Welcome to the Company: Ideas for Successful Onboarding

Hiring new employees can be an exciting time – for both you and the new hire! After all, you found an awesome addition to your team, and you’re excited to show them how great your business is. Although having a new hire can be really fun, it can also be really stressful – especially for the new person.

You want to alleviate stress for your new hire by giving them a smooth transition into your business. So, how do you do that? Here are some ideas for giving your new hire a smooth start in your business.

  • Start with the small stuff: When your new hire starts, there are some seemingly small items that can actually help make the transition a little easier for them. Consider a small welcome gift they can use in the office, such as a water bottle or coffee mug. Also, make sure to show them where the bathrooms are, how to use the copy machine and what to do if they’re having computer problems, to name a few. Although these may seem small, these items can help your new hire feel comfortable in the new environment.
  • Use the buddy system: Consider pairing your new hire with an employee who’s been with the company for a while. The buddy can be the new hire’s go to person if they have questions and concerns about getting acclimated within the company. The buddy can also share some of their tips, tricks and experiences, which can ultimately help the new hire get a great understanding of the ins and outs of the business. Having a buddy can also help the new hire feel more comfortable simply because they know someone within the company and are not all alone.
  • Hands-on approach: What better way to learn than by doing? A great way to get your new hire involved and comfortable is to start them off by doing rather than by watching. Whether it be a computer program or making phone calls, involving them from the get-go can provide beneficial training. It also allows the new hire to ask questions in real time as they arise, rather than scrambling for an answer if an issue comes up. However, try not to give them too much hands-on training right away. You want to help them feel comfortable, not overwhelm them.

 

  • Team involvement: Right from the beginning, it’s important to involve the entire team your new hire will work with. Whether it be going out for lunch on the first day or just holding a brief introduction meeting, letting your new hire meet the people he or she will be working with the most gives a level of familiarity which can help lead to better productivity. When the team works well together, better results are often produced.

 

Gaining a new employee is a fun and exciting step for your business. To reduce stress for them (and you), and to give them a smooth transition, consider some of these ideas. When your employees work well together, you can watch your business thrive.

*Bonus: If you need help with new hire onboarding, let us know. Our outsourced HR services can help make sure your new hire has an easy transition.

Important Items When Hiring

Have you ever thought about hiring staff? You know, bringing in employees to work beside you in your business to keep it awesome and running smoothly? As a business owner, it’s likely the thought has at least crossed your mind. What you might not have thought about is the legalities that come along with hiring staff.

Before you hire staff, the Small Business Administration says you need to take care of some very important to-do items.

  1. Employer Identification Number (EIN) — To hire employees, you will need to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS by filing an application. This can be done on the IRS website. An EIN is the unique code the IRS uses to identify your company – similar to how your social security number identifies you.
  2. Forms W-2 and W-4 — Having employees means you will have to file taxes on their wages. You will need your employees to fill out W-4 forms when they are hired. You will also need to submit W-2 forms for employees to Social Security. Getting these records set up right away will make for smooth(er) sailing during tax season.
  3. Form I-9 — You also need to make sure the employees you’re hiring are legal to work in the United States. To do this, you as the employer will need to complete Form I-9 within three days of hiring someone. You may need to do an online verification during this step as well. This will depend on what state you are in and whether you are a Federal contractor or sub-contractor.
  4. Two Words: Worker’s Compensation — In the somewhat unlikely – but still very serious – event someone gets injured on the job, you typically need to pay worker’s compensation. Your business will need to have specific insurance to cover this, and this insurance needs to be in place as soon as you have employees. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
  5. Form 941 — More on taxes. Employers who pay wages are usually subject to other taxes, such as social security. Because of this, employers have to file Form 941, or the Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return.
  6. New Hire Reporting — You will need to register with your state’s New Hire Reporting Program, which is essentially just a large directory of all employees. Employers must report newly hired or rehired workers within 20 days. What must be reported? Federal and state laws in North Dakota, for example, require you report the employee’s name, address, social security number, date of hire and whether or not health insurance is offered. These criteria can vary from state to state.
  7. Workplace Posters — Employers are required by law to display certain posters in the workplace. Such posters usually inform employees of their rights under labor laws. Some examples include the Equal Employment Opportunity poster, the Fair Labor Standards Act poster and the Family and Medical Leave Act poster. Most of these posters can be found online through the US Department of Labor’s website.

Hiring employees can be an exciting step for your business. Not only can they help your business succeed, but they may be a sign that business is good and you need more help to serve your customers.

If you have any questions about the hiring process, our HR consultants are here to help you take this step!

