Onboarding is a helluva task

by John on February 13, 2012

Got a random call from a friend last week and we were doing a bit of catching up about work and some other things. I shared with him that I was a bit frustrated because I was onboarding a new employee and there were a few challenges but we managed to do the best we could. I did not anticipate his very candid response.

“If I was the employee John, I would have resigned”

Wow. That stopped me cold.

It also got me thinking about the whole process. Does the recruiting relationship end once the candidate starts and becomes an employee? Better yet, does the recruiter have a responsibility to bring this to the attention of their hiring manager?

There are compelling arguments that can be made for both sides of the issue. Sure, the recruiter can essentially “tell” on the hiring manager to HR and pass the buck to the generalist (if the org has that type of infrastructure in place) or if they’re wearing several hats, have that conversation with the manager themselves.

In the end, it’s about having a small degree of empathy. I’m gonna be bold and say that both the new employee and the manager need to be empathetic to each other. The manager needs to remember what it was like to be the new kid somewhere and all the feelings that are tied to first day jitters. The employee needs to understand that sometimes these things happen and to find the right time to share the experience with HR and their recruiter.

I’m lucky, during this whole process my new hire has understood that the process has been saddled with some pretty crazy circumstances and that has helped to reinforce my hiring decision. She did however say to me with complete and unexpected candor “John, if they screw up my paycheck then I’m not gonna be so nice and understanding.”

You know what, she’s right and thankfully that didn’t happen.

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