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5 Things to Tell New Hires Before They Ask You

Posted by Eric Friedman

new hires

Feedback is one of the most powerful tools for any HR department. Knowing what candidates think can help you improve your recruiting process and candidate search. Feedback is a two-way street. Just as it’s important for HR to know what candidates think, it’s vital for HR to provide feedback to candidates as well.

Most hiring managers provide negative feedback to candidates who didn’t make the cut about what was lacking. Very few offer feedback to candidates who are hired about what made them the right choice for the job.

Giving feedback to candidates about why they were hired can be very useful in ensuring they are set up for success at your company. Consider that 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for 3 years if they experienced a great onboarding process, and you can see why providing immediate feedback to new hires can make a major difference towards retaining employees.

The following 5 questions can guide you as you provide feedback to new hires:

1. Why did we hire you?

Think about every job you’ve ever gotten. Have you ever asked your employer: why did you hire me? Many candidates are so glad they got the job they don’t pause to ask why they were chosen. Similarly, most hiring managers have so many other things on their plates that they don’t have time to explain why each candidate was chosen.

Letting candidates know exactly why they were hired is crucial. It helps them pinpoint what separated them from the rest of the applicants, which gives them insight into what you thought was special about their skills and experience. If they know what made you want them, they can start giving it to you that much faster.

2. What are the skills that made you stand out?

According to a study by the VIA Institute on Character, employees who believe their managers can name their strengths are 71% more likely to feel engaged and energized. They feel appreciated and understood, which are powerful emotions necessary for a successful workforce.

When providing feedback to a new hire, focus on the skills that made him or her stand out. A candidate who knows what you noticed and were impressed by certain skills will perform well to prove you right in choosing him or her.

3. What are the areas we think you can improve and grow with our company?

Professional advancement and development are the cornerstones of most employee’s careers. As people move from one job to the next, they seek opportunities to advance their careers. In fact, more than 70% of high-retention-risk employees say they have to leave their organization to advance their careers.

Offer feedback to new hires that outlines how and where you think they can grow within your company. Walk them through typical career paths for their position, as well as professional development opportunities like skills and certification courses. This will help them feel that your company is vested in them too.

4. What did you say that made us click and know you are right for us?

The unfortunate truth is that many candidates say dumb things during a job interview. For those who say the right thing and are eventually hired, feedback on what they said that got them the job can be very valuable. For most job seekers, the interview can be so stressful that it just goes by in a blur. Some don’t even remember exactly what they said.

Around one-third of hiring managers say they know within the first 90 seconds of an interview whether they will hire someone. The first impression is a combination of how candidates present themselves and what they say. Consider sharing what it is the new hire said that made up your mind about hiring him or her.

5. How long do we believe it will take you to be completely adapted?

It typically takes eight months for a newly hired employee to reach full productivity. This, of course, varies depending on the type of work and professional level. Most new employees strive to hit the ground running and start meeting their expected performance as soon as possible. Read here more about why it is important to offer performance reviews.

As most of us know, that’s not always the case. Setting clear goals and providing feedback to new hires can help them actually reach full productivity faster. Remember that in order to fully become part of the team, the feedback has to go both ways. Encourage new employees to regularly provide feedback to you during their first year to ensure they have the guidance they need.

Is your HR department already doing this? Let us know in the comments below.

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About Eric Friedman


Eric Friedman is the founder and CEO of eSkill Corporation, a leading provider of Web-based skills testing for pre-employment and training. With academic degrees in Psychology and Business, and experience with both mature and expansion-stage company growth, Eric has focused on how best to hire and motivate team members to be the best they can be for their companies.

3 COMMENTS Join the discussion
  • Martha S. March, 21, 2017

    Wow! I loved your article. There is so much paperwork to do in order to speed up the hiring process that we forget to sit down at the table and discuss why we chose that candidate. And if we do not say anything, the chances that the candidates will ask these questions are really low. I will definitely do this.

  • Mario March, 21, 2017

    This is such a good idea! I will make a proposal to include this step in the onboarding process. I believe it will boost the employee’s motivation and will assure him/her that they are in the right place. Oh, it will be so interesting!

  • Oliver C. March, 21, 2017

    I am so proud to tell you that we are already doing this! We have noticed an increase in the overall satisfaction with the company and our employees are recommending it on their social media without us telling them to do that. Engagement – that’s what you can obtain by applying this simple strategy.


Guest March, 21, 2017

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