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Celebrating 50 years of Building High Performance Corporate Teams - 1971 to 2021

Hiring doesn’t have to be an uncertain process!

You may recall that I promised to help you answer the following 6 questions in 2012:

  1. Who am I REALLY looking for?
  2. Where am I going to find him/her?
  3. How am I going to evaluate him/her?
  4. How am I actually going to hire him/her?
  5. How am I going to successfully “on-board” him/her?
  6. How am I going to retain him/her?

This time we are looking at how to successfully on-board your chosen candidate.

Do you remember what it felt like when you first joined your company after a successful career somewhere else, especially if a relocation was involved? You will want to do everything you can for your new employee to overcome the natural jitters and cognitive dissonance, and to create an environment that ensures quick engagement and early wins.

Physical Considerations

The first step is to ensure that all the physical requirements of the job are looked after on behalf of your new employee. This will include things like business cards, office space, computer, phone line (and extension), software licenses, cell phone, expense card, company car, etc., and getting the individual’s name listed on the company org chart and telephone directory.

Day One Orientation

The initial orientation on Day 1 should be thought out carefully and treated as a high priority, not simply as a necessary administrative task. You will want to give your new employee a warm welcoming feeling, with a tour of the premises, and a strong introduction to the team and support staff.

You will also want to give them an overview of the entire on-boarding process, including the training schedule, which should include the following elements:

  1. Company overview (vision, history, org structure, goals, etc.)
  2. Administration (final on-boarding documentation with HR, how to fill out forms like expense reports, etc.)
  3. Computer training (as needed, for custom software, corporate CRM, etc.)
  4. Specific job training and/or job shadowing

Psychic and Emotional Considerations

You will also want to spend some quality time with your new employee, helping him/her to engage quickly into the new environment and work toward early wins. This will include elements like:

  1. Discussing potential allies and detractors (for instance an internal employee who might have been passed over for this position), and
    how to deal with them.
  2. Outlining informal networks and sources of information (i.e. the informal ways that information gets circulated and things get done).
  3. Clarifying and agreeing on goals and expectations in the first weeks and months, including “easy wins” to help build confidence and reputation.


A lot goes into a successful on-boarding. If done well, it will go a long way to launching your new employee in a successful career with your company – if done poorly, it will almost certainly result in failure.