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To all the bosses (and managers) out there--I could use your help with the answers to a couple of questions!

- After hiring someone, what are your expectations of them (generally speaking)?  What do you expect on day one?
- What can this newly-hired employee do to earn your trust and respect?
- How do you judge the newly-hired employee's performance over the first three months?
- What kind of mistakes would cause you to fire a brand new employee?

Please post a comment (or just email me at adachis@lifehacker.com if you prefer).  Thanks!!
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David Heatherly's profile photoKevin Bushouse's profile photoQuinn Conklin's profile photoYvette Mitchell's profile photo
13 comments
 
It really depends on the position you are hiring for. First week or two I am looking for some one willing to learn. If they are experienced that means learning how the job is done here not telling everyone how they did it some where else. If inexperienced I want them willing to ask questions. 

Theft, assault, and an inability to learn the job will get some one fired. 
 
I have some of the same thoughts as +Quinn Conklin.  I work in government so the first week(s) are filled with getting admin stuff done, but that aside, I look for someone who is willing and eager to learn.  I hope the person has a good level of self-awareness and recognizes that they have strengths to bring to the table, but needs to learn how to apply those strengths to the new work environment they're in.

Again, I work in government, I can't fire anyone.
 
On the first few days I am looking for a "sponge" someone who is taking it all in observing, asking questions, gathering info. I am also looking for organization not a neat freak or anything like that but rather someone who is preparing and adjusting their space' setting up home base, laying out a foundation. Someone who walks in the door and immediately starts making changes or decisions that will significantly impact the department or company will be cause for concern. Unless this is a short term contract and the person was hired to perform a specific task then in that case hit the ground running.
 
As a +Yvette Mitchell and +Quinn Conklin mentioned, I'm looking for signs that the new hire is actively engaged in learning. They need to be open to new approaches and willing to ask questions when they don't understand; being open and acknowledging when they don't understand something is a sure way to keep my respect (they already had it before they started; I wouldn't have hired them otherwise.) Of course, if they come back to work the next day showing signs of working on whatever it was they didn't understand, my respect grows.

They also need to show signs of having the skills they said they had when they interviewed. I test for that as best I can, but I've had more than one hire whose technical skills weren't where I thought they needed to be. If that doesn't improve quickly, then it's not a good match and they need to go. Otherwise, as long as they're showing signs of moving through the learning curve, I'm happy. 

Lying to me gets you fired. Being aggressive or uncivil with your coworkers gets you a warning, followed by termination. We have a culture of open attitudes, innovation and creativity here. I won't have that poisoned by someone who can't treat other people with the respect they all deserve.
 
Job comprehension & social interaction. I've trained so many people that are technically capable of performing their job duties but cannot effectively interact with teammates. And, vice versa, no one wants to work with that charismatic guy/girl that cannot pull his/her own weight. Also, Rome wasn't built in a day.

Good punctuality, willingness to learn & share and teamwork earn high marks in my book.

A good employee is not only one that does the job well, but inspires others to do better as well. I always encourage new employees to push themselves to be as good, if not better, than the experienced work staff. This is evident after 90 days.

Not fitting in with the team irks me. If any of my team takes issue with you and steps are not taken to come to an agreement, you just punched your ticket to get out of here.
 
As others have stated, a good employee is conscientious of the quality of his/her work. I make sure to teach, let them do small chunks of their job at a time to assess their strengths and weaknesses. You get an idea of where the potential issues will be and additional training is necessary (or, not to assign particular things because he/she is not ready). 
 
Depends on what they were hired for, but generally everything above is pretty accurate. Of course personality is a factor, which is why employers have the 3 month thing... it allows them to get rid of the person without having to spell out the reasons why that person won't work out. We spend a lot of time with the people we hire/work with, and if a new hire doesn't fit, then it's better to cross that bridge before excessive investment from either side.
That being said, this should happen very rarely, as the process leading up to a hire is intended to find the right person for the job, and every hire comes at a cost, especially during that initial period, where they're not able to contibute as much, and requre an investment of co-worker and manager training time.
We have 30/60/90 day reviews to make sure there is a platform of communication for both parties.
 
Motivation to learn and assertiveness to take charge.
 
Check out manager tools.com and specifically the podcasts about what to do your first days on a new job and work it in reverse!
 
Most of what's already been mentioned. Earning trust and respect: showing initiative in trying to solve their own problem before coming to me with it (at the very least "I googled the error, but couldn't find anything that looked appropriate"). Taking constructive criticism and feedback not as a personal attack but as a learning opportunity - bonus points if they leave me feeling like they've actively tried to understand whatever point I've been making. Taking initiative and assertiveness is okay, but only when moderated with the ability to judge whether what you're planning to do fits in with the current business goals and culture. 
 
If I had known I was going to be quoted, I would have tried to sound smarter.  :)
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