It’s hard enough joining a new company in the best of times, but in these most unusual times, the decision to up sticks and leave a company is a massive decision. Companies that are hiring, therefore need to ensure their onboarding process is fit for purpose and as supportive as possible.
For many years now, I have been a firm believer in coaching and development and especially when applied to employee onboarding and integration where it proves time and again to be a lifesaver for both the company and the candidate.
What do I mean by this?
Before starting my own business, Disruptive Executive Hiring, I was employed as the Global Head of Leadership Hiring with HCL. Whilst in this role, I wanted to ensure that experience for new leaders in this environment would be memorable for all of the right reasons and not what I had known to be the traditional sink or swim approach of “there’s your laptop, this is the team, off you go, go do!” With this approach, often after about 5 weeks when the internal system of a large company is proving harder than expected to navigate, the internal IT systems are being restrictive, the new employee, who has generally built up a good rapport with Talent Acquisition circles back round to them for a much-needed lifeline.
A Real-Life Example
One of my coaching clients had started a new role as SVP. Before starting, he endured an intense six-month hiring process. Nonetheless on day one, he bounced through the door with a spring in his step and a clear narrative on what he was going to do, build, run, grow, you get the picture. Not fazed by the level of responsibility nor the size of the team, my client was keen to get going and why wouldn’t he? He had been successful in the past with his methodology and approach. From a client and business perspective, the entity in common was success. Success is what he was selling, and success is what the business was buying.
Can it be as simple as that? Perhaps, perhaps not. We are familiar with the premise that recruitment for business is essentially an investment and like all investments, there is a risk. We have all seen the disclaimer on investment products, “The past performance of any investment is not necessarily a guide to future performance,” and the same rings true for the recruitment investment. Just because someone has been successful in the past, it doesn’t guarantee it will be that way with a new role/company and this proved to be the challenge for my client.
My coaching engagement began some six weeks into the role, and he was already experiencing the pressure that one experience’s in an environment that doesn’t meet one’s expectations, standards or supports our preferred way, or style of working. The pressure of not knowing the unwritten rules of engagement that only become known over time and experience. The environment where you can unintentionally upset some colleagues to find the doors of opportunity slammed resolutely in your face. Moreover, to add salt to the early wounds, the client had discovered that the new role differed significantly from the one he had accepted, and the revenue was less than he had been advised.
Prior to the coaching engagement, this client, a recent MBA graduate, and highly intellectual communicator, had appeared calm, authentic, measured in approach, and extremely likeable. You will no doubt be surprised to learn that my client, in this short six-week period, had already begun to shut down. My client seemed to be operating from a fear base. He appeared defensive, resentful, defeated. This had the potential to be labeled “a bad hire,” you know the hallmarks, an unsuitable candidate not fitting it, a cultural mismatch, a premature departure, time to full productivity a protracted process to name but a few. There are many hallmarks in isolation that are troubling, in groups they are more difficult and when left to rot and fester, their effect results in your investment very quickly appearing to look ill-judged.
Which brings me back the reason why I am such a strong advocate of coaching and development. In the example provided, I was able to support in a coaching capacity, help my flailing client develop his own authentic internal brand and messaging. The client was able to when given the safe space to offload move forward from his frozen state. Given an impartial and honest thinking partner my client could challenge some of his thinking around key issues that were, up until that point, his only source of calibration and fuelling his self-doubt. I can assure you also that it was not all plain sailing, there were a few hair-raising moments when the proverbial towel was in hand and just about to be thrown into the ring of submission but happy to say, he prevailed. He bounced back and remains in the post some 3 years on.
I know hand on heart that had this client not been afforded the support of his own coach to help navigate the changing landscape, he would have either left or been let go making the investment extremely pricey for all involved and for that matter in more than just monetary terms.
Supporting Clients Through COVID-19
At Disruptive Hiring, we are passionate about supporting our clients with integration coaching. We don’t just leave our new leaders at the door, but we accompany them over the threshold. We do our level best to support successful candidates radiate success in their new environment. Key outcomes include achieving full productivity as quickly as possible, identifying and achieving quick wins, personal branding, and appropriate behaviors for driving success. Importantly, it’s a win-win situation. The business wins, the client wins, we win.
When the full effects of COVID-19 hit, I took the business decision to include the integration program as part of our standard terms at no additional cost. The integration program is delivered via Disruptive Executive Hiring Limited’s Illuminate Program. If you want to know more then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org