August 23, 2009

The Final Steps in Hiring

By Paul Bieber

You have decided to hire Richard Newguy. He fits the job to a T. You interviewed him twice, checked his last job reference, and you are ready to call Richard and offer him the job. The next couple of days determine whether Richard will be a success at your shop, and Richard has nothing to do with it. It is up to you!

Two different processes here. One is getting Mr. Newguy ready, and the other is preparing your current people to accept him and make him feel part of the team.

Let’s work on Mr. Newguy. After he says “‘YES”, plan one short meeting with him to give him your employee manual and insurance sign-up paperwork. (If you don’t have an employee manual, start now planning to create one) Have Richard read the employee manual front cover-to-cover.

Send Richard for his drug-testing at this point. (If you are not drug testing, what are you waiting for–more on this another day.) Make a copy of his driver’s license to send to your insurance company for a motor vehicle department background check. (We’ll cover this another time, too.)

You are giving Richard a “conditional” offer of employment, that is he is hired if he passes his drug test and driving background search. You cannot withdraw your offer if he does pass. Call him as soon as these tests come back and congratulate him on officially becoming an employee.

If he is working out a two-week notice at a previous employer, contact him every couple of days. If Richard is as good as you hope, his current boss will be attempting to retain him with offers of more money or responsibility. This will turn heads if the offers are enough. By keeping in touch, he is reminded of his commitment to you. Tell him, if an offer comes up, where was the current employer before this? Why did it require Richard giving notice in order to get his long overdue raise? This is a critical time in Richard’s mind. He is weighing the devil he knows, versus your unknown.

Have his new supervisor call during this period also. You want to start to develop the relationship that will be so important. If Richard asks you questions, tell him his supervisor will call back with the answers. This helps cement the line of authority. Make sure the supervisor has briefed Richard on your dress codes, parking spaces, lunch options, and an overview of what his first couple of days will be like. Emphasize that he will get plenty of help and training so he can be successful.

On the evening before his last day at the current job, make one last phone call. Tomorrow he will probably have a small party and say good-bye to his friends. They will all say how much they will miss Richard and this will tug on him. Fortify him with the knowledge that he is joining a new family and a new career with your company. Also, remind him what he needs to bring with him for Monday morning, things like driver’s license, immigration paperwork if relevant, and a signed copy of the receipt for the employee manual.

At your company, tell people that Richard Newguy will be joining you and what his responsibilities will be, who his supervisor is, and who may be reporting to him. Have your personnel office, or your secretary, or whomever handles this ready for him on Monday morning. Have his payroll created so that there is no running around. Get the paperwork out of the way as quickly as possible. Have his supervisor give Richard a tour of the whole place, introducing Richard as they walk through. Everyone should be expecting him and should greet him by name.

Changing jobs is traumatic for the individual. They always say: “Should I have done this? ” There is Monday-morning quarterbacking for the first couple of days, until they settle in. Assign a buddy to work with Richard and show him the ropes. Have the buddy go to lunch with Richard for a day or two and generally be his guide to the area.

Check in with Richard after his first day and answer any questions. Do this again on his third or fourth day, and at the end of that session, declare him ready to go to work!