You’ve found the perfect candidate for your senior role. You’ve carefully scoured the market, perfected your interview experience and made them an offer they couldn’t refuse. Now their first day has arrived. Don’t let all of that hard work go to waste by falling at the final hurdle.
The first 90 days in a new company are pivotal to a candidate’s success. Just because they have resigned and turned up on day one, doesn’t guarantee they will stick around if the role, company or environment fails to live up to what was promised to them. The Transport and Infrastructure markets are buoyant, so there are plenty of alternative options for good people.
The average longevity of a Director in a UK transport business is 8 years and 3 months*. For Directors in the Middle East and Asia Pacific transport sector this drops to 4 years and 5 months. So these are the benchmarks to beat, to gain an advantage over your competitors.
We have heard new starter horror stories, such as a Director turning up on day one at a major transport group with no one knowing they’re coming and the individual they are replacing still being in post, none the wiser to their incoming successor. Situations like this are not easily forgotten.
Effective employee onboarding welcomes and prepares new hires, setting them up with the confidence and resources needed to really make an impact within their new team, which is what you hired them for.
When employees go through structured onboarding, they are 58% more likely to remain with the organisation after three years** and if the onboarding process is unorganised or poorly handled, employees will take a lot longer to get to full productivity. This wastes time and money.
Here are our tips for perfecting your onboarding experience:
1. The Basics –
Make sure their IT and office are set up and ready to go before they walk through the door, there is nothing more frustrating for new starters than having their name misspelt on their email or business cards. If they are site based, make sure they are booked in for safety briefing on day one. It may be an obvious point, but it is easy to put off or overlook. Any relevant paperwork that needs completing should be on-hand and an up-to-date organisation chart provided.
Give a proper tour of the building, don’t just assume that they’ll pick it up. This is also the perfect opportunity to introduce them to key people and show them where to find them, without scheduling any formal one on one’s straight away. Meeting a few people early on will help the new person feel more comfortable and they won’t have to waste time trying to figure out who does exactly what.
It can be really useful to send an introductory email on the first day welcoming your new senior hire to the company. This will help other employees put a name to the face, give them a little bit of information regarding their role and background, often it can act as a conversation starter so the new hire isn’t constantly explaining who they are.
2. Training –
Onboarding doesn’t end at company policies, building tours and department introductions. Even if you’ve taken on an industry leading Director, who comes with 30 years’ experience, they won’t know everything. It can be easy to assume that they will be able to sit down at their desk and crack on. Different companies all have different software and systems. At a minimum, initial training should encompass systems and the main operating procedures.
3. Next steps –
Arrange for the team that they are joining to present an overview of the current situation, pipeline of activities and goals and objectives. Before your new director can even begin to start developing a game plan, they need to know where the team currently stands.
Once they have a basic understanding of what is ahead, sit down with them and give a detailed explanation of what the company wants them to achieve in the next three months, year, five years…
Then, at the end of their first week, recap. On your first day you are bombarded with information and people can be forgiven for not taking it all in. Arrange a meeting after a week to re-establish the targets you want them to achieve and check they are still on the same page. This is also a prime opportunity for them (and you) to discuss any initial concerns and address them straight away.
There is no universal guide to onboarding. Practices will have to be tailored for each company, department and role, but it should never be overlooked or assumed that someone else is doing it well. Those initial days at your company can’t be rewound if you make a bad impression and it could cost you your perfect candidate. It’s far better to be a company that treats new employees well, than one with a revolving door.
To discuss how we can help you find the perfect candidate for your senior hires in transport and infrastructure click HERE
*Newsom Consulting database, April 2017.