Before Day One

Congratulations – you’ve hired an amazing new employee! Your team is more excited for her first day than the paparazzi is to see Beyonce’s baby, and she accepted your offer quicker than you can say Blue Ivy.

Making a great hire is great, but expectations are high all around and it’s your job to make sure they’re met: are you prepared to keep the positive momentum going before she ever sets foot in the building?

1.      Set the tone. If your company is anything like mine, your new employee will be so stoked by what she’s learned about you during the interview and hiring process that she already feels the love before she starts. But why not go a little bit beyond that? Not only do the hiring managers send notes of welcome, but our CEO sends out a personal email to every new hire before they start to welcome them to the fold – it’s free, quick, and out of the ordinary.

2.      Make introductions early. This seems obvious, but let your group know about their new teammate before that person starts. We celebrate new hires with a company-wide email before the person joins us, and often hiring managers will arrange a happy hour or get-together before day one to give everyone a chance to learn more about each other.

3.      No more awkward first days. Before folks start, we have them answer a few questions about their favorite (and not so favorite) things. We then use this info to pair them up with their own personal welcome committee of one. We call them Sidekicks here, and if our new hire has a penchant for zombie movies, you can bet we’ll match them with a Sidekick who shares their enthusiasm for horror flicks. These employees not only embody our culture, they’re excited to share it. From office tours, to group introductions, to lunch, first days should be much more than just paperwork.

The smallest efforts before day one can really help show your new hire what an awesome decision joining your team was. What are some things your company does to welcome new employees before the first day?


Editors Note: Candace Nicolls is the Principal Recruiter for Product, Engineering, and Marketing at Snagajob. When she’s not sourcing and interviewing, she’s baking for her coworkers or spreading the word about Snag through networking and community partnerships. Snagajob was awarded Entrepreneur Magazine’s Best Small Company to Work for in America in 2011.

About Marisa

Marisa Keegan is a leadership coach, trainer, and HR consultant for quickly growing organizations who are passionate about strengthening their employees, their brand, and their culture. She has helped lead the HR, culture, and engagement initiatives at two nationally recognized great places to work; Rackspace as Culture Maven and Modea as Talent Manger. She is an author at Fistful of Talent and Culture Fanatics. Marisa has her Masters in Industrial Organizational Psychology and currently lives with her husband and twin boys in Richmond, Virginia.
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3 Responses to Before Day One

  1. Really solid advice. Great job!

  2. Ben Hubbard says:

    I don’t care how excited someone is… the first day has got to be nervous! Going the extra mile to make someone feel welcome is the way to go!

  3. Pingback: Yup, I’m The New Guy |

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