Getting New Employees Up to Speed

Kevin Nye —  August 22, 2013 — Leave a comment

When you’re looking to bring on a new employee, there are factors that both parties need to be aware of. Perhaps biggest among these is that both the company and the candidate need to be aware of how the employee will be integrated into the company. Of course, that means you (the employer) needs to know how the employee will be ushered into the company. This is not as simple as it seems. Here are some tips:

1) The job title matters

If you’re bringing on a salesperson and know that their main focus will be chasing leads and bringing in new business, the learning curve may be shorter than if you’re hiring a design engineer for a metalworking company. The job title has a lot to do with how much time it will take to make someone aware of company policy. Related to this, the level of experience for the employee will obviously play a big role in their need for guidance: An entry-level customer service associate will need different pointers than someone who has done it for a rival company for years.

2) Communicate your expectations before the hire

False hopes about job responsibility are a leading cause of employees leaving a job quickly. While going through the interview process – especially when you’re down to the final two or three candidates – you’ll want to explain your vision for their role. This should include the amount time you want them to spend working underneath someone, time spent shadowing someone, and/or when you think they’ll be autonomous. While you may have some company information that you’d like them to learn, it’s important for the candidate to know how much they’re expected to learn beforehand and how much they’ll learn on the job.

3) Be prepared for things to change

The best laid plans often go awry, so don’t fret if/when they do. There are situations that you can’t fully prepare someone for until they experience it firsthand. If you thought your training would take a month, but situation X doesn’t come up until month three, don’t worry about it. You can’t expect the new employee to know something that they’ve never had to deal with before and they shouldn’t expect to handle everything the first time it happens. Things can and will change within an organization. Do your best to prepare the new employee and yourself for these potential changes. If that means the job responsibilities may be transitioning, be sure to communicate with your staff about the changes.

4) Help

Even when you train someone for a couple of months, there are things that will take a few real-life applications before they stick. Whether it’s a procedure, a policy, or a standard practice for the company, not every detail will lodge itself in a new employee’s brain on the first try. Allow yourself some patience and help the person to do things right whenever they have a problem. By being willing to help an employee, you will actually be instilling confidence in that person, which makes it less likely that you’ll need to help them out in the future.

Overall, the best way to help a new employee get acclimated to your company is to make them feel comfortable. Ultimately, it will depend on the job you’re filling and will vary a little bit depending on your company’s style, but having a warm culture will go a long way in getting a new hire on their feet in as little time as necessary.

Kevin Nye


Kevin Nye was an account manager here at NewHire and pro at understanding clients’ hiring needs. He performs stand-up and improv at comedy clubs around Chicago.

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