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The Importance of the Right Welcome

3 June 2021

A warm welcome – five tips for business owners hiring new employees

Imagine it’s the first day of your new job.

How are you feeling? Excited? Nervous? Perhaps you’re asking yourself what your new colleagues will be like, and what’s expected on you in your new role.

Whatever’s on your mind, how you feel about the day ahead will depend significantly on the experience you’ve already had with the business.

In other words — the tone’s largely been set.

When someone joins a small business, the focus is, understandably, often on getting that person on the job as quickly as possible. That can mean the initial business welcome and introduction is overlooked, and can make a huge difference when it comes to employee retention.

The importance of a low turnover

A quick glance at the CIPD’s Resourcing and Talent Planning Survey 2020 shows what a difference a high turnover can make financially. It says the median cost of hiring senior managers is £5,000; £2,000 for other employees.

Aside from spend, there’s also the time it takes to find your new employee as well as getting them up to speed and inducting them into your organisation.

And will you even find the right candidate?

The same report says 73% percent of those who responded who tried to recruit over the past 12 months experienced hiring difficulties, with professionals and specialists seemingly the hardest posts to fill.

Getting off on the right foot

What helps set that all-important tone?

One of the key aspects that will make a difference — and that you can easily influence — is creating the right welcome.

Here are some tips to get things off on the right foot —

  1. Treat recruits like customers — the welcome starts at recruitment. The best candidates will always be in demand and most employers, regardless of the industry, will not necessarily have a large pool of great candidates to select from. You need to make sure dealing with your organisation is a positive experience right from the first point of contact. And although it’s time consuming, make sure you reply to all your applicants, not only those who you invite for interview. They may be existing or future customers or employees.
  1. Sweat the small stuff — think of all the information you will need your new start to cover in the first few days and create a plan. They may need equipment to do their job and it’s great if that has been organised right from day one. It may seem trivial but don’t spare any details — even when it comes to things like where to get tea and coffee and what the dress code is.
  1. Share the bigger picture — update your employee on plans for the business and how they fit into those plans and can make a contribution.
  1. Focus on the team — encourage your new employee to spend time getting to know colleagues and understand the work they do.
  1. Take your time — think of the welcome process being up to three months. It’s a good idea to tie this into any probationary period. Set objectives and review, ask for feedback on day one, week one, month one, and so on.

High employee turnover costs your business time, productivity and money, and this is particularly problematic when there’s a tendency for employees to leave after just a short period of time. Luckily, there’s much you can do to tackle unwanted turnover.

It starts with a comprehensive and well planned welcome.

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