When hiring a new recruiter onto your team, you’ll spend a lot of time outlining the role, creating the advert and interviewing all the potential candidates. But how much time do you spend on planning their induction? Inductions can really make or break a recruiter's experience, so it's in everyone's interest to get it right!
New recruits are quick to make judgements about whether they like a company or not even within the first few days, and if it’s not looking good – they’re off!
And if you work out the cost and effort you put in to recruiting them, getting them set-up, handling their recruitment training, paying them 2/3 months’ salary before they decide to leave... it’s clear that planning a good introduction to your company matters more than you probably like to admit.
Research has shown that a new recruit takes up to 28 weeks to get up to speed and can cost you as much as £25,000 to on-board!
So what can you do to reduce the length of time it takes to train a recruiter in your processes whilst still ensuring they have a positive experience and receive the level of training they need?
Here’s a quick insight to my fast-track training plan for new hires:
As soon as your job offer is accepted...
Once the recruiter has accepted your offer, you can start getting the ball rolling straight away (they’ll appreciate this as much you do). Think about sending your new start something that helps them get excited about starting at your company, get to know your culture, your team members and company values – a recruitment brand video, for example. This will help them get better acquainted with your company story, so they feel ready to hit the ground running!
We post our contracts out to new starts in a bright Firefish red envelope, along with some of our famous fish sweeties and a wee Firefish card from the team to let them know how excited we are that they’re joining us. It always goes down a treat!
The week before they start...
Anyone starting a new job is bound to be a mixed bag of nerves and excitement (you would hope!) the week before they start. Therefore, this is a critical time for you to put them at ease, help manage their expectations of what their first day or week will be like and encourage your team to reach out on LinkedIn to say ‘hi’.
Simple things like this will make a new start feel really welcome, and massively reduces the chances of them getting cold feet before they walk through the door – which would not only be a big disappointment, but a major drag on company resources too.
On day one...
The only goal I really set for day one is to give them space to meet their team, to understand where they’ll fit in to the company and take them through the undeniably boring but necessary internal policy documents.
We always make day one a shorter day for new starts, and get buddies from other teams that they’ll be working with to take them out to lunch. Essentially, this is just an opportunity to show them the ropes of where to get the best lunch grub, give them a break from the policy docs, and give them the low-down on why they love working for your company!
You may be thinking “How is this going to fast-track my new recruiter into making placements?” but remember that day one is like a first date – you do want them to come back the following day, so it’s important to put your best foot forward and impress them!
The rest of week one...
A highly motivated new employee will be eager to impress you, so now’s the time to give them the opportunity to do so.
Set them a task related to their job that they can work on and complete for you by the end of the week. This could be a quiz on your company proposition, a market overview presentation, identifying 20 new candidates that are good fit for one of your roles, or a new vacancy brief process – whatever task you think sets them up best to showcase their knowledge whilst ensuring they’re learning and asking all the relevant questions.
Most crucially of all, a task like this will give them the feeling when they go home on the Friday that they’ve already contributed to the team and that you trust them to get on with things. This should have a positive impact on their recruitment training as they’ll walk through the door the following Monday feeling like they’ve already found their feet and carved a space for themselves at the company.
The next three months...
Ideally, you’ll have set a number of objectives you’d like the new employee to have completed by the end of the three months based on the original profile you used to recruit them.
These objectives become the basis of the emotional contract between you and your new recruiter, and also serve as great guidance for the new recruit, as they'll understand exactly what’s expected of them and what they should be aiming to achieve in the coming weeks and months.
Your guideline objectives and set goal line then allows you to make onboarding new recruiters a team effort. Let’s face it – even if you plan it in to spend loads of time helping get them up to speed, recruitment is so unpredictable that things hardly ever go to plan!
Making inductions a team effort
Share the new employee’s objectives with your team and highlight each members’ individual strengths and expertise that the new recruit can learn from. Not only does this help to share the load, but it also gives your current employees the opportunity to step up and demonstrate leadership and coaching skills that you may not have be aware were there.
From here, it’s about touching base each week (formally or informally – however you prefer to do things) and most importantly, it’s about observing how they’re progressing.
You will quickly pick up on areas that they need some extra support with or times they need to be encouraged forward. At the first sign of doubt, ask them to score themselves on how they think they’re doing on a 1-5 rating against each of these objectives. For the ones they score less than 3, find out what assistance they need to move this up to a 4 or 5 by the end of their three months and set a weekly plan that will help them get there.
Remember the first three months are critical for the new recruit and you need to ensure you’ve hired someone that will not only fit in with your team and culture, but also provide you a return on your investment.
When I think back to my own first three months in recruitment, if it wasn’t for my manager at the time supporting me through my first 6-12 weeks of candidates not showing up, no one taking my calls and spending my time interviewing technical candidates day in, day out (and, if I'm honest, not really understanding a thing they were saying to me!) I would have certainly bailed out of recruitment.
But then fast-forward to a year later, and I was their top recruitment consultant and was making the company thousands! So a good induction coupled with a great recruit and genuinely supportive team certainly pays off.
If you have a new recruit starting in your team who’s entirely new to the recruitment industry, we wrote a great guide on how to improve quickly as a new recruiter that could come to good use!
And if you’re in the process of growing your recruitment team, I put together an eBook with some valuable insights on the metrics you should be thinking about when planning for growth. Click below to download!
Wendy McDougall is Chief Fish of Firefish Software. In her spare time, you'll find her playing squash or feeding her inner geek with the latest technology!