Don’t Leave Employee Success to Chance

When I say “new hire interviews,” you think of one thing: picking the right person for the job. But as a conscious and forward thinking employer, there are additional layers of new hire interviews that can be put into place that will do immense good for the staff and company as a whole and can bring incredible insight into places your processes can be improved.

SAN DIEGO, CA - FEBRUARY 5:   Job searchers in...

Most of the time, here’s what happens: New people are hired, they’re given the tour, a desk, and a handshake, maybe shown a few basics, and then they are left to fend for themselves, with the constant stream of company emails flooding in with changes, updates, and new policies and new people to meet and work streams to learn each day. Talk about a whirlwind. It can work, though, in time, and the acclimation process does happen, albeit with a few bumps and bruises. But if we study this, there’s a treasure trove of information that can be gleaned from the new hire’s process.

Consider for a moment: What if you had interviews at different milestones in the new hire’s employment: 60 days, 90 days, 180 days, and 365 days. On these days, you would conduct new hire interviews through which you could measure several protocols? First, how well is the person acclimating to the company’s environment and business processes? Also, how can the company improve the new hire process? Last, are people resonating with the culture and values of a company and not just going through the motions of the work itself? And when and how do they come to the place of stability and confidence in their roles?

One way new employees’ level of acclimation can be measured is by subtly observing their “vocabulary.” Are they, by 60 days in, absorbing the culture, terminology, and goals of the company? Individual success is tied directly to company success, and if you can get a pulse on your new hires early to make sure they’re on the path to success and becoming part of the team, everyone benefits.

Then as you progress in the interview process, you find things to measure regarding performance metrics—are they understanding their jobs, are they handling the work flow and pace and the multi-priorities required to get their jobs done? Basically it’s getting the employee to engage in dialog about how they feel they’re fitting in, including things like comfortability, getting along with management and coworkers.

We have worked with a resort hotel that used this service to identify a major problem with employees with 6 to 12 months of tenure. In the hospitality industry this is a high turnover point. Training programs historically had tried to tackle this problem with rewards and gimmicks, or even additional training at the beginning. The problem was that when the employees were hired, they were treated really well, they were trained, they were even a little bit spoiled. But after that first month, they felt forgotten. By month 6 they either fit in or they gave up.

Once this was attitude discovered two things happened. 1) the early training was tweaked so the new employees felt good but still understood that they needed to perform (no more spoiling the new people – make them feel good but no spoiling). And 2) the hotel implemented a follow-up training to take place at 6 months. This gave another opportunity to fix any issues that had arisen and also reinforce the information that was learned during the first few weeks but may have been forgotten.

Most business people know how expensive it is to attract, interview, train, and manage new people. Turnover is an incredible drain on a company’s bottom line, so if it were possible to select specific points of measurement, observed from these interviews, the company could adjust training, communication, and priorities to best fix or fill any gaps new employees experience that might lead to an increased turnover rate.

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