March 10, 2020

Don’t Lose an Employee in Their First Week!

By Paul Bieber

Huh? A survey I recently read said that of employees who leave jobs, over 30% do so in their first week. Don’t let this happen to you. Employees are too scarce for any glass shop to just let someone leave. It has cost you a ton of money to hire John Doe. You had two interviews, spent time chasing references and maybe paid a hiring agency a small fortune to bring John to you.

Why would an employee leave you so early on? Possibly John was not fully understanding of the job he was to do. In the interview, take time to show John the work environment, detail his responsibilities and make sure he understands them. If the job is a physical one (and most in our industry are), then field test John to see that he can handle the job duties. Give John a skills test for math, using a tape measure, handling a screw gun or a hacksaw. Have your foreman meet with John before the offer of hiring and ask the foreman’s opinion after their meeting.

Do a thorough job of checking references, which is hard to do today. A lot of companies won’t give out info today. But try talking with the owner instead of an office manager or personnel. You really want to find out why your new applicant left the previous position. You may spot a problem which would signal a ‘no-hire’ for you.

Always make your offer of employment what is called a “conditional offer” based on drug-testing and a physical with a doctor or a physical therapist. If John passes these then he has a true offer of employment.

Listen to John’s questions during your interviews and make sure he understands what he is to do. During the critical first week, have John mated up with your best foreman to teach him the ropes in your company. Touch base with him every afternoon, for maybe a minute or so, just to continue welcoming him and answer any questions he may have.

Look seriously into any questions John has about the leadership of your foremen. Look at all of the people who have left you. Did they all work for one person? If so, maybe you need some management training along with your hiring process.