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No Surprises Hiring: A 90-Day Tip for Onboarding New Employees

“That is not the person I thought I was hiring.”
Sound familiar? Nobody likes “surprises” when it comes to hiring. The investment of time, money and energy that goes into the new hire selection is an immense undertaking. It can be even more costly when not done well.

So how can you and your team make sure that a few months into a new hire’s employment, you have “no surprises”?

Challenge your organization to use this one intent statement (or outcome) that I use with my own team:

For 90 days after we hire someone, there are no surprises.

That’s a simple statement, but it can lead to important improvements. Consider:

  • It doesn’t say HR failed. It doesn’t say the hiring manager failed.
  • It doesn’t say our onboarding process wasn’t very good.
  • It says simply: “No surprises 90 days after we hire someone.”

That means you’ve got 90 days of onboarding to know whether or not they’re going to be a fit.

For 90 days, it’s incumbent upon every one that’s part of the process—from the new employee’s manager to their peers to the hiring team—to make sure no red flags arise.

What I see happen when organizations do this is they make discoveries about their own internal processes that they may not have realized. When you’re surprised by a new hire’s behavior or something you didn’t expect, stop and ask:

How could we have found that earlier in the process?

It reframes the question without putting the blame on a single person or part of the hiring process.

This can change the way your organization analyzes hiring, which now more than ever, is critical in a time of intense hiring. Imagine if, over the next 90 days, all your surprises are pleasant ones when you bring new people on board!

For more leadership tips, get my eBook, How to Turn Disruption Into Opportunity.