Tag Archives: On-Boarding

How Do You Create HR Using Outside Resources? Four Thoughts

Situation: A company started small with everyone wearing many hats including the person in charge of HR. They wish to create a more formal HR structure with professional advice, but don’t yet want to hire a full-time HR professional. How do you create HR using outside resources?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • One company outsources their full HR function. Services include:
    • Putting records in order and maintaining them.
    • Developing different hiring packages for different levels of employees.
    • Recruiting.
    • Keeping the company and employees updated on compliance regulations.
    • Coordinating on-boarding and training.
  • There are several national HR and personnel outsourcing companies that can help. Examples include Paychex and ADT. There are also a large number of local providers. Network with your business peers or check out your local Chamber of Commerce to learn who these providers are.
  • What about training?
    • Outsourced HR professionals can organize training for formal certifications and some aspects of job skills training.
    • Training in company culture should be done by company leadership. Outsourced HR can organize schedules for this. The key point is that company leadership is the face of the company and the foundation of company culture. This can’t be effectively outsourced.
    • In some cases, training can be done via video. Outsourced HR can help to plan and coordinate creation of the videos, and can then schedule video training for new employees.
  • Have your in-house person join an HR roundtable to embellish their own training.

What Process Do Use to Add a New Sales Person? Five Thoughts

Situation: A CEO wants to add a key person in sales. For a long time most sales have been handled by a long-term employee with a strong sales background in the company’s market, often working closely with the CEO. This sales person is nearing retirement. What process do you use to add a new sales person?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Involve non-sales personnel in the interview process. These individuals are important to your company culture, and will necessarily be working with the sales person. They may bring insights to the interview process that you do not see. In addition, involving them in the selection process will smooth the on-boarding process of your eventual hire.
  • Work with current staff to create a 90-day on-boarding plan for the new person. This helps in two ways: it identifies important characteristics that you will want to see in a good candidate, and it provides an on-boarding road map that will help the new hire to succeed.
  • Consider going one step further and have current personnel identify and pre-qualify candidates for you.
  • Use creative as well as traditional methods to identify potential candidates. In the process, make sure that you are not misrepresenting your situation or creating legal or ethical problems.
  • Have your options in place when you are ready to move on a particular candidate.

How Do Identify and Bring In A COO? Five Suggestions

Situation: A company’s Board is pressing the CEO to hire a COO to oversee operations. The Board’s concerns include succession planning for the CEO and a desire for the CEO to put more focus on the vision and strategy of the company. There are no current candidates within the company. How do you identify and bring in a COO?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Think beyond roles and responsibilities and consider how you would describe the ideal candidate. This includes attitudes and behaviors, talents, experience, and essential skills. Map these attributes and use them to guide your recruitment and selection process.
  • Increasingly, companies are using a values-based process to evaluate personnel both for promotion and outside selection. Tony Hsieh of Zappos talks about this in his book “Delivering Happiness.” This doesn’t substitute for skills and experience, but helps to identify candidates who will help to strengthen your company’s culture.
  • Assure that you have a full process in place that will help you to recruit and select a good candidate. If it has been a while since you last recruited a high level executive, consider securing outside resources to assist. One of the CEOs even hires a 2nd expert to vet the recommendations of the primary expert.
  • Where can you look for good candidates?
    • Talk to your key vendors about who is really good in the industry. Look for a high potential individual in another company who doesn’t have room to grow in their current situation.
    • Also look at related industries where there will be cross-over knowledge and skills.
    • Don’t overlook the military. Talented officers are regularly rotating out of the services – people who have exceptional experience leading and motivating people.
  • On-boarding a new senior executive is different from a lower level employee. If you choose the right individual and they fit your culture, this will ease the process. Be aware that some of your current senior employees will likely be upset that they were passed over and may be difficult. If you haven’t done this in some time, it is worthwhile to secure counsel on the best ways to bring a new COO on-board.

