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Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.netFew people, if anyone, like to be the new kid in the office. Starting a new job is stressful for a few reasons. Not only is a new employee taking on new responsibilities and tasks. They are also going to have to find a way to fit in with their new co-workers, who may already have a defined social order.

When they say that first impressions last longest, they aren’t lying. Many employees can tell whether or not they’ll stay at a company for on a long-term basis within the first week of employment. Although sometimes, a new hire just isn’t a good fit for a company in the long run, in other cases, the managers and current staff at the company could have done much more to make the new person feel part of the team and to bring the new hire up to speed. Here’s what to do to help increase your employee retention rates and to make new hires feel welcome from the beginning.

Get Started Before Day 1

The onboarding process for new hires can and should begin before the new employee walks in through the door on their first day. Depending on how sure you are about a candidate, you can start onboarding during the interview. That can mean giving a new hire insight into your company, such as details about its culture and values. You can describe your company’s mission during the interview and discuss your goals and the goals of the candidate.

Prior to the first day at a new job, many new hires have jitters and concerns about what to wear, where they’ll go for lunch and who they’ll be interacting with on that first day. You might put together a “FAQs” guide for new employees, answering basic questions such as what the dress code is, what the lunch policy is and who the new hire will be working it, plus contact information for those people. Email or send the FAQs to the new employee before they begin.

Give New Hires a Crash Course in Culture

Depending on the culture and style of your company, there are ways to bring new people into the fold and make them feel part of the team from the start. Some companies assign new employees a “buddy” or mentor, whose job it is to answer any questions and to provide general guidance. Companies with a more casual culture might give each team member a nickname to help people feel like they belong right from the start. What you do to make new hires feel as if they belong depends on your company’s style and preference, but it should be more than simply showing someone to their desk and handing them a stack of paperwork.

Put Together a Welcome Packet

Along with introducing new hires to your company’s culture right away, it helps to put together a welcome packet for their first day. A welcome packet sends the message that you were waiting for them and were ready for their arrival. What you put in the packet depends on your business’ style. You might include a T-shirt or other piece of company-branded merchandise, a note from the owner or manager, all the paperwork the employee needs to complete for HR, a trivia sheet about the company or even flowers or something to decorate their new desk.

Have an Open Door Policy

Sometimes, new hires might struggle to get used to the job or might feel as if they’ve been left to float on their own, with little or no guidance. When employees feel like they’ve been left to figure things out on their own, they might be more likely to start looking for a new opportunity or for a company that might be a better fit.

Having an open door policy, that is, letting new hires know that you or someone else on the team is there to answer any questions they might have, can help avoid feelings of uncertainty or alienation. It’s also a good idea to check in with new employees from time to time, such as at the end of the first day, the first week or first month, to make sure that they are adjusting well and to answer any questions they might have.

A team of happy employees is key to your business’ growth. To learn more about ways to help your business grow, contact the team at New Direction Capital today.

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New Direction Capital, a virtual CFO firm located in Media, PA is excited to announce that our team is growing!  We would like to introduce Bill Warrin as the newest member of our team. Bill officially joined us as a Virtual CFO in September of 2017 and will be working as a hands-on strategic financial partner to help clients achieve continual profitable growth.

Bill brings with him over 20 years’ experience working with owners of private companies managing all aspects of finance.

Some of his accomplishments include:

  • Drove 25% compounded growth rate – Grew a weight loss company into an 850 location $500 million business in six years with US and International operations.
  • Developed Value Management Process to drive shareholder value linking key business decisions to critical operating metrics.
  • Reorganized a company’s administrative functions supporting a 3-year, 23% compounded growth.
  • Led management buy-out and sale of a Company and in less than two years successfully streamlined the business which culminated in the sale to a company owned by private equity.
  • Financial oversight of a $1.2B division of a managed services business with over 30,000 employees, 750 contracts in 45 States.

In his new position, Bill will be pleased to sit down with a company’s owners to learn the qualities that make the company unique, and understand the financial goals the company would like to achieve. From there he will develop a roadmap for continued profitable growth.

