Does your firm provide fertile soil in which your newly hired talent can flourish? I recently read an article in which the author and researcher raised the question of whether top talent is “portable”, and the individual would succeed in any environment. Interestingly, even top performers in seemingly individual roles (i.e., financial broker) were often not as successful after a move to a new firm if that new firm did not have a process providing support during the transition and a support structure that encouraged success long-term. It may sound cliché, but we should ask ourselves, “What can we do today to improve our onboarding process for new hires supporting our employees, allowing them to reach their highest possible level of performance?”
Dare we let our best assets, top talent, wilt on the vine?
Below are some easy tips to help support your newly hired talent start off with success!
- Details matter. Do your best to have the workspace ready (computer, phone, pens, note paper) and business cards ordered prior to the start date. It can take some time for a new employee to feel at home, but an employer who makes a place for someone sends the message that they care.
- Communication! Share any information on paperwork they will need to bring their first day, an agenda of what they can expect that day, any parking information, and a quick summary of the company’s dress code so they don’t feel out of place.
- Let your current employees know! Email your team letting them know the name of who is starting, what their title is, their work experience/education, and your hopes for what this new person will bring to the company!
- Give them a warm welcome!It doesn’t take much to make a new employee feel welcome. A quick coffee social or donuts in the breakroom goes a long way. You can also have someone from the company take them out to lunch the first day. This allows them to start feeling like they know someone a little better at the company.
- Give a tour of the office. Share information such as locations of bathrooms, kitchen/breakrooms, conference rooms, etc. Explain different departments, where HR is located, and any other essentials.
- Be wise in choosing the trainer.Like most small businesses, if you don’t have a formal training program, be cautious not to assume that the employee with the most expertise is also the best trainer. Often, you will want to involve multiple people in the process so that the newly hired employee understands how their role fits into the organization. For example, sales professionals should spend time with customer service or technical support professionals so that they understand the customer. Also, be aware that people have different learning styles—some need to “do” rather than just hear or see.
- Set clear expectations.This is your chance to start with a clean slate. Review the new employee’s job description letting them know what is expected of them and how they will be measured. Let them know how often you will meet with them and how to have questions answered.
- Ask what their expectations are. It’s just as important to make sure you are meeting their expectations too. For example, the new employee might be used to meeting monthly vs. quarterly. Adjusting to monthly could help them perform better and feel more valued by your company. This would also be the time to communicate any discrepancies if their expectations don’t meet yours. It’s better to try and resolve any issues now versus 6 months from now.
- Schedule software trainings and any other necessary formal trainings as soon as possible. It’s important to make sure your new employee knows all software, processes and best practices as soon as possible.
- Schedule social outings. The more time your new employee can hangout with your team, the better. Whether they’re going to sing karaoke, play some good ole fashion bingo, or hit some balls at Top Golf, they will get to know each other in a more relaxed setting and make them feel more comfortable.
- Put their success in the hands of the entire team.When the team feels it is in their best interest for a newly hired employee to be successful, they are more likely to support them and give the newly hired employee the best possible chance for success.
Do you have any other tips for starting new employees off with success?
Written by: Julie Godshall Brown and Shawn Kinard
Have you ever finished an exam and known immediately you got an A? It’s one of the best feelings. While I can’t promise you an A on your next interview, I can promise you will go in feeling more prepared than ever before! I’ve been at Godshall for over 6 years now and work with some of the most trusted experts in the field of hiring. We have come up with some of our best tips to prepare for your next interview. After reading these tips, you’ll be an expert too!
- Researching, i.e., Stalking.Let’s be honest, we’ve all surprised ourselves at how good we are at stalking. Thanks to social media, you now can uncover a person’s entire life story without even knowing their last name. So why not put those stalking skills to good use? Your goal is to go in feeling like you already work there! Make sure to research the following:
- The company:
- How long have they been around?
- What is their mission?
- How many employees do they have?
- Who are their competitors?
- What do they do?
