Once you’ve reached a hiring decision, make the offer as quickly as possible so that the candidate doesn’t slip away. Ideally, you should do this face to face. This allows you to review all aspects of the job expectations, the compensation agreement, perks, etc. Plus, it allows the candidate to ask questions, if needed. While making the offer, you should express your excitement that they will be joining the company.
If you have built in a probationary period for new employees, this should be spelled out in the letter of understanding.
If the candidate is reluctant to accept your offer, find out why and try to reach some accord. But, don’t put yourself in the position of doing a lot of renegotiating. Candidates should be excited about coming to work for you. If they aren’t, you should probably look elsewhere.
A Good Start
Getting an employee established in a new job may take some time and effort on your part, but it’s time well spent. A new worker who feels comfortable and welcome will be motivated and productive.
You should have a written, formal orientation and training program. This would cover day one and probably the first six months on a new job. When new employees start, you should have their work station all set up for them. You should take them around and introduce them to the entire team, and explain the work schedule (start, lunch, end of day, etc.).
During this initial orientation, make sure employees are introduced to all company policies and procedures. Give them written copies, and have them sign off on them. This should eliminate future misunderstandings, and provide some legal protection, too.
Be sure to go over the company’s safety programs – including regulations pertaining to OSHA, fire escape routes and what to expect during bad weather. You might assign another employee to help the new hire learn the ropes.
The Performance Evaluation process starts almost immediately. You should have explained your first week, first month and first 180 day expectations to the new employee. You will have gone over the job description, explaining exactly what will be expected, and should follow up with regular performance evaluations.
With skilled workers in such short supply, and given the high cost of hiring and training new employees, you have an obligation to spend all the time, energy and money possible to get new employees off to a good start. By providing frequent on-the-job feedback, you not only build a stronger relationship with employees, you also help them grow in their job.
When It Doesn't Work
Sometimes you can do everything right in the hiring process and still end up with someone who isn’t a good fit for the job. When this happens, it’s best to end the relationship as quickly as possible. Remember, your organization will only be as strong as your weakest employee. You, the boss, have a never-ending obligation to continually mentor, coach and train each and every employee.