The first 90 days: Making a new hire a successful part of your team

20.06.2017 Daniel Goldstein

It all started when you had the role signed off, worked your literary magic on a compelling job description, advertised it on various platforms, searched for skilled candidates on LinkedIn, asked your team for referrals, sifted through endless applications, interviewed and you’ve now had one of your offers accepted. They are perfect for the role. Yes!

So, what now? Many organisations see this as the end of the hiring process but how can you ensure they are a success in the role? Recent data indicates that 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years or more if they experienced great onboarding.

The first 90 days therefore are critical and can be make or break in determining the long-term future of your new team member.  This is your chance to gain a committed member of your team.  If you don’t and on the flip side there’s a chance that they could become disillusioned and leave before their probation finishes – a costly (and annoying) mistake.

Here’s our recommendations on how to give your new hire a great onboarding experience and help them to love your organisation:

1. Build relationships before the start date

Importantly, the first 90 days of a new hire begin before they even sit at their desk for the first time. The best way to make a new recruit part of the team is to try and make them part of the team immediately. Take the opportunity to invite new hires to your social events and to get involved with their colleagues as soon as possible.

In fact, the earlier you can start building relationships between team members, the quicker you can integrate them into your team the quicker they can start collaborating as well as helping to build team spirit – and loyalty.

2. Be honest and open from the outset

In an effort to attract the very best recruits, you may be tempted to oversell the role – don’t. Nothing will bring the illusion to an end quicker than your new hire realising that it’s not all rainbows and unicorns.

By all means emphasise the positives of a role but make sure you are realistic, both at interview and every day thereafter.  Giving a balanced view of the pro’s and con’s of the role and a clear vision of the future will help ensure your new recruit understand what they need to do today as well and helping be a part of your future vision.

3. Think beyond the recruit

Your new recruit may have a family and it is a great idea to consider them as part of the onboarding too.. For roles requiring relocation, consider inviting spouses to experience the area for themselves – by selling your candidate and their partner on your organisation and location, there is a far greater chance of getting them to say “yes”.

Once your offer has been accepted, you should also welcome the family. Some orgs operate social networks that involve family members – if yours does, make sure new hires are invited to engage as early as possible too. And if you organise family socials, make sure invites include any new hires yet to start.

4. Promote your culture from day one

The minute your new hire arrives on site you need to immerse them in your culture. If they understand your values and what represents good work, they will find it much easier to fit in. They’ll also be a lot more productive.  Communicate with them extensively and encourage interaction with everyone including those outside of their direct team.  This will help them to see the bigger picture and help them navigate your organisation more quickly.

5. Manage well

The manager plays a crucial role in helping a new hire thrive in their first 90 days. Ideally you can work with your new employee to build short, medium and long term goals that help them feel successful quickly and align their efforts with your wider goals.

Some managers achieve this by arranging short and frequent syncs, allowing the new employee some time to drive the agenda. These informal discussions are a great opportunity to discuss small issues and to help them feel in control of achieving success.

Making time for success

By taking a holistic and organised view of the new hire and their needs, you can begin increasing their chances of success straight away. Indeed, engaging these people on a personal level as soon as possible will help them begin to integrate well before their first day in the office and help forgive any challenges you may have during the first 90 days

Ultimately, if someone feels part of the team, they’ll be setup to excel, creating a long-term partnership (and hopefully friendship!) in the process.