Decorative Side Bird

Human Resources Q&A: When it's time to run for the hills

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I've been hired for a new short-term job that doesn't start for a couple of months. Since I verbally agreed to take the role, I have been receiving a flurry of emails, some of which ask me to create documents and do other work. I have had several meetings and have several more meetings booked before my start date. I was informed that my contract was in the mail over a month ago but I still have not received it. I have asked if this is normal procedure for a new staff and was informed that yes, it is. I have not been oriented to the work place and have been told that all of this extra free time I'm putting in is my orientation. Although I have been told that everything will be fine and will smooth out, I am getting concerned that all of this extra work is likely going to be a regular expectation once I officially start. What do I do?

It sounds as though you have expressed your concerns with this employer and tried to hold a genuine conversation about your concerns. This is always the best way to approach the situation. Beyond for the hills! You are being shown how this employer operates; the playing field is being laid now for future dealings. If you are not comfortable with what you are seeing now, you are not likely going to be comfortable with the ongoing dealings with this employer.

It is common for employers to send you documentation prior to your start date, such as your contract and information about the organization or resources for the job (without the expectation that you will be doing the job prior to your start date).

In order to support the success of a new employee, orientation to the organization and the job starts on your first day of paid work. Even a short-term contracted employee requires an orientation to be successful. A basic orientation should include:

  • Familiarization with the physical work environment
  • Information about the organizational culture and communication protocols
  • Introductions to the team
  • Information about the job and the expectations the organization has of your performance
  • All resources, tools, information you need to do your job

These are just a few of the basic orientation steps for a new employee. An employer who is concerned about employee engagement, commitment and productivity will provide a full phased orientation or on-boarding process.


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