3 Steps to a Great First Impression with New Hires

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Remember your first day at your job? Did you feel excited? Did you feel welcome? Did you feel like the organization was prepared for your arrival and happy you were there? Or, did you leave that day with a serious case of “buyer’s remorse” thinking you made a terrible decision? Here are three simple steps to make sure you make a great first impression with your new hires!

Talk to new hires before day one.

What happens after a job candidate accepts an offer of employment? Does anyone speak to that person again before his or her start date? If not, consider doing a few little things between the job offer and the new hire’s first day to reinforce that he or she made a great decision to come work for your organization. Send a note of congratulations, flowers, gifts, or logo items to the person’s home. Have the person’s supervisor or future co-workers reach out and offer a congratulations. Send a schedule for the new hire’s first day or even first few weeks of employment including a list of items and information they may need. Send paperwork that can be completed prior to the first day to make sure the new hire’s time is more productive starting on day one. Make that person feel like he or she just made one of the best decisions of their life.

Be ready on day one.

Have you ever showed up for your first day on a new job and you didn’t have a desk, a phone, business cards, pens or pencils, or any idea who you needed to meet with, for how long, or for what? If so, then you already know that the fastest way to make a person start second-guessing their decision to work for you is to make them feel invisible on day one! You should be ready for your new hires when they walk in the door. Plus, the better prepared you are, the faster you can get that new employee trained and actually contributing to your organization.

Talk to new hires after day one.

Check in at 30, 60, and/or 90 days. Conduct a “new-hire survey” to see if the experience of your new-hires during the recruiting process prepared them for your workplace culture and performance expectations. Ask for suggestions. Use the information you collect to help improve your recruiting processes, communications, and interviewer skills. Make your employees feel like they aren’t just special when they’re being recruited or on their first day – reinforce that they, and their opinions, are important from here on out.

You don’t get a second opportunity to make a great first impression, but when you’re proactive and well prepared for your new hires, you can create opportunities to make many great impressions throughout the recruiting, hiring, and orientation process.

Other Resources:

HR University: Orientation & Performance Management Practices
New employees at your organization need to understand their role, what’s expected of them, and how this fits into your business. Going forward, they’ll need feedback on how they’re doing, in order to reinforce positive behaviors and discourage negative ones. This session will cover the basic steps of a thorough orientation process, how HR can help supervisors manage their direct reports’ performance, and what to do when a performance management program needs adjusting.

Hiring & Selection Practices Survey Results

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This report summarizes the results of ERC’s survey of 117 organizations in Northeast Ohio, conducted in February of 2011, on practices related to hiring and selection.

The survey reports trends in:

  • General selection methods
  • Reference, background, and credit checks
  • Drug tests
  • Employment tests
  • Pre-screening interviews
  • Hiring decisions
  • Sign-on and employee referral bonuses
  • Introductory periods
  • Hiring metrics
  • Hiring projections


11-Hiring-Selection-Practices-Survey.pdf (174.54 kb)

Preliminary Findings - Hiring & Selection Practices Survey

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The preliminary findings of ERC’s 2011 Hiring & Selection Practices Survey, which explored practices including background and drug screening, references, testing, and other hiring practices (including local hiring metrics), showed several clear trends in local employers’ hiring and selection practices.

  • Over three-quarters of employers plan to hire in 2011.
  • Over half of employers say that a job candidate’s current or previous salary (as reported on application) influences their decision to not hire an applicant.
  • About a quarter of employers report that a job candidate’s indication or request to not call a past or current employer influences their decision to not hire an applicant.
  • Over 70% of employers conduct reference checks, typically in-house versus using a vendor.
  • Employers most commonly use employment tests to evaluate administrative/clerical and management positions.

6 Ways to Improve Your Hiring Process

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6 Ways to Improve Your Hiring Process

Job candidate engagement and relationship management, recruitment metrics and streamlining, selection assessment, and hiring manager relations are all key areas of opportunity for many organizations and some of the major hiring practice trends.

Here are some ways to improve these aspects of your hiring process.

Improve candidate engagement

Each conversation and interaction with a candidate is an opportunity to engage or disengage the individual and establish a positive or negative relationship or perception of your organization. Remember that declined candidates can be sources of other job applicants, and they are just as important to engage.