Bill lives in Delaware County, PA with his wife Cathy and two daughters.  He enjoys playing golf.

Bill can be reached at 877-678-6464 extension 105, or by email Please join us in welcoming Bill to the New Direction Capital team!


About New Direction Capital

At New Direction Capital, our mission is to provide reliable, accurate, and affordable Chief Financial Officer solutions for you to grow your business.

We enjoy working with businesses and helping them grow. This is our passion and at the core in all we do.  We work with you as your hands-on strategic financial partner.  We work with you to manage your company’s business issues, financial activities and operations.  We offer real value by implementing action steps for our clients.  This includes strategic needs, short term needs, as-needed analysis, performance measures, understanding cash flow drivers and long-term road maps to get you where you need to go.  We take a comprehensive view and consider both business impacts and personal impacts as well.  We do this all in a confidential manner.  Within everything we do our main focus is to keep your foundation strong and continue building profitable growth.  The majority of our time together is spent on increasing revenue, cash flow enhancement, assessing risk, capital planning and growing the value of the company.  NDC works with you on the financial decisions, making sure you have accurate information to make informed decisions and most importantly ensuring you have more time to focus on your core business.

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Tips for Successful Salay NegotiationsYou’ve found a person who seems like he or she will be a perfect fit, not only for the position your business has open, but also for the culture and personality of your company. The next phase, and the phase that can make or break the hiring process, is negotiating salary and benefits. In a perfect world, you’ll offer a sum, the candidate will accept, and you’ll have a great new employee. But, since that is often not what happens, knowing how to interact with and respond to a candidate during a negotiation can help you land on a salary that works for both of you.

Don’t Rush Things

It might seem like a good idea to ask candidates for salary requirements up front, as that way you can eliminate anyone who’s too expensive and zero in on the candidates who seem more affordable. But, talking about salary before a candidate has a full understanding of the job or eliminating a candidate on the basis of past salary alone can be detrimental. Instead, wait until nearly the end of the process before you discuss salary. That way, you won’t scare off any potentially excellent candidates.

Figure Out Market Value

Any potential employee worth his or her salt will do some salary research before meeting with you. You’ll want to do the same, to make sure the amounts you are offering are competitive. When figuring out the range of salary and benefits you can offer an employee, look at what similar companies offer to those with comparable experience levels. You don’t want to risk offending a candidate by offering a salary that is significantly lower than the going rate. But, you also don’t want to pay more than needed to land a hire.

Understand When the Ball Is in Your Court

When you’re hiring, there will be times when the ball is in your court and there will be times when the ball is in the candidate’s court. If you advertise for a position and you get a lot of stellar applicants, the ball is usually in your court as far as salary  negotiations go. There are plenty of people who would be perfect for the job, so you probably won’t have to offer the top amount you can pay. But, if the position is very specialized and difficult to fill, the ball is likely to be in the candidate’s court, meaning you have less leverage when it comes to negotiating.

Remember It’s Sometimes About More Than Salary

For many candidates, the amount of money they take home each pay period is just one perk among many when working at a company. During your  negotiations, if a candidate asks for more money than you can afford and there aren’t a lot or any other options out there for you, try to negotiate areas other than salary. For example, you might be able to offer a candidate a higher match on his or her 401(k) contributions or move up that date on which he or she is vested in the plan to make the position more appealing. You might consider offering more flex time or vacations days, in exchange of a lower salary than the candidate hoped for.

If your company  has a set salary structure and a desirable candidate is requesting a sum outside of the pay grade, one option is to offer a signing bonus instead of increasing the salary offer. A signing bonus won’t solve your problems if you’re on a strict budget, but it can make a candidate happy and help you avoid distorting your company’s salary scale. Additionally, a signing bonus can be a great way to discourage job hopping. You make the bonus continent on the employee staying with your company for at least a set amount of time. You worked hard to land the right employee; you want to make sure he or she is going to stick around.

If you need help figuring out how to work the salaries of new hires into your company’s financial plan, the virtual CFO services offered by New Direction capital can help. Contact us today for more information on how you can streamline the hiring and salary  negotiating process.

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