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Engage Your Employees in the Hiring Process

When going through the hiring process, the obvious end goal is to hire the best talent. However, you’ve probably never realized this same hiring process can actually help you hold onto and develop the employees you already have!

Think to the most recent interview you had with a candidate. Who was in the room with you? Was it just the hiring manager and the candidate, or were there more people involved? The interview is a key point to get your employees involved.

Once you have your candidates narrowed down to the final options, bring in staff the candidate would be working with. Let them sit in on the interview and get to know the candidate.

Why? Here are a few good reasons:

  • Another Point of View – Allowing other staff members to sit in on an interview brings in another set of ears, as well as a fresh perspective and relevant expertise. If this employee is going to be the new hire’s direct supervisor, he or she will know better than anyone what skills and characteristics this candidate should possess. Involving this employee allows for another person to get a feel for the candidate and to help decide how they would fit in the organization.
  • Team Fit – They say a first impression goes a long way, and this is true for both parties. Having multiple staff members present in the interview helps the candidate get an immediate feel for the company culture and can be a great way to help them feel comfortable in the position, if hired. Another benefit is the potential to see how well the candidate gets along with the staff. In any team, the team is only as strong as its weakest player. You want to make sure all members of the team interact well with each other, and that there are no clashing personalities to hinder the success of the team.
  • Professional Development – Aside from the staff members getting to know the candidate, they are also getting to know the company better. Staff members may learn interesting facts and policies of the company they were not previously aware of. This can cause for curiosity to rise in these employees, and they may have a desire to get more involved and learn more about these issues.

After the interview is where you are really able to work on developing your employees. When the interview has concluded, take time to debrief. By debrief, we mean meet with your employees for discussion. And yes, we said meet – this type of conversation is best held in person, not over email.

If members of the team work in different offices and an in-person meeting is hard to facilitate, try a face-to-face meeting online. Although you are not physically together, the face-to-face communication is still present, allowing for stronger communication.

Debriefing with your employees after the interview is crucial. This allows a designated time and space for everyone involved to get together and compare notes on the candidate. It is also, however, the perfect time for employees to bring up questions they may have formulated relating to teams and the company itself.

When employees get together to discuss the interview, they are also able to discuss problems within the team and ideas for trying to solve them. This allows for employees to get more involved in the business, and have their input heard and valued by other members of the team. Employees will also get a chance to put in their two cents about how this candidate could help solve these problems in the team.

Finally, during the debrief, everyone must present their reasoning for why this candidate should or shouldn’t be hired. The idea here is to be sure everyone is on the same page. If some aren’t, this allows time to address concerns before the hire, rather than after the candidate has already joined the team.

Maybe you’ve read this blog so far and thought “but I’m filling a senior position, why should I do this?” The answer is simple: everyone in the organization is part of the team. For the team to be cohesive and successful, the members must get along and work well together. Involving employees, no matter how big or small the position, can help ensure you are creating a winning team.

 

 

The Lost Art of the Thank You Note

By: Allison Ausmus, Recruiter

Chances are that at some point in your life, whether it be personal life or career, you’ve had a reason to thank someone. Maybe it was for a gift you received or help on a project. We remember to say thank you when someone helps us, but when did we forget to say thank you after a job interview?

A few years back (we don’t want to date ourselves), colleges taught students to send hand written thank you cards after interviewing for jobs. This practice was seen as a way to show professionalism and was deemed as good etiquette – and it was the polite thing to do!

However, in recent years this trend seems to be disappearing. In today’s fast paced world of technology, showing appreciation by email or even snail mail (gasp!) is often considered a waste of time or seen as taking up too much valuable inbox space. And honestly, that’s a really sad trend.

Having a strong background in human resources, I know from experience that the candidates who send thank you cards or emails after an interview stand out (in a good way) because many candidates don’t take the time to send a thank you.

Here are a few reasons why it’s important to say thank you after an interview:

  • It shows character. Taking the time to express your appreciation for someone shows thoughtfulness. And who doesn’t want to work with kind, appreciative, thoughtful people?
  • It gives the opportunity to ask questions. If any questions or concerns came up in the interview, this is the perfect place to let them be heard. This shows you paid attention to what the interviewers were asking and what the company is looking for. You can address those concerns and simultaneously sell why you are the right choice for the opportunity.
  • It lets you reiterate you are a great fit for the job. You are able to address once more why you would be a good pick, and it also allows you to state what you like about the company and position. Ensuring the interviewers that you want this job lets them know how serious you are about the opportunity, and will help them differentiate between candidates.

If it comes down to the wire with you and another candidate, that thank you note could give you an edge. Sending a well written thank you note is a great opportunity to leave a memorable final impression with the interviewers, and could ultimately land you the job.