You have finished the hiring process, waited out the notice period and your new hire finally walks through the door. But if you think the hard work is over, think again…
Given the lengthy interview process you have undoubtedly gone through in order to secure your newest partner, there should be no doubt that the individual can do the job, so what is the point of doing an induction?
The idea that an induction is all about showing a new hire where the kitchen is and where to go during a fire drill is clearly outdated. An induction has many benefits for the partner joining, but it is vital for the firm too, playing an important role in avoiding costly mis-hires.
In short, an induction is all about making sure all that time and effort you invested in the hiring process doesn’t go to waste – it’s a planned on-boarding that makes sure new hires ‘stick’ and ensures that the business can make the most of their talents.
So what does a good, well planned induction look like?
From the new partner’s perspective the induction should not be focused on what they already know. It should be focused on their cultural integration into the new organisation they have joined; making them feel comfortable with their new firm, new team and giving them the full insight into your expectations of them.
Mentoring by other partners who have made the transition into the firm successfully and buddying up with other partners for meet and greets with existing and new clients are both great ways of immersing new hires into the culture of the firm. Regular one to one meetings will give them the chance to feed back any challenges they are facing and will give you the opportunity to provide guidance and set realistic objectives.
This kind of process also ensures any cultural differences in approach are identified and addressed early, rather than being allowed to go unchecked – potentially leading to confidence sapping mistakes in front of clients, both internal and external. And if no such gaps come to light, everyone can be secure in the knowledge that the new hire will make the transition comfortably and have the confidence to deliver to a high standard straight away.
On the flip side, without an induction programme the new partner will be left to their own devices. Left to sink or swim in a new environment, with little or no tailored support or efforts to integrate them within the existing business, they may take longer to make a contribution or, worse still, never truly settle and move on again before the firm has recouped their initial expenditure made securing the hire.
Although a well-planned induction will take time, the long term benefits for you as the hiring firm are vast – and they all involve saving time, money and effort. It will reduce turnover, give new partners the immediate sense that they are worth more than just their book of business and ensure new people are productive faster – which is ultimately why you hired them.
In short, after all the hard-work you have spent sifting through profiles, interviewing potential hires and supporting internal business cases, putting in place a proper induction programme is common sense. It’s not just about ensuring your efforts do not go to waste, it is also making sure they deliver real benefit for the business, and quickly – and that’s good for everyone.