- Have they been in the news recently?
- The interviewers:
- What is their job title?
- Check them out on LinkedIn and other social media outlets to see what they’re like, how long they’ve been in that role, and any other interesting info.
- Google them to see if they are in the news.
- Study the Job Description. Sometimes companies do not provide the most detailed job description. When they do, make sure you truly understand the job and what you will be doing. Nothing says a lack of detail and understanding quite like telling an interviewer you’re not much of a desk person when you’re interviewing for an accounting position. #notwinning Also, compare your previous experience with this new role so when they ask why they should hire you, you’ve got the hard facts.
- Practice makes perfect. If you have not interviewed in a while, it would be in your best interest to practice answering some of the traditional interview questions (Tell me about yourself, strengths vs. weaknesses, why you are looking, etc.) You want to present yourself as a calm and poised professional. Practicing will help relieve some of those pre-interview jitters and will help you come across more confident as well.
- Dress the part. The company and market will determine what you should wear. For about 90% of interviews, traditional business attire is acceptable. When you’re interviewing for marketing agencies or young startup companies, you might be able to branch out a little and show your creativity. Once you have your outfit picked out, put it on a few days before. Have someone else critique it to make sure it all looks good. Make sure everything is spotless and perfectly ironed. Also, it’s a good idea to plan a back-up outfit in case your coffee decides to go crazy. Your goal is to leave your home feeling confident and on point from head to toe.
- Know where you’re going ahead of time. Thanks to Google Maps, you can now see an overhead and street view of the company. Once you have an idea of what the building looks like, find directions from your home to the company. You might even want to print or screenshot those directions just in case. Finally, drive that exact route to make sure there aren’t any road closings, heavy traffic areas, or anything else that might delay your commute the day before (Waze is a great app to show current wrecks, heavy traffic areas, road closings, etc.). Showing up late for an interview is not professional.
- Remember, they’re not JUST a receptionist. That receptionist may very well be your ticket into or out of the company. Treat everyone with the same respect whether they are the administrative assistant or the CEO. How you treat people when no one else is looking says a lot about your character and how you will truly act if you get the job.
- Bring several copies of your resume and references. Having extra copies helps you looked prepared and organized. In some cases, the hiring manager might’ve lost yours and needs a new one. In other cases, other employees might be pulled into the interview and would like to see a copy as well.
Now go ace that interview!
Written by: Shawn Kinard
Contemplating a new job can leave you anxious and disheartened. It’s not something I think any of us are excited to do. It’s time consuming and a little intimidating; however, it is sometimes a must. If you’re wondering whether you’re in that boat or not, here are some key signs you need to start updating that resume:
- You’re getting passed over for promotions by less qualified peers. Now if you’re that millennial thinking you need to be promoted to manager after only being there for 6 months, slow your roll. I’m talking about promotions that you are qualified for and deserving of. If you’ve asked to be considered for promotions that you know are a logical progression of your skills and abilities but they keep passing over you, it might be time to start looking elsewhere. Especially if they never give you a true reason as to why they won’t consider you. A healthy and blossoming work environment will see your value, your hard work, and find joy in promoting you to a well-deserved role.
- You haven’t been given a raise or merit increase in over 18 months. This kind of falls into the same philosophy as above. Many companies give at least a 3% raise annually to match inflation and honor your loyalty. Managers can see the hard work you’re making for the company. If you’re not receiving at least a cost of living increase, you need to start questioning whether you are part of a company that will allow you to grow professionally and financially. A healthy work environment and management team will recognize your hard work and want to reward you for it.
- Your company is hanging by a thread. One of the reasons you might not be receiving those annual increases could be because the company can’t afford it! If you’re being called by your vendors continuously for unpaid invoices, that’s a bad sign.
- Turnover is high. Do you have a new co-worker every 6 months? Is your manager doing anything to stop the bleeding? Unfortunately, high turnover is a reflection on company’s management and it’s not a pretty one. If this is the case where you work, it’s time to start looking.
