How to make your new hire’s first day unforgettable


Do you remember your first day on the job? You were fresh out of college, living with your best friend, eating ramen, and working at your first big-boy job to pay the rent.

But, do you remember your first day on the job?

(I’m sure there are funny stories)

How about when you showed up under-dressed. Or, the fifteen questions you had about how to setup your computer (or your typewriter). Or, finally, the time at lunch your voice cracked when a coworker asked you a question. Good times, good times.

In reality, though, it was lonely. It was awkward. And it wasn’t fun.

Your first day makes or breaks the experience you have for the rest of your career with the company.

Make your employee feel welcome. Here’s 5 ways to make your new hire’s first day unforgettable.

1. Give them a real project

The last thing new employees want on their first day is to feel like they’re just getting the grunt work. Give them a project you need help on – maybe it’s market research, resume scanning, or designing a business card. And tell them why it’s important to you. They’ll feel like they’re making a difference on day one!

2. Take them out to lunch

Sure, new employees almost always bring their lunch to their first day. It’s because it’s one less decision they need to worry about come noon. But, this is also an opportunity for you to make your new team member feel welcome and appreciated. Offer to take them out to lunch. And it’s ok if they say no out of fear. Later in the week works, too. It’s a great way to check-in with them to see how their doing.

3. Introduce them to management

Most new employees just want to make sure they’re getting their bosses work done – and done well. But they also want to see how they can move up and grow from within the company. Introducing them to members of management or a C-level executive is a great in-roads to not only possible mentorship, but it might just be the foot in the door they need to get promoted in 6-12 months.

4. Have all new hires start on the same day

What’s the advantage of having 2 or 3 new guys start on the same date? Well, for one, they are going through the same feelings. “How am I doing?”, “Am I making a good first impression?”, “What if I goof up in-front of my boss?” Having new team members starts on the same day gives the new people someone to talk to – to form their first friendship at the company.

5. Make training exciting and engaging

Reading the employee handbook isn’t training. It’s torture. Have them read it on their own time or during their lunch break if you need to. Get into the training – the learning – to ramp up your new employee for ultimate domination of whatever their job may be. Examples of fun training are group demonstrations (have them do it, with a co-worker watching over them), engaging corporate training quizzes,

Keeping your team motivated to do awesome things for your company starts the second they accept your job offer. Making sure they feel welcome and comfortably adjusted on their first day is key to success.

How have you helped your new employees become part of the team on their first day?

Photo courtesy of Zlatko

  • The first day is really important. I’ve worked in a couple of places where it was an excuse for morning tea… always a good to have cake together. This also showed that we respected each other and knew each other well (reinforcing the culture). A buddy programme and an excellent on-boarding checklist really helps the supervisor and buddy to check that the basics and the niceties are covered. Meeting the boss day one helps to reinforce that the business is happy to have the new recruit. It reinforces that they’re contribution is important.

    • Michael Adams

      Hi Yvette,

      Thanks for the additions to my post! Great point on meeting the boss. I think it gives a feeling of a small company, even though you may be working for a large corporation. Appreciate you stopping by!