Making the right first impression

The interview went brilliantly, they accepted your offer … and now you’re waiting for your new hire to work their notice so they can come and join your team. Phew – time to relax! Except it isn’t. There are a few crucial things you should make sure you do, to make the right first impression before your latest team member’s first day at work.

Don’t forget to write

It’s really important to keep in touch during the weeks before your new employee starts with you. Not only will there be documents you need to send them, but it makes a really good impression (and bolsters their confidence in you) if you stay in regular contact. You might already have a set of onboarding emails you use, or you might prefer to make phone calls to follow up documents that have been posted or emailed. Both of these options begin to establish a relationship between you and your new hire, whereas radio silence might cast doubt in their mind about you as an employer!

Start off by sending them your employee handbook so they can get to know more about your company and its procedures. The handbook will probably answer loads of their questions, too – everything from holiday entitlement to how their personal details are securely stored.

You’ll also need to send a new starter form so that their tax code can be correctly established before their first pay day. We hear so many stories about first payslips not being right, and it’s an issue you can often sort out in advance.

Are there any other specific bits of paperwork you can sort out before your new employee begins? For example, will they sign their contract in person on day one, or in advance? You will need to obtain evidence of their right to work in the UK. Do you need to complete a DBS check or complete any other background checks such as employment references? And what about risk assessments for specific roles or tasks? Is your car park shared and does it need a pass? If your new starter needs to come into the workplace to deal with any of these issues, that’s another brilliant opportunity to say hi, or to introduce your new starter to some of their future colleagues.

Day one dawns …

Make sure your new employee knows where to go and who to ask for on the first day – email or call them a couple of days in advance to give them the details. Perhaps their first port of call will be security to get a pass organised. Tell security to expect them and to have the paperwork ready!

Prepare their work area. There’s nothing more disheartening to turn up on your first day in a new job and find that your desk has been used as a dumping ground, or that your predecessor’s things are still there. If you have a hot-desking environment, ensure there’s a space for your new starter on the day they begin.

And you’d think this is an obvious one, but not everyone remembers. Make sure the rest of the team says hello – especially close colleagues! If you have a large workplace or share a bigger office, ask someone to block out time to show the new employee where things are.

Putting an induction process in place is really important. Pre-book meetings during the new starter’s first week with HR and/or their line manager. This is the time to explain how your company’s probation period works, so you can set out your expectations as an employer and go through your new employee’s objectives, responsibilities and targets.

Hopefully your latest employee will soon become a valued and valuable member of the team, and helping them to settle in should make this a lot easier.

Don’t forget – if you have any questions about what you need to do before a new starter arrives at work, or if we can help with resources to support the transition, please drop us an email or give us a call on 01449 708999.


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