Tips For New Hires- The Transition Memo

After a placement has been completed, I often send the following memo to my clients. It will only take you a moment to do it and it may well guarantee a successful placement. Proper integration of a new hire is key for long-term success. I have actually had instances where candidates start a new job and, on their first day, no one in the company was anticipating their arrival. To help avoid such situations, and to generally help in the new hire transition, below is the form which I use for this purpose:

Dear Client:

I want to again congratulate you on hiring _____________ (insert candidate name). I am confident that they will make an excellent addition to your organization.

In our experience, the first two weeks of a new hire are the most critical to ensure a smooth and orderly transition. New hires are often somewhat apprehensive about meeting other employees, staff and clients, settling into their office and otherwise joining the team. As unbelievable as it sounds, some companies get so caught up in work that they actually either forget a new employee is joining the company or they ignore them when they arrive thinking that someone else will take of it. As such, we have found the following suggestions helpful as a new employee joins your company. By implementing some, or all of these ideas, greatly increases the chances of a successful and long lasting hire. These tips are relevant whether your company has 2 employees or 200 employees and size bears no relevance to their applicability.

PRIOR TO THE FIRST DAY

Make sure the employee’s office is prepared, cleaned and ready. Supplies such as pens, paper, clips, etc. should be in the desk and the phone and computer should be fully functional. If possible, it is helpful to have the employee’s name tag (if applicable) affixed to their door and have their business cards ready. Temperature of the office should also be checked to ensure the AC is working properly.

The receptionist should be made aware of the new employees name (proper pronunciation) and greet them as they come to the office on their first day.

The company should be made aware (staff and employees) of the new employee’s arrival with a brief bio prepared to circulate with the arrival memo.

A small food basket or welcome aboard gift (ie: pen/pencil set, paperweight, etc.) is always a nice touch and is appreciated.

ON THE FIRST DAY

Make sure to designate a key employee as “official greeter” to ensure that the new employee has a transition mentor for the first two weeks. During the first day, staff and other employees should make every reasonable effort to introduce themselves to the new employee even if it is limited to a brief “Hello”.

Lunch arrangements should be made to ensure that at least a couple of employees take the new employee to lunch or, in the alternative, that an informal lunch is held in the company so people can drop in and say “Hello”.

THE FIRST AND SECOND WEEK

Make sure the employee is settling in well and that he/she is comfortable with what is expected of him/her in the work assigned and that they are generally interacting well with the employees and staff. This should be checked daily, at the end of the day, to make sure there are no misunderstandings or confusion. New employees are usually eager to please and don’t want to make waves even if there is some thing bothering them. As such, it is important that a partner ask how things are going frequently and with sincerity.

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Make sure the employee is integrating well with others by inviting them to lunch or after work get together or even an informal chat session later in the day. Make the extra effort to include the employee in conversation.

Make sure that the secretary and staff working with the employee give their input to their supervisors as well to make sure the transition is smooth and to offer any suggestions they may observe.

On the Friday after the first week of employment, and on the Friday after the second week of employment, 5-10 minutes should be set aside at the end of the day to sit with the employee to check in and review their week, etc. Encourage them to share any complaints, suggestions or positive feedback, however minor or seemingly insignificant.

The long-term success of any hire is usually dependent on the first two weeks of employment so please consider implementing these tips as prescribed!

Please call me with any questions.

Best regards,

Joseph E. Ankus is one of Florida's leading legal recruiters with over 13 years of experience in associate and partner placement. Based in Fort Lauderdale, Joe recruits attorneys primarily in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. In addition to being a licensed Florida attorney, Joe also offers recruitment training to recruiting firms, law firms and corporations. To learn more about his background and recruiting seminars, visit his website,  email him, or call Joe at 954.349.4428.

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