13 Key Factors for Ensuring a New Hire’s Success in the First Three Months

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Welcome to Recruiter Q&A, where we pose employment-related questions to the experts and share their answers!

Today’s Question: What does your company do to ensure a new employee’s success during their first 90 days on the job?

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization composed of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs.

josh1. Early Onboarding

Begin the onboarding process before the employee’s first day. A week before they start, send them all the administrative paperwork and info they need to complete in their first week. They’ll be able to get it out of the way and focus 100 percent on their new job. Also, ensure your internal teams prepare early by gathering all the info, logins, etc., the new hire will need to start off well on their first day.

Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite 

Riccardo2. Detailed Explanations

Explain your processes in detail and describe how to execute your processes correctly so there are no mix-ups or miscommunications. When you explain, you leave no room for mistakes or assumptions. Let your newcomers ask any questions they may have so there are no doubts right off the bat.

Riccardo Conte, Virtus Flow 

syed3. Physical Onboarding Documents

Creating a documented onboarding process can make a new employee’s early days at a company easier and more effective. Make sure that you provide your employees with a handbook and an onboarding document that lays out what to expect and whom to contact with questions. Other details such as meetings to attend, security matters, and more should be laid out, too.

Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner 

jared4. A Friendly Company Culture

A great way to ensure an employee’s success when they start is to create a company culture that supports them. When people feel comfortable and welcome, they’re more likely to excel and maximize their productivity. You can use team exercises, lunches, and meetings to cultivate a friendly company culture in which employees feel cared for.

Jared Atchison, WPForms 

nicole5. Clear Task Descriptions and Expectations

Make sure your new team member has clear, focused, and attainable goals. This is going to be key to helping them get in the groove. You don’t have to start with KPI-based goals; a new hire’s earliest goals can be as simple as onboarding to the company project management tool, building a pipeline of work to do, or even select reading about the company or industry.

Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc. 

mario6. Monthly Goals

Depending on a new hire’s seniority and the complexity of their job, we set the duration of the onboarding period and assign small wins for the first month. Certain KPIs are expected in month two, and the new hire should be comfortable with the team and their recurring assignments by month three. Covering all three bases ahead of time — even during the interview — is integral to a new hire’s success.

Mario Peshev, DevriX 

patrick7. Room for Questions

Make space so that the new hire feels comfortable enough to ask questions. Many new hires feel intimidated and won’t ask questions out of fear they might come off as incompetent. If you make space for them and let them know you’re there to answer any questions, they might feel more incentivized to ask the essential questions that will help them become key individuals in the future.

Patrick Barnhill, Specialist ID, Inc. 

Reuben8. Weekly Check-Ins

The fastest way to get a new employee up to speed is with weekly check-ins, during which the new team member can share their progress and present their projections for the next week. This way, you’ll find out if they’re the best fit for the role, and the time and effort invested by management over the first quarter could lead to a potential lifetime of shared expectations and communication.

Reuben Yonatan, SaasList 

thomas9. Guidance, Not Rules

We give guidance, not boundaries or hard rules that can never be broken. New employees need guidance on how to settle into their roles, but they shouldn’t ever feel constrained by that guidance. We like to offer advice and information instead of penalties and rules. Employees appreciate the softer touch and the chance to learn more about why we do things the way we do.

Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster 

duran10. Start Out Small

Measure the success of new hires with small but quantifiable goals. A new hire is going to need some time to get used to the new environment, especially if they have paperwork and training to complete. Set them up with a small assignment and ask them to complete it by a certain date. If they can manage that, you can start establishing higher expectations and allotting more responsibility.

Duran Inci, Optimum7 

Kelsey11. A Detailed 90-Day Plan

We realized a couple years ago that it was stressful for new employees to not know how much they should know or how they were doing on their training in the first 90 days. So we now have a detailed 90-day plan for every role, and the new employee meets with their direct support on a weekly basis to talk through how they are progressing on the plan.

Kelsey Raymond, Influence & Co. 

john12. Cross-Training Opportunities

Cross-training in the first 90 days is the perfect way to ensure the success of your new employee. Don’t expect them to master every position you move them to, but give them a chance to discover the different positions available throughout the company. This tactic can be super helpful if someone calls off and you need the new hire to fill in while they’re out.

John Turner, SeedProd LLC 

andy13. Pair the New Hire With a Senior Employee

Pair the new hire with a senior employee who can spend some time working with them directly. This helps people feel like they’re part of the team and removes the ambiguity that so many employees experience in the first few months, which leads to high turnover and poor employee performance. Match the new hire with somebody who can show them the ropes while doing productive work.

Andy Karuza, LitPic 

By Recruiter Q&A