Share secrets. Your new hires need to know about more than processes, passwords and fire exits if they're to flourish. Share your company's unwritten rules and cultural taboos (eg, interrupting the FD). The better they fit in, the better you'll look.
Cash in. It typically takes 100 days for joiners to stop costing the business money. Help them break even sooner by setting some quick wins: cleaning a client database, sending that muchdelayed newsletter - anything that makes a big impact fast.
Set ground rules. Discuss what you expect from one another. Set short-term goals, agree ways of working and ask what support they want. Clarity is the catalyst to flying starts.
Pick their brains. Ask new starters to note down their first impressions of the company. What works well? What needs improving? Theirs is a totally new perspective. Use it.
Share your vision. Help them see beyond the tricky initial weeks by painting an inspiring picture of the future. Describe the company's mission, their part in achieving it, and the glittering career that awaits them. Do it well and you'll leave them engaged, excited and eager to excel.
Find their forte. You may have advertised for a secretary, but you've hired someone much more useful: an individual. Ask new starters to list their strengths (strategic thinker, team morale booster, problem-solver) then adapt their role accordingly.
Hook them up. Who are the power centres in your business? Make sure your new starter knows how to impress them.
Praise them. Positive feedback will calm unhelpful new-job jitters and give your new hiring the confidence to take on more.
Persevere. Things not going to plan? Then work together to identify skills gaps and create a plan of action to deal with them.