- You notice the company is downsizing. Downsizing can happen for numerous reasons in a company: poor economic conditions, cost reduction, consolidation, outsourcing, etc. This doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to be included in layoffs, but it’s definitely a good idea to start updating your resume just in case.
- You’re being asked to do unethical tasks. This one is an obvious sign. You never want to be asked to do things that go against your moral values or put you in risk of breaking the law.
- You’re thinking about your lunch break before you even go into work. Do you dread Sunday nights and look forward to Friday at 5 every single week? As a millennial myself, I feel like I must call out my peers and mention it does take a while to find what you’re passionate about and what you truly enjoy in life. Your first job out of college is not going to be your dream job. And you might not enjoy every second of every day you’re at work. That’s just a part of life. That being said, if you’ve been at your company for at least a year and you dread work every single day, it’s time to turn on those alerts on the job boards.
Looking for a new job can be frightening, but sometimes necessary for the well-being of you and your career. If you have any other signs I didn’t mention, share them below!
Written by: Shawn Kinard
Shawn is the Recruiting and Branding Specialist at Godshall. She has been at Godshall for over 5 years now. She graduated from Anderson University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management. She enjoys biking on the Swamp Rabbit Trail, hot yoga, and trying new recipes when she’s not in the office.
In a world of job portals and hiring black holes, just getting an interview can feel like an impossible task. I’ve been there. Now that I’ve seen the other side of the curtain, I can disclose in our defense that HR departments and recruiters are parsing through hundreds of resumes on a regular basis. Those are intimidating odds where every interaction counts.
Phone interviews can be used to speak with candidates who are geographically unavailable, but more often than not they are merely the first hurdle in a hiring process. Phone screens allow employers to get a brief look into the personality and skill set a candidate brings to the table without blocking key decision-makers’ schedules, reserving conference rooms, and struggling through an hour-long interview that’s clearly not a fit. Phone interviews also allow employers to evaluate a larger number of candidates before narrowing down the talent pool.
If all goes well, you’ll get an interview with the hiring manager and team. If the phone call is botched, you’ll go back to canvasing LinkedIn and Indeed. Follow the tips below to dial-up success.
- Set the scene. A corner booth at a busy Starbucks is no place to have a phone interview. It’s loud. It’s distracting. And your interviewer won’t think you respect their time. Find a quiet place that allows you to hear and be heard.
Eliminate any and all distractions including cell phone notifications, televisions, pets, children, and computers. Some experts recommend keeping a laptop open in case you need to quickly research something. This is a terrible idea. Interviewers can hear you typing and there is no feasible way you can continue a conversation while Googling the answer to the last question.
- Talk the talk. During a phone interview, you and the other caller obviously aren’t able to read non-verbal cues. One of the most common mistakes candidates make during phone interviews is demonstrating very poor listening skills. Elaborate on all of your great experience, but make sure you’re leaving enough time for the interviewer to provide insight or follow-up questions.
Don’t forget that we’re relying solely on verbal communication. You must also use proper grammar and pronunciation.
- Don’t forget your body language. We can’t see you, but your non-verbal cues do influence how you sound. First, sit up straight. You should not conduct a phone interview on an overstuffed couch or comfy bed. Sitting at a table or desk will prevent you from sounding groggy.
Dress professionally. If you’re wearing your jammies, you’re definitely not going to feel confident and prepared.
Most importantly, smile. It changes the inflection in your voice and interviewers can hear the difference.
- Use a cheat sheet. Your interviewer can hear you typing on a laptop, but we surely cannot discern your pencil jotting notes. Have your resume and a blank sheet of paper available in order to take notes and write down questions along the way.
A phone interview is not the time to be nonchalant about your preparation. It can be even more difficult to impress someone without shaking their hand and looking them in the eye. Take a little effort with the suggestions above and you’ll have no problem standing out from the crowd – in a good way.
Written by: Hannah Spellmeyer