  • Establish a timeline for the hiring process regarding when candidates should expect certain stages to occur (interviewing, testing, offer, etc.). Communicate this to candidates.
  • Follow up with candidates in a timely manner by setting a standard for response time. For example, set a goal to respond to candidates who have submitted a resume to your organization within 3 business days of their submission.
  • Communicate expectations. Tell candidates when they will hear from your organization following a stage in the hiring process, such as an interview.
  • Communicate all decisions to candidates. Follow up with candidates after each interview and stage of the hiring process, and when the final decision has been made. Additionally, consider providing feedback to candidates on why they were not selected. Approach the conversation in a way that keeps the door open for on on-going relationship.
  • Make a good impression. Be sure that hiring managers or others involved in the hiring process act professionally, ask appropriate interview questions, are prepared and have reviewed resumes, and treat the candidate with respect.
  • Survey or gather feedback from the candidate about the hiring process. Applicants and candidates are your customers, and in order to improve your hiring process, their feedback can be helpful.

Manage candidate relationships

Staying in touch with candidates and building relationships with them over time can help improve the recruitment process and build a network of contacts for future positions. It also can save money on sourcing.

  • Connect with all great job candidates on LinkedIn so that you can maintain contact with them in the future, should staffing needs emerge.
  • Reach out to exceptional job candidates every once in awhile to “check in” and build a relationship. You never know when you may be looking for their talent.
  • Periodically call or email employees that have left the organization on good terms. Stay in touch with top talent that has left your organization.
  • Consider creating alumni groups or events for previous employees that have left the organization. Some organizations create these groups on social networking sites like LinkedIn or Facebook, while others initiate in-person meetings or events.

Use more effective selection methods

Selection problems typically occur when a) the methods used don’t match the skills, abilities, or knowledge that need to be evaluated and b) the process or people involved in the process approach it in an unstructured, untrained manner that makes decision-making subjective and error-prone.

A comprehensive selection process should be based on a thorough review of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for the position, as well as organizational and cultural fit. By analyzing your hiring needs in depth, your organization can create selection practices that best fit the requirements of the position.

For example, if your organization wants to determine whether a candidate’s style or personality fits the position, it is best to conduct an assessment versus asking personal questions in the interview. If other candidate traits should be evaluated, such as leadership style or problem solving abilities, assessments can be used to evaluate those traits.

By focusing on selection methods that fit the position, your organization can improve its selection effectiveness.

Additionally, your organization may consider improving its interviewing practices by providing more structure to hiring managers with an interview guide to ensure that they are asking appropriate, targeted, and consistent questions of all applicants and rating them according to objective criteria or by ensuring that managers are trained on interviewing practices.

Measure effectiveness

Your hiring process should be measured so you know how it is working. If your organization only has time to track a few critical hiring metrics, make sure these are the ones: time to fill, cost per hire, sourcing effectiveness, and quality of hire.

They will show how efficient and costly your process is, what sourcing is generating the most applicants and the best hires, and the quality of candidates whom you are hiring, all important to measuring your recruitment and hiring process’s effectiveness.

Additionally, linking or correlating quality of hire metrics back to the selection tools and sourcing methods can help your organization validate its hiring approaches and determine which ones are effective.

Enhance recruiter/HR and hiring manager relations

Recruitment of great talent can suffer when HR and hiring managers are not on the same page. This can create disorganization, inefficiencies, and inconsistent communication that candidates often pick up on during the hiring process. Positive and efficient recruiter/HR and hiring manager relations can be improved by enhancing communication in all of the following ways:

  • At the beginning of the process, identify the core people that will need to interview, partake in selection phases, and make the final decision. This will prevent the inevitable “reeling” of others into the process which can elongate the hiring timeframe.
  • Communicate the hiring process to hiring managers before recruitment for the position starts. You may consider including a timeline to manage their expectations, help them carve out time, and answer questions. This could be an introductory email or a meeting.
  • Manage their involvement in the selection process. If managers are to rate candidates in an interview, be sure that they have received rater training. If they design interview questions or conduct interviews, be sure they have received interview training. Also ensure that managers have the job description and are aware of any competencies or criteria they will need to assess.  Give hiring managers the tools and training to hire effectively.
  • Keep hiring managers abreast of the hiring process and where candidates stand. Maintain open lines of communication throughout the process.


If technology isn’t being used in your organization’s recruitment process, it’s time to start integrating new systems of tracking applicant and recruiting data. One of the most challenging aspects of recruitment is managing resumes and applications. There are plenty of great systems and software applications that your organization can invest in to help streamline this process. Leveraging applicant tracking systems is important in making the process efficient.

Beyond social media, which is also technology your organization can use to enhance its recruitment and hiring process, some organizations have expanded their sourcing efforts to mobile technology like cell phones and texting.

Behavioral Interviewing Training

Behavioral Interviewing Training

Participants will learn the importance of proper preparation for an behavioral interview.

Train Your Employees