Hiring: Job offer and first day

Jan. 30, 2017

Congratulations! You’ve found the ideal candidate for the position. The next step is to offer him or her the job. I am a firm believer that the new hire’s direct supervisor should be the one to tender the offer.  However, it is important that the HR department (if you have one) or your attorney review the offer letter to make sure it contains protections you may need later in the event you have to terminate the employee.

Once an offer is made, we enter what I call “No Man’s Land.” This is the time when new hires typically hear nothing from you. Unfortunately it is also the time when the candidates existing employer is likely to do everything in his power to get the employee to stay and fellow employees will be sending him notes and making comments about how much they are going to miss him.

This is the most dangerous time in the hiring process. You should find every way to pay attention to your new hire so instead of them reminiscing about the good times at their old job they will be excited about all the things that will be happening at the new job.

During the time between the job offer and the first day of work, have members of the team reach out to the new hire to welcome him or her. The supervisor should send a follow up note with information about the first day on the job.

For most new hires there is anxiety surrounding the first day at work even over things as simple as lunch. Your note should include what the plans are for lunch — hopefully you are taking the new hire out. It should also contain information on how to get into the building, parking, etc.

You can also use this time to mail a welcome packet that includes a quick note saying that you are excited this person is joining your company along with business cards (if they are ready), and any branded items you want to give them.

You can also send pre-employment paperwork so they can fill it our before they arrive on the first day.

It is extremely important to have an onboarding process that begins on the employees first day because statistics show that companies with onboarding processes have a better success rate with employee retention.

Surveys show that:

  • 40% of turnover is within the first month
  • 10% more occurs before the first anniversary
  • 91% of employees are retained in companies with formal onboarding processes

I cannot stress this enough: have a plan. There is no formula for what to include in a plan so set something up that works for you.

Here are some things you may want to have in place for the employee’s first day:

  • An available cleaned-out office or cubicle, outfitted with a phone, computer and any other needed equipment and tools
  • A schedule of the activities for the first day
  • Introductions to other team members
  • An orientation to the building pointing out things like the location of the bathroom, lunchroom and vending machines
  • A review of departmental and corporate policies and procedures including timesheets, vacation/sick leave, work rules, etc.

During the first six months of employment, have monthly meetings with the new hire in which you discuss progress and address any questions and concerns they may have or that you may have about their performance.

After the first six months, prepare a formal evaluation and celebrate the completion of the probationary period.

Again, it does not matter what your onboarding practices include; what’s important is the fact that you have taken the time to develop a formal process for getting a new hire acclimated to your company.

Remember, it take three times an employee’s salary to recruit and hire their replacement. A little attention at the beginning of their tenure with your company is a good way to help ensure they stay with you for years to come.

This is my last blog in the hiring process series, but I am always happy to answer your hiring process questions.

About the Author

Jane Clark | Senior VP of Operations

Jane Clark is Senior Vice President, Operations for NationaLease. Prior to joining NationaLease, Jane served as Area Vice President for Randstad, one of the nation’s largest recruitment agencies, and before that, she served in management posts with QPS Companies, Pro Staff, and Manpower, Inc.

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