When you hire an engineer, your expectations are high and you want them to start making valuable contributions as quickly as possible. If you’re hired the right person, they also want to hit the ground running. The best way to help a new engineer learn the ropes and start focusing on critical tasks is to be prepared for day one.
Set the Right Tone
When a new engineer starts, make sure someone is there to greet them at the door when they arrive so they aren’t wandering around looking for help. Make sure that their workstation is set up and ready to go, and that have all necessary logins for technology. Set a schedule and a structure for the entire first day, so the engineer isn’t stuck wondering what to do next. Finally, host a lunch or ask other team members to invite the new person to lunch, and encourage everyone to be as friendly and welcoming as possible. The more structured and well-organized the first day is, the more comfortable the new engineer will feel.
Provide Goals for the First Three Months
Goals are important for any engineer, but they are critical for the success of a new hire. Setting and clearly communicating goals provides the new employee with your expectations of them over the course of the first 12 weeks.
Put goals in writing for week one, the first 30 days, 60 days and 90 days. Then, schedule check-ins to gauge how things are going and to allow the engineer to ask questions or provide feedback. Going over goals on day one shows that you’ve thought about the position and you want to help the engineer succeed.
Give the Engineer Small Tasks for Day One
Often times, an employee’s first day is a whirlwind of presentations and orientations and there is little actual work being done. Set aside time to give the engineer actual tasks to complete on day one. This will provide them with a sense of achievement and will start to orient them to your office processes and procedures.
Shadow the Right Way
Some firms have engineers shadow a colleague on day one. This is fine, but it can be boring for the new person and it can actually be ineffective if the current employee does not have a clear goal for what they are supposed to be teaching the new person.
If shadowing is part of your onboarding process, make sure “trainer” employees have a set of goals and priorities, and then check in with the new engineer to make sure that they are actually getting something out of shadowing. The more structured the process and the more involved you are as a leader in checking in on progress, the more effective the training will be.
Are You Ready to Hire Top Engineering Talent?
If you are looking for talented engineers who can help your organization achieve its goals, contact the experts at PEAK Technical Staffing today to learn how can help you achieve your retention goals.