Key Words: COO, Operations, Succession, Candidate, Role, Responsibilities, Attitude, Behavior, Experience, Values, Process, On-Boarding

How Do You Unify Culture in a Geographically Diverse Company? Six Ideas

Situation: As a company has grown to multiple sites around the world they have lost some of the culture that originally bound the company together. Many new hires are hired locally by regional managers and don’t have a strong bond to headquarters or the broader company culture. How do you build a unified culture in a company with many geographically diverse sites?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Company culture starts with a common set of values. These values should drive everything, from hiring, through on-boarding and training, to performance measurement and evaluations.  In a strong company, these values should be reinforced regularly and expressed in the day-to-day behavior and decisions of the company.
  • Look at how you hire new personnel. Is alignment with company values part of the selection process?
  • Next, look at your on-boarding and training process. Company values and culture should be thoroughly expressed and reinforced in the training process.
  • There is no substitute to face-to-face meetings to build shared company values and culture. At least once or twice a year you should host national meetings that bring the regions together. At these meetings company values should be reinforced, there should be business content, and there should also be recreational bonding component to help employees get to know one-another.
  • Consider an annual reward or recognition trip or special event, and include spouses at company expense. This creates a completely different level of bonding, and spouse involvement communicates a company commitment to the families of the employees.
  • If you have a large number of locations, you should also have a human resources department. Among the important responsibilities of the HR department will be developing uniform selection criteria, uniform training which includes emphasis on company culture and values, and assistance in planning national or multi-regional meetings.

Key Words: Culture, Regions, Multi-site, Diverse, Values, Hiring, On-boarding, Training, Company, Meetings, Bonding, Award, Trip, Spouses, HR, Human Resource

What are Best Practices for On-Boarding a New Hire? Eight Guidelines

Situation: The Company has identified a good candidate for a critical role. What are best practices for assuring successful on-boarding of the new hire?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Provide a fair salary:
    • Review local salary surveys and pay a salary that reflects competitive realities.
    • Consider the impression that the offer makes on the spouse. If the spouse is unhappy, there won’t be peace at home and the employee may continue looking even after accepting your offer.
    • What about a 90 day evaluation period?
      • You won’t look like a serious employer. Increase chances for success by paying a fair salary from the beginning. If the individual doesn’t meet your needs, let them go.
  • Provide clear, concise direction from the start.
    • Provide an orientation to positively introduce the manager to the others in the company.
      • One-on-one meetings between the manager and key employees plus anyone who will report to the manager to establish initial rapport, and establish shared expectations.
      • Consider a lunch to introduce the new manager.
    • Set SMART performance objectives:
      • S – Specific
      • M – Measurable
      • A – Achievable
      • R – Realistic
      • T – Time-bound
    • Meet weekly with the new manager. Teach them what you’ve learned about the company, employees, and how things work.
    • Avoid shifting early objectives.
      • This is distracting and diminishes the chances of success.
      • Sudden or frequent changes in priorities make it difficult to generate momentum – particularly for a new employee.
  • Don’t expect instantaneous results.

Key Words: Best Practices, On-boarding, Salary, Objectives, SMART Objectives, Orientation, Expectations 

On-boarding a New CFO – Four Imperatives or Considerations

Situation: The Company is hiring their first CFO. How do they integrate this key person into the company?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • The company should reflect the values, needs and desires of the CEO.
    • Have a clear discussion and agreement with the CFO candidate on values, role, and organizational structure before hiring or announcing anything to the company.
    • The talents of the CEO and CFO should complement each other.
  • The CEO may put the CFO in charge of areas that they want to delegate – accounting, administration, finance and contracts.
    • The CEO should remain involved in banking relationships.
  • Recommended announcements and timeline:
    • When the new CFO is announced, simultaneously present the new organization chart (broad responsibilities, not detailed position descriptions).
    • Set a timeline for realignment of roles. It is not necessary to specify exact roles at the time of the announcement – let everyone know that this is a work in progress and give a time frame within which all will be resolved.
  • Once the CFO is in place, the CEO and CFO should meet at least weekly, to assure that the CFO has the support and resources needed to accomplish their responsibilities.
    • All decisions within the CFO’s group, personnel responsibilities and any shifts in roles should come from the CFO, with the support of the CEO.
    • This will help the new CFO to more rapidly assimilate into the company and will give them the authority needed to manage their organization.

Key Words: CFO, On-Boarding, Values, Roles, Responsibilities, Authority, Personnel, Delegation