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Hiring New People: Crossing Your T's and Dotting Your I's

After going through the often soul crushing process of interviewing and making offers, you’ve finally found someone you think will be a good fit with your company and that person has accepted your offer. The work or bringing in the new person, though, does not stop with the selection process. There are a lot of things that you have to do before the person you’ve hired can actually get to work.

1. Filling Out the Paperwork

Your new employee is going to need to fill out tax forms and submit information to your HR Department (this information is going to vary depending upon what type of business you run and who you are hiring to fill what position). Make sure that your new hire knows what to bring with her on her first day to help this process go smoothly. The last thing you want is to have her come in for her first day only to be sent home ten minutes in because she brought the wrong form of ID.

2. Discussing Benefits

Do you offer benefits to your employees? Go over the benefits package with your new hire and have her fill out all of the relevant forms. You, like most employers, probably have a voluntary benefits program that she can opt in or out of (or opt in only to certain parts). Make sure she knows exactly how her benefits work—what’s covered, what isn’t and what she’s required to provide to get set up.
Note: Don’t spend all of your time talking about the medical stuff. Make sure your employee understands your company’s disability policy and that you have worker’s comp programs set up too.

3. Company Policies/Guidelines

You undoubtedly have a company policy handbook and some very strict rules that you expect your employees to follow. Make sure your new hire understands these rules and procedures and termination processes. Many employers give a new hire time to read through the handbook and then have them sign something that states that the handbook has been read, understood and is being agreed to. Make sure this gets signed before you start the training process.
Most orientations involve an extensive segment on sexual harassment and discrimination and the policies surrounding it. Do not let your new hire get started without going over these details.
This is a good time to go over confidentiality agreements, non-disclosure agreements, etc. You obviously want to keep some of your company information private. Have your new hire sign contracts agreeing to these requirements.

4. Set Up a Training Schedule

No new hire hits the ground running within ten minutes of walking in the door on the first day. Set up a schedule for training and learning the ropes. Make sure that your company’s trainer sits in on this part of the orientation and agrees to the schedule too.

5. Evaluation Period

Many employers are adopting an “evaluation period” policy. This is a period of time in which the company and the new hire get a feel for each other and decide whether or not the relationship is one that will be beneficial in the long term. Some companies have a 30 day policy while others go as long as 90 or even six months. During the evaluation period the new hire can be terminated without cause and can terminate her contract for any reason if either party decides that the relationship isn’t working out.
Make sure your new hire understands this and agrees to it (having her sign something to that effect is a good idea to keep your legal bases covered).
New hire orientation looks a little bit different with every employee in every company. Over time you’ll get a system for it worked out. Make sure, though, that whatever you set up includes these major areas.

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