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  • Writer's pictureTracey Smith

You Made the Hire! Now What?

So you've made the hire for your staff or ministry! Now what? That is a great question. Most church leaders and non-profit employers spend so much time and focus on the front end of the hiring process that they often forget about how to be intentional once the new employee has arrived. But the smartest leaders we've seen - those who excel in retaining great staff members - remain intentional in their actions after the hire has been made.

Here are some ideas that might help you as you move beyond the hire and prepare to welcome your new staff member.

1. Make a personal call or write a note.

Once the job offer is accepted, take the time to write a hand-written note or make a phone call to personally let them know how happy you are about having them join the team. This gives you the opportunity to share your excitement about them being a part of the team and will remind them why they accepted the position.

If the new staff member has to make a particularly far move, you might consider sending a gift card to their spouse or a gift basket to their family, acknowledging the sacrifices they have to make in the move and showing your excitement to have the whole family in your community.

2. Send new employee paperwork ahead of time.

Take the time to make a Welcome Packet of all new employee paperwork and anything else they might find helpful beforehand. Do you remember your first day at a new job? There's often loads of paperwork that need to be completed. If at all possible, send as much of the paperwork or an online link that needs to be completed before the first day. This will allow your new staff member the opportunity to do other things than just sit in their new office on their first day completing paperwork.

In this Welcome Packet, you could include a letter from their supervisor and/or even a card from their new team welcoming them to the organization. Also, don't forget to include an overview of your organization, your history, your mission and vision, your benefits information and your employee handbook.

3. Deliver a welcome basket.

Your new team member has arrived in your city. They are probably filled with mixed emotions. Some have left family behind. Some have never moved so far. Whatever the situation, it can be a very emotional time. So, how can we, as leaders, help? One way is by having a Welcome Basket delivered to them on or shortly after their move-in day.

Have a team member put together a welcome basket with a variety of items to help the transition go well on those first few days of moving in. In the welcome basket, you could include gift cards to nearby restaurants, a map of local favorites and stores like Target or Wal-Mart, snacks, fruit, water, and maybe a Home Depot or Lowes gift card. If they have children, you could include some small toys, or if they have teens, maybe throw in a movie gift card. Try to think of anything thing that lets the entire family know, "We are so excited about you being here and we want to help you transition smoothly."

4. Have everything prepared for their first day.

It happens all the time - a new employee's first day takes everyone by surprise and things aren't quite ready for them. Recruit a welcome team for your new staff member, and assign each member specific things that they can be responsible for as you prepare for their first day. Here are some things that the Welcome Team can do:

  • Prep their office/desk. Do they need a staff badge? Any additional paperwork? A welcome sign? Any other church swag your other employees have? Any specific office equipment they need?

  • Have their computer on their desk and ready to go. If your organization provides any particular programs or software your employees need on their computer, make sure it's already installed and set up when they arrive for their first day.

  • Schedule a tour of your facilities.

5. Have an intentional onboarding plan.

How will this person adjust to their new role, and how can the organization make sure they are set up for success? Have an intentional on boarding plan. Here are some ideas to help with the onboarding of your new team member:

  • Assign them a mentor or coach. Make sure this person is not someone that will be their supervisor, but someone that can help show them the ropes, be available to answer any questions about the community, or help walk through any adjustments they may be experiencing.

  • Have the staff contact list on their desk and then take them around the offices to meet everyone during the week.

  • Schedule lunch with their team on the first day.

  • Schedule other staff members or teams for lunch the entire first week.

  • Schedule a meeting on day one with HR to turn in any completed forms and allow time for questions about benefits, policies, or compensations.

  • Have fun ways to explain staff inside jokes and team culture.

  • Make sure you allow time for the new employee to set up their office and review new information as they get adjusted to their new role and office space. They will be drinking from a fire hose! Give them down time to process and ask questions if possible.

As important as it was to make a great impression on your candidates during the hiring process, it is just as important to go beyond the hire to make a continued great impression on how they get started. Retaining them long-term will be well worth the investment that you make into their first few days with their new team.

What are some ways you effectively welcome and onboard new staff members?



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