Recruiting new talent is one of HR’s most important and challenging roles. This is even more difficult for those in high growth markets, which according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, includes industries such as healthcare, professional services, skilled trades, software development and IT. To compete for top candidates in these sectors, HR must not only find ways to attract applicants, but improve retention as well.

Often times, a lot of time and energy is spent getting talent in the door, but not on making the transition easier. This can create a lot of unnecessary stress, but also reduce your overall retention rates. After all, the first weeks set the stage for your new hire’s entire experience with your organization.

Fortunately, you can take steps to make your new hire’s transition stress-free and even fun! Here are a few tips to get you started.

1. Streamline your pre-hire processes

It’s easy to forget how tiresome the interview process can be for candidates. They might be talking with several recruiters and going through the interview process for multiple positions at the same time. This means that by the time you make them an offer, they are already overwhelmed. You will make everyone’s life easier by removing obstacles and unnecessary steps in your pre-hire process.

Ideas to implement:  Electronic onboarding is a great way to simplify your new hire paperwork. The right platform will allow your new team member to do things like manage their personal information, sign off on company policies and fill out direct deposit information. 

2. Remove first-day questions

There’s no doubt about it, first days are universally hard, no matter how excited your new hire may be. You can win a lot of points by making your new hire’s first day as smooth as possible. This starts by removing questions before they even need to ask them. Talk them through things like your office dress code and break policies, just make sure you don’t overwhelm them with information too close to the big day.

Ideas to implement: Create a “first day walk through” for new hires that includes an itinerary of their day. Include everything from where to park and when to take lunch, to a list of who they will meet. You may also want to do a quick call with them the day before they are scheduled to start.

3. Have their area ready

Being the new person on the team is always a bit awkward, but it’s even worse if you’re not actually ready for them. All too often, new hires start before their desk and technology is completely ready to go. This can leave them feeling like they don’t have a home base, adding to first day stress. You can eliminate this by simply having their area and technology stet up and ready to go. 

Ideas to implement: Alongside your tech set up, have basic office supplies at your new hire’s desk. If your IT team needs to walk them through anything, make sure you have it scheduled. Include a few nice swag items to help them feel welcome!

4. New hire ambassador

If you think back to your first day at any job, you probably remember having lots of questions. Not knowing where to turn for answers can make even small things more stressful. Fortunately, this is easy to eliminate by appointing each new hire an ambassador. Their job is to make your new hire feel comfortable, show them around and answer any questions that come up.

Ideas to implement: When possible, your new hire ambassadors should be from the same department as the new hire. They will want to greet your new hire upon arrival, show them around and introduce them to the team. Provide your ambassador with a checklist so they don’t forget anything important.

Having a small welcome gift is also a great way to make your new hire feel at home. You may also want to schedule a team lunch to give everyone a chance to chat. After all, you spent a lot of time finding and recruiting them, you want them to know you’re as excited to have them as they are to get started!

The material presented here is educational in nature and is not intended to be, nor should be relied upon, as legal or financial advice. Please consult with an attorney or financial professional for advice.