5 Tips for Successful New Hire Onboarding

Metro State University and The Denver Metro SBDC partner to provide graduating business students with a real world case study. Under the supervision of a Metro State University of Denver professor and SBDC staff, graduating business students will conduct a strategic business analysis for my business in exchange for the opportunity to work on a real world consulting project. When Metro State approached me I thought it was a great opportunity for the students and would be a lot of fun for me. So, over the past couple weeks I met with two groups of 4 students each and answer a number of questions. There were a couple things that came out of that, but one in particular that made me ponder on how I hire successfully. Ultimately, your business lives or dies with the success of your employees and your hiring process. So, I jotted down 5 tips for successful new hire onboarding.

  1. The first Interview should not be formal –  When I meet someone for the first time I don’t like to talk too much about the business. I want to understand who the person is that I’m interviewing. The first interview should be informal. Make them feel comfortable. Ask questions about their background, their hobbies, activities, what they read, who they follow, their family, etc. This conversation should be over a beer or coffee. This informal interview tells me more about the person than anything else. I can tell right after this interview if this is the right person for our company.
  2. Provide an employee handbook – The biggest time saver for me when I hire someone, is to provide them with an employee handbook. This spells out our mission statement, vision, responsibilities, and expectations. This gives the prospective employee insight into expectations if they decide to come on board. It also provides them with a framework to come up with questions for me.
  3. Provide the prospective employee with current employees contact info – Some prospective employees want to hear about the experience right from the horse’s mouth. They may have intimate questions that they may want to ask someone other than the owner. The handbook may provide them with expectations, but how practical are those expectations? This gives them a platform to test those expectations to see if this is the place for them.
  4. Shadow an employee with similar responsibilities as the prospective employee – Allow the prospective employee the opportunity to shadow. Give them insight into how their day in and day out activities would look. This will give the employee a good taste of what to expect and will push them in one direction or the other.
  5. Have them read “Hot Seat” by Dan Shapiro before their first day – This gives them insight and advice into how companies have lived and died. I want them to take ownership. This lays the ground work.

These have been great for my business. It provides me with a repeatable process and weeds out the people that are just looking for a “job.” I need people I can rely on and can trust. These tips have created that framework.

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