Are you a Finance or Managing Director who is finding yourself involved in the recruitment and onboarding process now more than ever?
Is this a new concept for you? Traditionally, recruiting and onboarding may have been assigned to your HR Manager. However, more and more MD’s and FD’s are finding themselves integrated into the everyday business of the company and having to juggle different hats as a result.
If that resonates with you, you will know that building a great finance team starts with recruiting the best candidates.
Also crucial is making sure you provide an exceptional onboarding process for new employees. This process will play a pivotal part in their early-days perception of your company, influence how keen they are to work for your business, and can, ultimately, dictate how long they will stay.
So, how do you successfully recruit and onboard?
This week we look at the best ways to fast-track new employees into your team, so they quickly adjust to their new surroundings, can make an immediate contribution to your finance business and experience a thoughtful and well-organised onboarding plan.
Prepare in Advance
Let‘s start with the basics.
Consider your requirements for the finance role you have to fill. Are you clear about what the job entails? Is there clarity in what is expected of the position, the grade, qualifications and skills you require, and the salary level? Is your job description comprehensive and up to date?
For example, you have a new position for a Management Accountant.
List the main duties and provide a bulleted list of the qualities you are looking for in the candidate. This will include the essential qualifications – such as ‘nearly/newly qualified to CIMA/ACCA/ACA or extensive industry experience’ – alongside additional skills which could include experience of improving processes, ability to spin many plates and excellent people skills across a broad audience.
Include details such as who they will be working with and what they will be doing (for example ‘you will be involved in all aspects of the business from a month end reporting perspective, and will work autonomously across all departments within the business.’
Additionally, as more Millennials enter the marketplace, there is a growing expectation of an exceptional package that offers much more than just a good salary. Candidates are looking for additional factors in the job offer such as inclusive and transparent company culture, diversity, and the right ‘fit’ in terms of the ethos of the company they are entering – so your mission, goals and aspirations match their own.
What is your company culture? Do you embrace diversity in the workplace?
These are the things that matter to potential employees and will ultimately contribute to their decision to apply for a post or not. So, it’s crucial to make sure your job description covers all these aspects in detail. You can find a guide to writing financial job descriptions to attract the talent you want here.
Do the Groundwork
Once you have interviewed and made an offer, there are several points to consider before the new person starts working for you.
To give them a heads up on the company, think about sending them some relevant information such as links to recent finance articles you have written or profiles of the people they will be working alongside (if you have these online). This will keep them ‘in the loop’ and feel part of the team by the time they start work.
Similarly, it’s a good idea to prepare the existing team for the arrival of a new colleague. You could consider emailing your team with a brief profile of the new employee, encouraging them to hook up online through their business profiles, for example, on LinkedIn.
Finally, it‘s always worth dropping a line to key clients to introduce your new team member.
First Day Essentials
Before the new employee arrives, check that they will have everything they need to settle in and feel welcome. This includes practicalities such as a desk, laptop or PC, stationery, phone, parking permit, company card, etc.
It‘s surprising how often companies forget some of these details, and it can make a lasting impact on the new starter. No-one is going to feel welcome and included if there isn’t a desk for them when they arrive for their first day!
Obviously, you will introduce the new colleague to the rest of their immediate team, but have you thought about having senior staff introduce themselves, however briefly? This will create a sense of value for the new employee and plant a seed of loyalty to the company.
I recommend offering a ‘buddy’ or mentor to the new employee: someone they can go to for advice or to answer any questions they may have in their first few weeks. It‘s also an excellent way to start initial friendships and encourage inclusivity in the team.
Commit to spending time with the new employee to go through their job role in detail, ensuring they are comfortable with the role and what is expected of them. Lack of clarity in the job role leads to dissatisfaction and a drop in morale as the employee has no specific pathway and is left floundering.
It’s not uncommon for staff to leave because their role was not clear, so ensure that your job spec is detailed and precise, and check in with your new employee regularly to ensure they are happy and confident in what they are doing.
Build the Team
The team that plays together stays together.
Encouraging a team bond doesn’t mean you have to party 24/7 with them or spend your weekends playing five-a-side. But team spirit plays a considerable part in motivation, and ultimately, business success.
So, it‘s worth investing time in more social activities to enable your team members to bond. This could include an end of month or quarterly team lunch. Informal activities away from their desk also serve to further break the ice for the new employee.
Develop a Training Plan
A thorough onboarding process will include a detailed plan for training and development over the first few months, and beyond.
Look at addressing any needs or concerns for skills and knowledge relevant to the role. Also, include significant milestones – this will enable you to keep on track with development and celebrate small goals along the way, encouraging morale which will ultimately benefit your business.
Be sure to include any mandatory training such as health and safety, privacy expectations, as well as initial information on company values, day to day work, hierarchy, etc.
Additionally, there may be specific job–related training to ease your new staff member into their role. For example, using specific finance software that is new to them.
Review Their Performance
Built into the plan should be performance reviews. These can be formal or informal; either way, they are powerful tools in your onboarding process.
Be clear in when the performance review will happen, and what it will incorporate so that you and the new employee know when and what to prepare for.
Remember, a performance review is a two-way conversation and offers the employee an opportunity to discuss where they feel the need for improvement, more training or clarity in their role, as well as for you to assess how they are doing.
Studies by Harvard Business Review showed that a good onboarding process reduces the average amount of time to reach full performance (making critical decisions with the right information in hand and having the right people in place to help execute) by a third, from six months to four.
Following these six steps will ensure your new employee is integrated into your finance team from day one, will encourage them to feel confident in their new role and inspire them to see themselves developing with your company as they progress in their career.
Contact Rebus Financial Recruitment or call us on 01282 930930 and let’s have a conversation to explore your options. With our help, you can achieve great things.
About Rebus Financial Recruitment
Rebus Financial Recruitment provides a specialist and focused recruitment service to its customers, which historically range from a wide variety of organisations including SME’s to large PLCs.
We strive to offer both the client and candidate a seamless recruitment experience. Using our expertise, we get to the heart of employer and employee needs; and, in doing so, we match the two perfectly. To find out more, get in contact with one of our team today, or you can call us on 01282 930930.