Getting the New Hire Off to a Good Start

A successful first 90 days will increase employee retention and productivity


Periodic inquiries will help you understand the new hire’s personality and work habits

The first 90 days is often referred to as the probationary period. A more accurate description in the professional world is the “getting to know you” period. The first week of employment is generally filled with meetings and informational sessions. Taking some time for periodic check-in meetings and discussions will establish open lines of communication between the supervisor and the new hire. The new-hire’s mentor should also participate in this process.

A ten week timetable of steps and content for these discussions leading up to 90 days might include:

Week one

  • Ask the new hire to complete a personality test such as Myers-Briggs, Humanmetrics, or Grit_Test
  • Review the company’s performance evaluation criteria
  • Explain to the new hire what you absolutely need the employee to do in the first 90 days
  • Ask the new hire to update his/her profile on LinkedIn or other social media sites

Week two

  • Review the personality test results with the new hire. Share your personality type and your co-workers personality types with the new hire
  • Inquire whether the new hire has all the equipment/ job tools needed to complete tasks and assignments
  • Reiterate your absolute needs for the first 90 days and describe any stretch goals for this period

Week three

  • Inquire whether the new hire’s orientation was helpful. Ask whether there is anything that should be changed or added
  • Is there anything the new employee needs but does not have access to?
  • Ask the new hire to set goals for her/himself
  • Consider creating networks for the new hire. It is best if these happen serendipitously but you can also send introductory emails with comments such as “you two should get together”

Week four

  • Review the new hire’s goals and discuss overall performance goals for the group, department and company
  • Inquire whether the new hire wishes to receive any training or professional development

Week five

  • Describe the “why’s” of the company: why it was founded, why procedures are defined as such, why customers buy from the company. I think it is important to make this an interactive session.  Solicit the new-hire’s views about these topics and then describe your own opinions. Consider including the entire group in this session so everyone can share their views.

Next page: Weeks 6 to 10 and steps forward to 90 days

Brian Heese
Brian Heese
Brian Heese is the Director of Corporate Work Study Program at a unique high school in Harlem called Cristo Rey. Cristo Rey’s mission is to provide a college-preparatory, high school education to students who for academic or financial reasons cannot attend another quality high school. Since the students’ families can’t afford to pay private school tuition, the students work at premier companies and assign their earnings to the school. The jobs pay about 45% of the cost of their education; the remainder is funded by donations and a small amount from the students’ families. Brian leads the job program by establishing relationships with companies, training the students for their positions and servicing the 100+ clients that hire the school’s students.

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