“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” Mark Twain
Picture the beginning of a horse race: it’s the start of an all-out battle to the finish line, which often comes a mere two or three minutes after the start of the race, in which the competitors who leave the gate well typically finish well. Those who stumble out of the starting gate, however, have little hope of recovering and competing with the others at the breakneck pace that is required of them.
This is true of anything in life, and especially when it comes to the first 90 days of a new job. If the first 90 days go poorly, it is difficult to recover and achieve long-term success in the role, both for the individual in the role and for the organization itself. There are many reasons why it is crucial to map out the first 90 days of a new job, and we have identified 8 of the most important below.
- Recruiting top talent
The best talent has the most opportunities. The more insight you can give a top candidate, into how success will be measured, the more likely they are to say “yes” to you and “no” to someone offering less clarity.
- Give your new hire direction
The new hire needs to know the goals they are working towards, and how to best go about achieving them. They also need to know how achievement of these goals will be identified and measured.
- Alignment of all the stakeholders around the position
Making sure that everyone is in agreement about what the role truly is and what it involves ensures that the interview process is consistent and effective. It also clarifies the expectations of the role.
- Impart confidence in your new hire as they hit defined targets
Giving the new hire clearly defined goals and the desired outcomes is particularly important in the first 90 days. As they achieve these goals and hit milestones, they build confidence in their abilities and their potential for continuing success.
- Give fellow teammates confidence in new team members
Likewise, it is important to show the new hire’s teammates that their new coworker is a great fit for the position and the culture. A strong start of hitting goals will foster strong and productive working relationships among the team.
- Identify and remove obstacles that could be struggles in the first 90 days
Identifying how success will be measured in the first 90 days should illuminate some of the major challenges for the roles. This allows a chance to pause and determine how these challenges can be removed or how the candidate can be properly equipped in order to be successful in the role.
- Identify if you have made a good hire
When you make a bad hire, chances you are have a strong suspicion in the first 90 days. The worst thing you can do, for all parties, is let a bad decision linger. If you have clearly defined success in the first 90 days you won’t have suspicion you will have the evidence needed to make a change.
- Help to develop an Ideal Candidate Profile
Developing a 90-Day success profile is a great way to lay the foundation for an ideal candidate profile. We call our ideal candidate profile an Ideal Candidate Blueprint™. Whatever you want to call yours, the blueprint clearly identifies the ideal candidate much more effectively than a typical job description. Defining early success helps clarify what the candidate will need to bring to the party in order to be successful. Together, these two tools greatly increase your odds of making your next hire a great one who will be a solid, long-term team player.
The 90-day success plan doesn’t have to be fancy. We call ours The 90-Day Success Ramp™. It merely needs to identify the key outcomes in the first 90 days of the role and the clearest ways to measure each of these outcomes. These can be tied to living out company values, gaining and maintaining a solid understanding of products, fostering relationships with co-workers or key stakeholders, or a certain amount of specific activities.
Mark Whitman is the founder and CEO of TeamBuilder Search, a dynamic recruiting firm that specializes in digital marketing, digital transformation, and emerging technology. He is an energetic and fearless adventurer who loves working with other innovative, entrepreneurial-minded professionals. He also happens to be a Sport Jujitsu national champion who literally broke his face in competing for the gold medal in the world championship. To discuss your toughest hiring challenges with Mark, contact him here.
Connect with Mark on LinkedIn.