On-Boarding Executives

The new Director of Cyber Security  or Engineering Manager starts work… Contrats and welcome? It depends on how its handled from day one. As the new employee starts work, they still have hidden questions about this new job. And that’s normal, as they evaluate their job change. At Pace Morgan, we hear the employee feedback right away and there’s a lot to learn from what they say.

Actual case study:

Summer 2014 with a midsize employer (approx 450 employees) based in Northern CA. The new Sr. Manager of IT Architecture and Security met a few key people on their first day on the job, and received their freshly minted security badge. But the team was scattered and not available since many were on vacation, and the hiring manager was not available either. The new hire was not made aware of any of this in advance.  Serious questions arise:

  • Did this introductory day set the proper tone for settling any doubts a new hire might have?
  • Was the new employee given the professional respect by their management team?
  • What will the employee think when he leaves for home at the end of the first day?

To keep a new hire interested and engaged with his/her new job, the employer must on-board the new hires properly (regardless of level) and ensure they are motivated from day one. Ultimately, in this example, the employee stayed in the role, but it was not without some support and advice from the Pace Morgan recruiter and HR to solve the problem of what we term “Post Hire Dissonance”

Post Hire Dissonance

Our annual salary surveys create discussions with hundreds of staff and managers within Information Technology and Engineering roles.  They often tell us about on-boarding disappointment and how often they were second-guessing their decision on the first day or the first week. This is what we call “Post Hire Dissonance”. Often , these are the employees leave within 12 – 24 months to try it again with another company they feel will respect them more and a safer career move for them long-term.

Better Employee On-Boarding

We have learned quite a bit through our candid research with IT & Engineering departments:

  • Some of the best employers suggest a fast start by clearly outlining what your new leader should know before walking in the door on the 1st day, not after. In many cases, this means sending HR documents in advance with the written job offer, as well as various organization charts, “road maps”, and anything else to support the effort.
  • Getting in sync with a new team is a mission-critical, often times obscure challenge. So facilitate enthusiasm and transparency by mobilizing the new executive and his or her team in a group alignment session.
  • Most every successful organization sets up a mentor (under a variety of terms) for new hires. Clearly the amount of support varies based on the level of the hire.

At Pace Morgan we recommend building a robust on-boarding process takes some time, but the effort will not only reduce your organizations turnover rate of key hires, it will improve overall efficiency and effectiveness throughout your organization.