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New Hires - Breaking Them in - Gently

Akhil Shahani

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Most of us remember our first day at work in some detail. I can recall the anxiety, expectation, heightened sense of anticipation and the agonizing question of whether I made the right choice, even to this day.

Times have changed, and so have workplaces on the surface. However, the first day at work is still the same for a new hire. So if your business is hiring a bunch of smart, young people, be sure to break them in, gently.

Here are a few things that you can do to make new recruits more comfortable with their decision of working for your company.

Start a paper trail - Develop a system of getting all new hires to fill out a set of forms at the time of joining, or even before doing so. Maintaining immaculate paperwork brings several advantages both to your company as well as the new recruit, as listed below

  • Important information is maintained in a standardized format, as opposed to a bunch of resumes. Not only is the data easier to handle, you also ensure that you've captured everything you need to know.

  • A lot of businesses expect their employees to sign non-disclosure, confidentiality or non-compete agreements. This is done best at the time of sign up, when any objections can be dealt with, with minimal repercussions.

  • Paperwork gives the new hires a sense of purpose, at a time when they're vulnerable, at a loose end or both. It also instills a feeling of belonging - if your company issues an identity badge of some sort, that's even better.

  • In fact, it may be a good idea to undertake this exercise, before the actual joining date. There is usually a long gap between the time the company makes an offer and the date of commencement of work, which can seem like forever to a new recruit. It's also the time when doubts and fears work their insidious magic in the minds of the candidate. Filling out the forms usually reassures them and also makes them feel that they are not forgotten.

  • For companies, it's a good way of keeping the communication going.

  • On the flip side, should there be any drop-outs at this stage, the cost to the company is lower than it would be a few months down the line.

    Establish an orientation program - We cannot overstress the importance of getting the first day right. A well planned and executed orientation schedule immediately creates a favorable impression in the minds of the new hires. It further reassures them that this is the right place to be.

    An orientation program could last a day or several weeks, depending on the complexity of operations and the work profile of the candidate. However, these are some things that should be included in it:

  • A formal introduction to the company - including its history, significant milestones, present stature and future plans
  • An overview of the organization structure and key management
  • Introduction to the company's culture
  • Broad aspects of company policy that apply to everyone

    In addition, show them around the office, and its facilities. Remember that the timing of lunch and coffee breaks are of interest to all, so be sure to tell them about it.

    If you, as the business head play an active role in the orientation process, by either addressing a gathering or hosting a dinner for all the new hires, their memories of day 1 will be that much more pleasant!

    Hi, I'm Akhil Shahani, a serial entrepreneur who wants to help you succeed. If you like to work smart, check out It's full of articles and resources to help you start and grow your business successfully. Please visit us & download our special “Freebie of The Month" at

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