Written by Erinne Tripp

You did it!  You hired the perfect candidate for the job. From here on out all should be smooth sailing, right?

Unfortunately, the answer is most likely, no. Unless you provide your new employee with appropriate on-boarding, even the most perfect candidates can struggle and ultimately end up a number in your turnover statistics. And as we all know, turnover is expensive, disruptive and painful.

So what’s the key to successful on-boarding and retention? Set clear expectations!

This process should not begin when an offer is accepted, but instead should start as soon as a position opens. This is the time to gather your key stakeholders to discuss and reach agreement on exactly what characteristics, attributes and behaviors will be required for success in the role.Gaining agreement not only creates internal clarity around what will be expected, but also provides candidates with a solid understanding of what the job demands and what he or she will need to do to be successful. This clarity also allows candidates to make informed decisions about whether a role, boss and culture will be a good fit for them or not.

Additionally, once a new hire starts, clear expectations will help the new employee more easily acclimate to their new environment and grasp exactly what their role requires.  Without consensus, new hires are often left spinning in an attempt to sort through which expectations and direction to follow. This lack of certainty can ultimately hinder one’s ability to absorb the new information that is so critical to their success.

Other key on-boarding questions will also be addressed – how will they fit into the team? What is their managers’ leadership style? How do they like to be managed? What are their strengths? How do they make decisions, communicate, build relationships, and deal with detail, conflict, change and risk? If you are hiring a manager, what will their management style be?

So before you start searching for that next perfect candidate, pause to ask and gain agreement on exactly what behaviors will equal success and what your plan will be in the first 90 days so that employee, team, manager and organization will be successful.

To learn more about how tools like the Predictive Index can help define and assess the essential behaviors required for top performance, improve overall clarity of job expectations and reduce turnover, visit www.mcgpartners.net.