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20Dec, 2019

Properly Onboarding a New Hire

Get Your New Employee up to Speed Before They Start

Hiring a new employee is an investment in your company’s future. It requires paying for recruitment fees, background checks, time lost, and the other expenses associated with a new hire. For companies with 0-500 employees, this expense can range anywhere between $4,000 and $7,500. Onboarding a new hire is a comprehensive process that can take up to a year to complete. The sooner you get your new employee up to speed, the sooner they can get to work, and the sooner you can start recouping your expenses.

onboarding a new hire

Send the Details Before Your Employee Starts

You should provide the following documents and guides to your employee before they start:

  • Employee manual. This makes it possible for new hires to familiarize themselves with company policy and procedures. It helps them understand your corporate mission and corporate culture. It also defines expectations about everything from etiquette to job performance.
  • Forms. Filling out the W-4, I-9, insurance paperwork, retirement plan registration, non-compete/non-disclosure agreements, etc., saves time. It also gives new hires an opportunity to review each form and prepare any questions they have about benefit plans, leave policies, administrative procedures, etc.
  • Team Biographies. Let your new hire know who they will be working with. A short 1-2 paragraph biography about each member on their team helps them identify who does what, and how they fit into the team.
  • Organizational Chart. This helps them understand who they will be working with and the roles each individual performs.
  • Guide to Company Lingo. Every company has its own internal language. Providing a short translation guide that includes relevant acronyms, titles, industry jargon, inside jokes, etc. helps the employee acclimate.  
  • Equipment and Program Guides. Whether it’s computers and copiers, or forklifts and heavy machinery, give your new hire access to the relevant operational manuals they need for their job. This makes it possible for them to get straight to work rather than waiting around to receive instructions. Additionally, many office jobs require an understanding of certain computer programs. Give your new hire the chance to familiarize themselves with the software if they haven’t used it before. 
  • Email. Create a new email account for your employee and give them access to your systems. This allows them to start following events within the company and their team. This simple step helps new employees understand the projects they will work on. It helps them see the ways they can use their skills and knowledge to help the company achieve goals and objectives.  

Prepare Your Team

Get your team ready to welcome the new hire into the organization. Make sure that each member knows how the new hire fits into the team and how they can help them integrate. During the first week, you will want to schedule 30-45 minute meetings for the new hire to meet individually with each team member. This helps build stronger, more effective teams. It’s essential to help the new employee understand how they can utilize their skills and experience to support the team.

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Help New Hires Make the Move

If they are moving in from another town or state, help your new hire relocate and settle into the area. They will have a lot on their plate as they wrap up, pack up, and load up their life for a fresh start in your company and community. A little help from you is most appreciated and helps build trust and loyalty.

  • Prepare a Short Area Guide. Include information about shopping options, restaurants, schools, and things they will want to see and do.
  • Hire a Relocation Specialist. Relocation specialists cost you and the new employee absolutely nothing. They earn their money on commissions from the vendors they work with. A relocation specialist can help employees:
    • Select a real estate agent
    • Find a rental apartment/house
    • Set-up utilities
    • Purchase furniture
    • Find new doctors/dentists
    • Choose schools for kids, etc.
  • Show Them Around. New hires are going to want to explore their new community. They probably don’t know anyone in town, which roads to take (and which to avoid), shopping options, parks, etc. Schedule some time for you and your new hire’s manager and team members to meet with the new hire, have lunch, and explore the town. 

Get New Hires Ready to Hit the Ground Running

The first day is the most important day. You will go over the details of the paperwork, answer your employee’s questions, and help them navigate their way around the building. Keep it lighthearted, keep it casual. That first day is also an opportunity to break down barriers and establish relationships. One of the best ways to do this is to take them out to lunch with the team. This gives everyone a chance to meet, discuss current projects, and learn more about the goals and objectives the team is working toward. It also helps the new employee understand team culture, communication styles, personalities, etc. 

onboarding a new hire

Be Available for Questions and Assistance

Your onboarding process doesn’t end on the day your new employee starts. It is an ongoing process that can take up to a year to complete. You should plan one month, three month, and six month check-in appointments with your new hire. Solicit their feedback and incorporate the information they provide into your onboarding process. This is an opportunity to assess their integration into your company. Most importantly, it helps you evaluate the effectiveness of your onboarding strategy.

