7 ways to give your new starters a great first day

In the current market, holding on to your new veterinary hires is vital–and their first day can be make-or-break.

What’s more, how you handle the first day will determine how much of the information going into their heads stays there–and how much evaporates with each anxious breath.

Getting the first day right can exponentially improve employee retention, engagement, and performance. Here are seven easy ways to make a great first impression in your veterinary practice.

  • Give them their schedule and onboarding pack BEFORE their first day

Put yourself in your new hire’s shoes and imagine all the things you’d want to know in advance if you were them. As well as a schedule for their first day, their onboarding pack should include what to bring, when to arrive, who to ask for when they arrive, what to expect, where and when lunch will be, and when they can expect to leave.

  • Have their direct supervisor give them a call

A friendly call a few days before their start date is a good idea for several reasons. First, it shows you’re excited to have them on board. Second, it gives them a chance to ask any final questions and gives the supervisor a chance to make sure they’ve absorbed the details in their onboarding pack. Finally, the supervisor can give them contact details in case they need to get in touch before they start.

  • Set up a welcoming environment

The employee needs to feel comfortable with making their space their own. But don’t let them show up to a blank expanse either. A card signed by everyone in the team, a coffee mug filled with sweets, or a welcome sign on the wall are all great ways to make them feel valued from the moment they walk in–and to reassure them that you’ve planned for their arrival.

  • Give them the full tour

Introduce them to everyone in the practice, show them around everything, and start explaining those unwritten practice rules you might have had to pick up as you went along. While the practice is familiar to you, it’s new, strange, and uncomfortable to them. Ease their anxiety by giving them the heads-up about practice quirks and interpersonal dynamics in advance.

  • Take them to lunch

Buy your new hire a nice lunch and spend some time getting to know them–or delegate a colleague if you can’t spare the time. A catered welcome lunch for the whole team is a nice alternative.

  • Don’t let them be the only one who has questions

Show you’re approachable and engaged by checking in with your new hire and asking them questions like:

  • What’s going well?
  • What feels different or unexpected?
  • Is anything stressful or challenging?
  • Remember the tone of their first week is their new normal

If you expect your new hire to work until 6pm, don’t send them home early in the first few days so you can focus on work. Schedule them to shadow other people in the practice rather than being constantly on one person’s hands. Get the whole team involved in making their first week welcoming and comfortable–yet also a realistic picture of weeks to come.

It’s more important now than ever to hire the right talent. That’s why NSV helps leaders in the Veterinary sector find their ideal people, from Clinical Directors to Surgeons and Nurses.

We’re small enough to care personally about each individual we work with. We have our clients’ interests at heart, and we don’t do recruitment by numbers.

If you’re tired of wasting your time with unsuitable or uninterested candidates, try a truly consultative agency. We take the time to understand exactly what you’re looking for and create a detailed action plan tailored to your needs. Register a vacancy to get started.

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