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How To Engage New Hires Before They Start Work

1/16/2009 4:32:10 PM

By Tracy Anne Alverson-Euler -- Finding and keeping great employees can be a task in itself; you may be convinced that your job is “the one” in your field, but the truth is there are dozens of employers out there fighting for your workers, and it's your job to offer incentives to stay. When hiring a new worker, there are dozens of steps you can take to ensure they are happy, before they even start the job.

What may seem like a pointless phone call, or a kind email, can go a long way when it comes to new hires. Remember that regardless of how experienced they may be, a first day is a first day. Having the head of your company staff send a kind email, or a phone call during a lunch break welcoming the new hire to the company is a great way to make them feel welcome, and confident about their upcoming days as an employee. Quite simply, it lets them know that the man (or woman) upstairs is aware they are new, regardless of their place on the totem pole.

If they are new to the hire, and have transferred from out of town or state to come work with your company, put together a “perks” basket, with coupons and samples from local eateries and shops. This can be placed on their desk for the first day, but ideally can be delivered before they start. It's sort of a “welcome” basket from the team that the new employee can enjoy. If you know that your new hire has children, make sure to include some discount coupons for local children's shops, or a map to the nearest parks and recreation. Signed welcome plats, company mugs, and other gadgets can also make excellent additions to your basket. These are all thoughtful add-ons that are easy to put together, and will be remembered by your worker. When they see how much thought, and faith you've put into them before they've started, they will come to work with confidence.

If your company uses business cards, have a pack especially made up for your new hire, and have them sent to their home before the first day of work. Include a list of company members and common questions that past newcomers have had, and encourage your new hire to call with any questions before their first day. If your company has a call center, you can share the number and hours it's open, and reinforce the rule that there are “no stupid questions.” If your new hire does have concerns, this is the perfect outlook for him or her to ask them, so that their first day runs more efficiently.

Most new hires have figured out what they dislike by the end of their first work day. If you provide them with enough ammo to have the perfect first day, you are setting yourself up for a decent run of excellent workmanship. Encourage open communication with bosses and employees, and remember that you need your hires much more than they need you – there are other jobs in the field that may pay better, but you need to make them feel that the job they have chosen with you is the perfect fit.

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