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DSS Consulting, Inc., specializes in many high-tech staffing solutions. Identifying and understanding the aspects of each job, and then guiding candidates through the screening and pre-interview process, is an art best performed by recruitment pros with a human touch. Let the DSS artists create a career masterpiece for you.

Selecting & Hiring Candidates

Day One: A Manager's Checklist

by Nancy S. Ahlrichs, SPHR


  • Use the first day to set the tone for the new hire.
  • Prepare by setting up the work area and scheduling training.

First impressions count. And when you bring a new player on board, day one counts, possibly more than any other day does. Any manager worth his salt will have a detailed plan for the first day of each new hire's employment. During this brief window of time, a manager either ignites the new hires' imagination and motivation or sets them on an uncertain path. Experiences on the first day of work often determine whether the new hire will become a productive employee or a revolving-door memory.

For a new employee to connect with the company, he needs to bond with his manager. Managers must take seven steps before a new hire arrives to increase the odds that the candidate will feel he made the right career choice.

1. Alert Existing Staff to the Start Date and Its Role.
Make sure current employees know the new hire's start date, responsibilities, title and qualifications summary. Ask the new employee's peers what would make the first days easier, and have them create a calendar of events for the new person, detailing each employee's role. Determine who will make introductions, who will give a tour of the department and greater organization -- preferably you -- and who will walk the new employee through his job.

2. Set a Positive Tone of Anticipation.
When someone new is being added, each staff member wonders, "What's in it for me?" Talk to your staff to set the stage for positive relationships and to ensure any questions are answered.

3. Send Paperwork for Completion in Advance.
No one enjoys filling in the blanks. Even if you have to pay the new employee for time taken, sending him mundane paperwork before the first day will help establish your organization's professional tone. The positive first impression is worth the extra effort and dollars.

4. Enable Access in Advance.
If security badges, parking stickers or system access are required for a fast start, greet the new hire with everything he needs. Tell the IT department and security about the new hire, and ask the receptionist to welcome him. A welcome sign or message in the reception area is a great touch -- these are the little things that mean a lot.

5. Set up the Work Area.
Ensure that the new hire's work area, including keyboard and desk, is clean. Clear out irrelevant files and provide paperclips, scissors, pens and folders. A clean, well-stocked workstation says, "We're ready. Are you?"

6. Schedule Necessary Skills Training.
Most employees need training in sexual harassment prevention, and computer, voice-mail, email and online calendaring systems, along with a review of how to operate other equipment. If it is needed for the job, schedule the new hire's training early.

7. Be there.
There is no excuse for a manager not personally welcoming the new hire. Remember: This is a big day for him, and you're his new boss. Not being there sends the wrong message. The first day is one of the most negotiable items during the hiring process. If necessary, delay the start date until after your important daylong meeting or vacation.