• July/August 2018

They said “yes”: Now, how to keep that new hire

By Pam Hilber
Avera Health

It’s no secret that Sioux Falls’ employment market is a very competitive one. Every employer’s challenge is to hire the best candidates, even when they’re getting multiple offers.

After a successful hire, you might breathe a sigh of relief and feel like your job is done until his or her first day on the job. But it’s important to note that an employee most often makes the decision to stay or leave a position during the first 30 to 60 days.

So here are some “behind the scenes” steps that can help give the best possible impression of your company:

Welcome your employee in advance

When a new employee accepts the job offer, call, email, text or send a card within the next few days just to say, “We’re so excited to have you on our team.” Make this effort, and you’ll set yourself apart from other employers who might come in with other offers during the interim between the job offer and the start date.

an employee most often makes the decision to stay or leave a position during the first 30 to 60 days

Greet your new employee with an equipped work space

Nothing says “oops, I forgot you were coming” like a “naked” work environment. So have the necessary office equipment and supplies in place. Make sure their computer and phone are ready. Work with your IT department to ensure that the employee has computer access on the first day. Plan for meaningful work beyond reading training or policy manuals. If employees don’t find their new “home” in order when they arrive on the job, they feel stalled out and uncomfortable.

Keep your employee’s personal life in mind

Leaders may think it’s enough to say, “be here at 8 Monday morning.” In reality, new employees need to know way more. They may have child care arrangements to make or personal commitments to solidify.

Let them know in advance, to the best of your knowledge, what their work schedule will be like for the first week or even the first month. What should they wear? Where should they park? What can they expect to accomplish during their first 30 days on the job? When you provide this vital information, it signals that you care about who they are as a person and their personal life.

Plan a surprise

Welcome your employee with a pleasant surprise on the first day: a small basket of goodies, a gift bag or a card that everyone on the team has signed. Maybe even ask for a list of their “favorites” in advance. This extra effort helps the new hire feel welcomed and appreciated right out of the gate.

Involve the team

Designate a seasoned, high-performing employee to be the new hire’s go-to. This gives the new hire someone to ask questions of, and not feel like they are “bothering” someone. For the team as a whole, encourage employees to get together for lunch, or just say, “I’m so excited we’ll be working together.” As important as the leader is, if the team is cold or hostile toward new hires, they aren’t going to stick around.

Recruitment and turnover is expensive, so these simple steps can pay big dividends.

Avera employs 17,000 people across our system, and we have many job opportunities. In our Talent Management department, we realize that our job starts much earlier than posting a position online. In fact, we are in constant contact with high schools, colleges and universities to help ensure that new graduates consider a health care career with Avera.


Pam Hilber, PhD, is the Director of Workforce Planning for Avera Health. In this role, she is responsible for securing an adequate pipeline of future employees to continue Avera’s health care ministry into the future across its five-state footprint.

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