If you’ve taken the leap from the wirehouse to becoming an independent advisor, then it’s time to start growing your business. Of course, you can’t do it all on your own—you’ll need a team that’s as dedicated to your firm as you are.
Human resources may have been handled by the wirehouse before, but now that you’re independent, it’s up to you to set your new staff up for success. The sooner you implement a thorough onboarding process, the faster your new hires will acclimate and become established, productive members of the team.
This handy new-hire checklist can help you streamline the employee onboarding process by sharing the tools, policies, and tasks that are essential to their success at your firm.
1. Coordinate meet and greets
- Announce a new hire’s arrival via interoffice communications; walk them around the office, or host a quick virtual meeting to introduce the rest of the team.
- Ask each member of your staff to share their roles and how they will work together.
- Promote ice-breaking conversations or exercises to start a connection and build rapport.
- Go out for lunch or coffee with new hires and existing staff to help your team bond on a more personal level.
- Establish a mentor or training partner who will act as a direct resource in answering any questions that may arise.
2. Give a tour of the physical (or virtual) workspace
- If you’re working in a physical office environment, give a full office tour that includes cloakrooms, restrooms, common areas, conference or meeting rooms, kitchens, printer areas, and supply closets.
- Add a welcome sign, and have the new hire’s workspace stocked with essential office supplies.
- Share where the emergency exits are located and explain your evacuation procedures.
- For virtual team members, have a call or video meeting to help them put together any company-provided equipment for their home office.
- Allow time at the end of the day for them to organize and set up their workspace.
3. Provide key resources
- Review benefits, direct deposit enrollment, and tax documents with new hires, and ask them to complete any necessary paperwork.
- Share how to locate a directory of phone numbers and email addresses for all staff members and vendors.
- Assign new email addresses and login credentials for work-related programs and websites. For email communications, share the desired format for company email signatures.
- For in-office workers, present ID badges or access keys.
4. Review policies and procedures
- Provide a copy of the employee handbook, compliance information, and mission and vision statements.
- Go over the most relevant areas of the employee handbook, such as expectations for dress code, office hours, break times, work-from-home policies, and other company procedures.
- Share how to submit time-off requests for vacations, sick time, or personal leave.
5. Recap job expectations, and set standards for representing your company
- Recap the primary points of the job description and what the daily responsibilities of the position will entail.
- If the job includes making or answering phone calls or meeting with clients in person, review appropriate etiquette, greetings, and closings.
- Describe your process for booking, running, and attending meetings.
- Share how performance reviews will be handled.
6. Explain security and confidentiality rules
- Review your anti-theft and cybersecurity systems.
- Cover the procedures for using office hardware—including computer workstations, laptops, and network printers.
- Discuss your expectations for how to manage system passwords.
- If applicable, demonstrate the process of opening and closing the office and keeping it secure.
7. Conduct system and program tutorials
- Review the applications your firm uses and provide training on any that may be unfamiliar.
- Teach new hires how to use or complete all documents and forms—both digital and print.
- If they will be handling phone calls, educate them on how to use the phone systems, including transferring or forwarding.
8. Communicate your firm’s brand and culture
- Encourage new hires to view your website and social media platforms to help them understand how you present and promote the firm.
- Let them know the tone and key branding messages that are used.
- Review any policies for the personal use of social media to ensure that the firm’s reputation is protected.
- Share how your firm supports employees, how often you host get-togethers, and the ways you promote team building.
9. Be open to listening
- Let new hires know this is an environment where they can feel comfortable asking questions.
- Hold regular check-ins throughout the training and onboarding process to ensure that they are getting properly acclimated to your firm and their role.
- Listen to any concerns and share answers or resources for how to find support, if needed.
Developing a human resources strategy doesn’t have to feel daunting. The right partner firm can help you develop one that fits your specific needs. This process will ensure that your new staff becomes a contributing member of the team in no time—and it will help set your independent firm up for long-term success.