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Majority of CFOs Offer New Hires Less than Six Months to Prove Themselves: Survey Shows

March 30, 2016

(CNW Group/Robert Half Finance & Accounting)

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, but just how much time does it take to make one when starting a new job? In a new Robert Half Finance & Accounting survey, the majority (92 per cent) of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) said new hires have less than six months to prove themselves.

“Kicking off a new position on the right foot starts before the first day on the job,” said Greg Scileppi, president of Robert Half, International Staffing Operations.

“To be well-prepared to hit the ground running, candidates should take advantage of the interview process to get a sense of what will be expected of them within the first 30 days, six months and year. New hires should also take the time to learn about the job, business, industry and even competitors to get a head start on making the greatest impact.”

Here are some DOs and DON’Ts for getting off to a good start in a new job for new hires:

  • Do show up early. Arriving ahead of schedule will give you time to settle in, review your calendar and organize your day.
  • Don’t be a know-it-all. Resist the urge to tout how things were done at your previous company; instead, learn how to do it your new firm’s way before suggesting any changes.
  • Do ask for help. Seek assistance if you need it. Request a weekly check-in with your boss to get feedback on your progress and discuss further training. Be an information sponge.

See: Companies Increasing Starting Salary Offers to Secure New Hires

  • Don’t rock the boat. Avoid kicking off your tenure by requesting a flexible schedule or extra time off — that should have been handled during the negotiation process. Also, observe the corporate culture and model your behavior accordingly.
  • Do say “thank you.” No gesture of help is too small to warrant appreciation. Showing sincere gratitude goes a long way and will make coworkers more likely to want to lend you a hand in the future. And, of course, return the favour when they come to you for assistance.
  • Don’t isolate yourself. Invite your colleagues for lunch or coffee to network and gain insights into their jobs. As you learn more about their work, look for ways you can assist them.

“A good first impression starts before your new position does,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half.

“During the interview process, candidates should ask what will be expected in the first 90 days, and new hires should come to the job knowledgeable about the company, the competition and how to make the greatest impact. You don’t need to know everything, but managers are going to expect you to get up to speed in a short amount of time.”

McDonald further adds, “Try to meet as many people across the organization as quickly as possible. Understanding their roles and priorities will allow you to start adding value right away.”

Scileppi added, “There is a learning curve with any new position, but to start adding value right away it helps to meet different people within the organization and find out about their different roles, priorities and goals.”

Also read: A “Working Interview” is the Next Step for Recruitment Managers to Avoid Costly Hiring Mistakes

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