So you've recruited that brand new recruiter or staffing assistant to join your corporate recruiting team. If you've done your job right, they will come with all or most of the skills and experience necessary to be successful at your company. However, there is a wealth of information that they will need. No matter where they have worked before, they will need to understand all your processes, procedures, policies, and most of all the structure of your organization. What is the best way to bring your new employee up-to-speed? I've looked at this question many times over the years and have concluded that there is no one best way to do it. There are, however, many things that you can consider to make the transition into your company go as well as possible.
Employee orientation is done and your new employee's head is swimming with all that new information. They probably have a substantial manual to read. They have a desk, a phone, a computer. Maybe they can even login to the network, check email, and run your applicant tracking system (ATS). But with just this information they can't do a lick of work. They need more.
How best to provide what they need? It turns out that people learn in different ways. Some like to be told. Others like to be shown. Some want to read manuals and some like to learn by doing. If you are the person designated to "teach" the new recruit then you'll probably want to teach them the way you like to be taught. That's a big trap to fall into. It's much better to ask the new person how they like to learn and to do your best to provide that. For example, I like to explain how to do things in words. My wife doesn't want to listen to any of that. She wants to be shown. She has often told me, "Just show me how to do it." Once I saw that, things always went well.
Figure out all the different areas you want to cover and find subject matter experts on your team. Give each a well defined area and create and publish a schedule for everyone involved. This gives the new recruit an opportunity to learn from the people who know the material best. It also gives them an opportunity to meet and work with a variety of members of the team which will help them integrate quickly.
When should you give the new person real work to do? I favor doing that almost immediately. Give new recruiters about 10 requisitions to work after a few days. Give staffing administrators some interviews to schedule right away. They will have questions but they have lots of people to go to with those questions. There is no better way to learn how to do something that to actually do it.
You'll probably find that your new employee is stronger in some areas and weaker in others than you expected. You did not necessarily make a hiring mistake. It's impossible to know exactly what you're getting when you hire someone. Utilize their strengths as much as you can and develop their weaknesses. Training courses are fine for core skills such as using your ATS or MS Office. If you're hiring experienced people they can probably adapt to your ATS based on previous systems they've used. I've noticed that many recruiters would rather complain about their ATS than to learn how to use it properly. Regular, brief demonstrations for the whole team will gradually increase the team's competency in this area.
Many managers ask new recruits to come to them with any questions while claiming an open door policy. However, managers are often busy and difficult to reach. The door is open but the manager is rarely there. Encourage your new employees to seek out their own answers by asking questions and studying all online resources.
New recruits will make some mistakes. It will take them some time to learn. What we're talking about here is minimizing the mistakes and bringing them up-to-speed as quickly as possible.
How do you do it where you work? What would you like to add to this discussion?