Performance Management Begins in the Interview: Q&A With Janine Truitt
This is the first post in an ongoing series in which InternMatch sits down and talks to thought-leaders and respected voices in the fields of College Recruiting, HR, and Management. Want to stay in the know? Keep reading. Want to stay ahead of the curve? Subscribe to our blog.
Janine Truitt, the Czarina of HR, is a Human Resources professional with nearly a decade of experience in recruiting in multiple fields. She has a passion for placing talented people in places where they can thrive. Janine is the Chief Innovations Officer of Talent Think Innovations, LLC and the Founder/Chief Blogger for The Aristocracy of HR blog.
InternMatch: What can you tell us about managing the performance of interns or new hires?
Janine Truitt: Managing performance begins in the interview. From the start you have to make sure that every candidate understand two things: What you expect from them and how things get done in your organization. For a company or organization to operate as it should, every member of the team needs to be on the same page in terms of execution. Particularly for entry-level candidates, expectations need to be effectively communicated during the interview process. Make sure your hiring managers have the right tools and information from the beginning, so that your organization is managing key performance indicators from day one.
IM: What are the most useful feedback strategies for interns and new hires and how often should you provide feedback?
JT: Communicate immediately and constantly, not just when they have a performance review. Feedback has to be timely and it should be consistent as well. They shouldn’t be hearing from you about how they’re doing in their next performance review cycle. That’s a missed opportunity. You should touch bases with new employees in the first 30-60 days, if not earlier. We always tell new hires to ask questions if they need anything, but we should also be proactive about asking questions of them. Ask if they need help. Ask if they need anything. Ask, is there anyway I can help you?
IM: What about criticism?
JT: Recognize the good work they’re doing immediately. Positive reinforcement is key. Most managers are uncomfortable with delivering negative feedback. You need to be able to do it. Approach it thoughtfully. Let the new hire know that you understand that, well, they’re new and still learning the ropes. Point out what you’re willing to do and how you’re willing to support them. Let them know that there is an expectation of performance.
IM: What are the guiding principles of maintaining consistency through out the management/recruitment process?
JT: When you’re recruiting, make sure the managers are with you 100%. Managers must be working towards the same mission as recruiters and interns/new hires. From the recruiter perspective, it’s necessary to help the managers understand how to manage the human capital they’re overseeing and to make sure they have an operational document of how people should be managed; a manifesto or handbook of sorts.Make sure all employees are being managed by the same principles. Make sure they understand their own accountability in every scenario. Make sure employees have buy-in on how their managers are doing. And that there is a process for employees to provide feedback. Oh, and lose the tradition – it shouldn’t be top down.
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