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Today’s Question: How do you gauge a new hire’s success during their first three months on the job?
The answers below are provided by members of FounderSociety, an invitation-only organization comprised of ambitious startup founders and business owners.
1. See If They’re Taking Initiative
That’s the No. 1 thing I look for: Is the hire taking steps toward the changes they talked about making during their interview? It doesn’t have to be a full program implementation, but it does have to be a different, more thoughtful way of approaching the challenges of their work. Otherwise, I worry I’ve hired a dud.
— Adarsh Pallian, Trippeo
2. Make Sure You’re Also Holding Up Your End
In order for a new hire at Aligned Signs to be successful, it has to be about give and take. It is our responsibility to lay out the role, responsibilities, and authority the new hire has. It is their responsibility to make sure they are clear on what is conveyed. Usually, we can tell early on that it’s a good fit if the new hire is engaged, actively asking questions, and proactively addressing milestone tasks.
— Jessica Baker, Aligned Signs
3. See If They’re Reliable
As you bring new people into your business, a good sign that you are hiring successfully is how often you have to second-guess and worry about what work is getting done. The best hires will get to work and deliver results on time. Those whom you have to continually ask after and hover over are likely bringing in more problems than they are worth.
— Zac Johnson, Blogging.org
4. Focus on Benchmarks
As a marketing agency, a big part of our business is to track where all of our hours are spent, so we have a lot of data about how much time certain tasks typically take. If someone’s taking much longer than that — or, if their work is resulting in others needing to spend much more time on editing and oversight — we know early on that it’s not a good fit, much as we might like the employee.
— Kathryn Hawkins, Eucalypt Media
5. Start at the Beginning
The best way to track a new hire’s progress is to put an onboarding plan in front of them from the start. Start with the key tasks that they need to be able to accomplish on the job. Define the metrics you will be using to evaluate their success. Then set a timeline and goals and ask the new hire to be accountable to this plan.
— Nathan Klarer, Bridgecrest Medical, Inc.
6. Check for Culture Fit
Assuming the work they employee is doing is sufficient in both quality and quantity, I look closely at how they interact with the other people in my business. Are they meshing well with office culture, or do they seem like they’re an outsider? Do coworkers enjoy the new hire’s company, or do they go out of their way to avoid them?
— Steven Buchwald, Buchwald & Associates
7. Gauge the Impact of Their Results
A new hire is successful when, by the end of the first month or two, the results from their efforts can be easily identified.
— Arry Yu, GiftStarter
8. Consider How Thoughtful Their Questions Are
Whether it’s in person or via Slack, I can tell whether someone is contributing to our overall success based on the questions they’re asking and the comments they’re making. If they are genuinely concerned and interested in how we do business, why we exist as a company, and in our objectives, it will show in how they interact with me and everyone else on our team.
— Coy Yonce, Mantis Digital Arts