In my last post, I talked about how you go about finding the right person for a job in your awesome business. But that's only half the job done. In this post, I want to share some ideas on ensuring you secure the best person for the role and managing their first few crucial months.
Make that offer
Let’s assume at this point you have correctly scoped the position and found the right person for the job. It's time to make the offer.
Even if you've already talked money and conditions, you might find your chosen person wavering at this stage. After all, if they are as good you think they are, they are probably in a decent position already. Don't be shocked if they start to wobble – but be ready for it. What sweeteners can you offer in case they demur... or even go back to their present employers for them to make a counter offer? As with all things, you need a strategy.
Think about what you've learned about the person through the interview process. Are they motivated by the work? By the money? By the organisation’s culture? You should know by now what the hot buttons are for this person (and if you don't, you really need to find out) so that you can continue to pitch your business and the right next move for them.
Time for induction
So, you've made a great offer and they’re on board. Don’t forget to do the paperwork at this point. A signed employment contract is essential to moving forward with a clear understanding of the role, salary and any benefits you negotiated. A good, clear induction will ensure there are no niggling issues created by misunderstanding. A good welcome and introduction to the team makes everyone feel good.
Now, think about their first day; create a welcome pack and allocate a buddy for them so they have someone to ask all questions they don’t want to bother you with, like ‘where’s good to eat at lunchtime’. Shout them a coffee. Reinforce the idea that they've made the right decision.
Probation periods are good for both parties
Have a clearly defined probation period (in that paperwork I mentioned above). This is the get out clause for you and your new hire. This period is when you're both sussing each other out. You'll often find that this is the period when you get the best new ideas from your new hire; they haven't yet learned the unspoken rules of your workplace and have free range to speak what no one else will say. Embrace this. It's gold.
When the probation period is up, it’s time to reflect. Have a face to face chat and iron out any problems that arose. If you feel uneasy or just feel you need more time to assess them, extend the probation period for another 3 months but if all is well, seek feedback to improve and start a conversation about goals and future development to pre-empt the performance review that’s to follow.
Performance reviews are essential
Performance reviews are really important for you and your staff. They are a forum to help both parties to work together to identify any issues, deliver praise and discover next steps. While they are often tied up with a raise, they can be a way to get to know what your staff member really wants.
Sometimes it’s not about the money. It could be about career development, training and creating opportunities for them to grow. Perhaps they really crave a 4 day week to pursue a passion outside of work. Maybe they would just like to finish early on a Friday. Often we are quick to assume that money is the motivator, but if you dig deeper you can find that other options are far more attractive to them.
Remember to keep checking in at regular intervals, even if it’s informal. Don’t forget to offer praise or deal with problems in the moment. No one likes to be blindsided by something they didn’t realise was an issue 2 weeks later, nor do they like to feel their hard work wasn’t noticed.
Relationships with staff need to be worked on just like any other. There will be the good times and the well, not so good times. There’s always a way through them. Stay tuned for my next blog post for tips on how to manage your staff on a day to day basis.
Want a no risk opportunity to talk about the HR issues in your business? We’re happy to give you a taster session. If you’re feeling besieged by staff related issues, why not call us and see if we can relieve the pressure? Alternatively, drop us a line. We'd love to help.