time finding and qualifying just the right person for this position. Do you want your new employee to walk away on that first day, thinking about finding a better job?
Map Out Day 1 for New Hires
Before your new hires walk in the door, you should have their first day mapped out. What do they need to get done, where do they need to go, and whom do they need to meet? Once you have their day planned out, then you are ready for their first day.
Obviously the first, most important step is to have someone there waiting to greet them. Whether it’s the receptionist, a team member, or their new supervisor, someone should be waiting to greet them enthusiastically and get them started. We all know paperwork is a big part of any new hire experience. Have you thought about automating your process? You could put all forms that a new hire needs online, perhaps in an HR section on your Intranet so your new hires have all the forms they need in one place. If you HR director is willing, you might have him or her film a short segment welcoming new hires and telling them what forms they need to fill out, where to find them, and any HR info that they need to get started. This saves time for your HR director, who no longer has to find each new hire at the start of their first day and go over this info with them. It also saves time for your new hires, who can get started on the dreaded paperwork as soon as they have their new computers ready.
Have Their Technology Ready To Go
And speaking of their computers, do you have them ready to go as soon as the new employees walk in? Has tech support put all of the needed software on their desktops along with shortcuts to the company website as well as websites they will frequently use? Is each temporary login and password waiting with each new laptop, ready to get started? We live in an impatient world and many new hires want to move quickly. Can you match their need for speed by having everything they need ready before they walk in your door?
Let Them Know Who People Are and Who to Contact
One last, really useful, item should be ready for your new hires on that first day. Provide a virtual business card file for each person in the company, loaded onto their new computer, with a picture, contact info, and short job description. Have each person in your company create a virtual business card with the information above and then have a company exchange. As you add new hires, they can have this valuable information at their fingertips from the first day on; one of their tasks can be to create and share their own business cards with the group. Think of it as a virtual meet and greet.
Giving your new hires a great first day will set the tone for a great long-term relationship and a successful career.