It is imperative to be available and responsive to your new hire’s needs throughout this “honeymoon” period. The overwhelming majority of employees will decide whether they want to stay or leave during the first six months. Help the employee settle into the company. This increases efficiency, creates cohesive teams, and boost employee retention rates.

Stay Alert for Problems

Most new employees are eager beavers. They want to prove themselves and do all they can to support the company. This is exactly what you want. However, this is not always true and you have to stay alert for potential problems. For starters, you want to make sure they are not introducing toxic behaviors into the workplace. Whether that’s language or attitude, you have to protect your existing corporate culture from negativity that slows production and brings down morale.

Further, you need to make sure that your new employee’s enthusiasm isn’t resulting in errors or hard feelings from the team. If they are making errors, provide them additional training and enhanced supervision. If they are “stepping on toes,” either on purpose or by accident, swiftly address the conflicts. Identify the issue and gently suggest alternative methods of working with specific individuals on the team.        

About Greenlink

As a human resources professional, we know you’ve got a lot on your plate, from balancing payroll, to choosing a smart benefits package for your employees. With your busy workload, we want you to be prepared to properly onboard a new hire for the success of your company and your new hire. Greenlink can help keep you in compliance and help you successfully onboard new hires, all on the cloud for ease of access.

For more information about Greenlink, visit our website.

To view the entire infographic, click the image below.

27Sep, 2019

The HR Professional’s Field Guide: The Do’s and Dont’s of Conducting an Interview

The HR Professional’s Role as Interviewer

As an HR professional, you’re frequently responsible for making major decisions in personnel. New hire decisions can be difficult, and perfecting the interview process may take time. In order to attract and retain the highest quality workforce, it’s important to remember that the candidate is interviewing you as well. As the candidate’s first exposure to your company, your first impression can make or break the interviewee’s decision to move forward. Furthermore, it’s important for HR professionals to understand best practices and legal guidelines that pertain to hiring. Otherwise, you may make yourself vulnerable to an expensive discrimination lawsuit.

Here are some of the most important do’s and don’t of conducting an interview as an HR professional.

interview preparation

Illegal Interview Questions

Thanks to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, legislation helps to protect classes of people from being discriminated against when applying for a job and while under employment.

Now, a candidate can’t sue a company just for asking a question. However, if you make a hiring decision based on certain information about the candidate (such as disability, gender, religion, etc.,) that can be the basis for potential legal action. Therefore, many businesses prefer to avoid knowing this information when possible, so that they can’t be accused of letting it influence their decision.

Even small-talk questions that seem innocuous could lead to a conversation that may sound discriminatory. For example, asking questions like when someone graduated college or high school may seem innocent, but it could be interpreted as a way to find out someone’s age, which could suggest ageism. While no employer intends to discriminate against a candidate (hopefully), staying clear of these questions can prevent trouble from potentially happening in the first place.

How can you know if you’re venturing into conversation that could be construed as discriminatory? Here’s a general rule of thumb: If it doesn’t relate directly to the job at hand, don’t ask it. If the candidate happens to start talking about their personal life as a method of small talk, be polite and divert away from the question by getting back to the task at hand: focusing on the job.

Ready to find out about what topics you should avoid?

asking questions

Not Illegal, but ‘Trap’ Questions

While certain questions are unlawful to inquire about, there are etiquette-based questions that are better off not asked by an HR professional for pure sensibility reasons, such as negative baiting, pigeonholing, irrelevance, or cliché questions. These types of questions have made their way into our common conversations around interviews, but they essentially draw out no useful information about the candidate’s abilities.

avoid interview questions

The Do’s

You might be asking yourself, “after all the questions I can’t and shouldn’t ask, what’s left?” Well, the best ones, of course! These are the questions that will make for a solid and informative interview with each candidate.

interview questions

About Greenlink

As a human resources professional, we know you’ve got a lot on your plate, from balancing payroll, to choosing a smart benefits package for your employees. With your current busy workload, we want you to be prepared for any interview with a potential candidate. Greenlink can help you keep in compliance and track new hire reporting, all on the cloud for ease of access.

Go forth and hire with confidence. For more information about Greenlink, visit our website.

To view the entire infographic, click the image below.

Interview infographic

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