New executives represent a substantial investment of time and money. It is essential you protect that investment by starting them with the resources they need to succeed. Taking the time to seamlessly transition them into your organization speeds the rate at which they can begin contributing and improves your rate of retention.

Here are five strategies to get them off on the right foot.


Lay the groundwork for acceptance among the executive’s peers, subordinates and throughout the organization. You have likely spent a lot of time with the executive during the course of the hiring process and may know them well, but to the rest of the company he is a stranger. Before the new executive steps through the door on the first day, talk about what a great addition he will be to the organization.

Discuss where they came from, successes they had, who may have recommended them. Try to dispel any resistance before their start date.


Share as much information about your organization as possible. No doubt you presented a great deal of information to them throughout the interview process, and they certainly did research on their own, but there is a lot of reading between the lines that can be done – not all of it accurate. Discuss previous successes and failures to give them an indication of what historically has worked and what hasn’t.

Tell them where in the lifecycle your company is currently and what you expect to soon change. Are you growing quickly, stable or looking for places of redundancy to eliminate?


Be clear about how you will measure success in the executive role and what is expected of the candidate. Do they need to hire a new team or will they be stepping into an existing department that is currently running well? Will they need to find places to cut staff or expenses? What are their top priorities in the first 30, 60 and 90 days? Develop a realistic timeline for the executive to be truly productive.


Structure a plan to integrate the executive into the organization. Introduce them to stakeholders so they know who the influencers are and can begin developing relationships. Be sure they understand the cultural norms of your business. Provide them a mentor who can guide the way, answer any questions and get them up to speed. Set up meetings with other executives, board members or department heads. Whenever possible, have the new executive meet with the incumbent to facilitate knowledge transfer.


Keep an open line of communication to ensure that the transition is progressing smoothly. Differing expectations cannot be identified without ongoing discussions and feedback. An effective executive can contribute significantly to your bottom line, but only if you check in regularly to ensure that you are on the same page.

To discuss additional best practices in hiring and onboarding new executives, contact the experts at BrainWorks. We can help you hire the right people and transition them seamlessly into your organization. To get started on your search, read our related posts or contact us today.

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