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Give New Hires an Awesome First Impression: 3 Tips

Think outside the HR handbook and give your new employees an unforgettable first day. Here are three ideas to get you started.

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All you need to do is remember meeting your prom date's parents, going on your first date, or shaking your first employer's hand to know how much first impressions matter.

But how much thought are you giving to your new employee's first impressions?

Subjecting new hires to boring HR meetings and the employee handbook is the fastest way to make their first day utterly forgettable. Instead,  imprint them with your company culture from the very second they arrive.

Blinds.com takes things in a whole new direction. Like that first day at school, we all get first day jitters--so we preempt them by giving new team members a fun, unexpected, and whole-hearted welcome.

Here are a few things we do:

  1. Set the expectation for awesome: The new employee's teammates create a video welcoming a new hire to the team, giving some tips on what to expect, and sharing some of the excitement that will soon arrive.
  2. Not your average tour: When they walk into the office door, new employees are whisked away by me (the CEO) for a personal tour of the history of our company. We drive by our previous office locations--from the garage in my old house, down the infamous alley where our door was located next to a Chinese restaurant dumpster, to our very first office building. They get to hear it from me how things happened and ask their CEO questions right from the start.
  3. Scavenger hunt: Employees spend three hours of their first day on a scavenger hunt that forces them to meet and talk to employees on different teams, learn the building, and get a very personal take on our culture. We ask questions like:
    • Which employee is an expert cave diver?
    • Why do we have a flux capacitor in the office?
    • Which radio show was our first website patterned after?
    • Which employee's spouse won 1st place on a national tv cooking show?
    • Take a screenshot of a Blinds.com PPC ad and share it with us
    • Who is the #1 sales rep this month?
    • What NFL team is our Sales Director a huge fan of?

Create that special experience from the very beginning for your employees.  If people truly are your greatest asset, then treat them that way--not like they're form fillers.

How have you delighted your new employees lately?

IMAGE: sunlightfoundation/Flickr
Last updated: Feb 6, 2013

JAY STEINFELD is the founder and CEO of Blinds.com, the industry leader in online window covering sales, representing over half of window treatments sold online and doing more than $100 million in sales annually.
@BlindscomCEO




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