Don't Drop the Ball on Your New Hire

Every rockstar needs coaching before hitting the big stage.

Recently, our team onboarded a new team member. Exciting stuff, right?

If you are anything like me, hiring is an amazing feeling. You are about to change someone’s life, and they are about to change yours. You didn’t hire another seat-filler. Nope, you hired a rock star!

This person is going to take your team to a new level. They will free up your time and help spread your mission to the entire world. Big things are in store. All you need to do is make sure this person feels inspired, and the rest is smooth sailing.

Then it happens.

You remember that you are the team leader, and it’s your job to think of everything. We’ve all been there before. Stuck in an endless loop of new hire paperwork and training schedules. Bogged down by IT and overwhelmed by handbooks and checklists.

Your employee’s first day arrives. You want to start strong, so you’ve cleared your calendar.

Looks like someone forgot to tell your clients. Your inbox is overflowing, and your cell phone won’t stop buzzing. The rest of your team still needs you, and you are fairly certain you forgot to pack lunch for your kids.

You try to ignore the noise, but… (insert your favorite excuse here). Sure, you can recover from this and still set a strong tone with your new hire. The problem is that you’ve already shown the real culture of your organization. Your clients set the rules, and you are reactionary. Just a matter of time before your new rockstar falls flat.

**Cue the sad music.**

Don’t worry. There is still hope. All it takes is a little planning to reinvigorate the culture you want within your organization. Let’s set this newbie up for success. Inspire them on day one, and don’t stop inspiring. Live your vision, and the rest will follow. Culture is contagious – both positive and negative.

Remember our new hire?

We exchanged several emails, texts, and phone calls to help build anticipation before his start date. After asking if he had any special requests for tools / supplies, he said he needed a notepad and a pen. Easy enough, right?

We added one extra item to sit on top of his notepad – a small journal. Inside, we wrote…


Welcome to our team, and welcome to the first day of your new future.

Use this notebook to capture your big ideas, suggestions for the firm, and goals for yourself. Keep client notes in this book – this space is reserved for you.

Now for a few rules:

1. We focus on results, not effort. Don’t count hours; count on yourself, and count on us. If you find a better way to do things, follow your path. Proving us wrong is allowed.

2. You are required to fail. If you’ve never failed at your job, you haven’t pushed yourself far enough. We aren’t perfect, and we don’t expect you to be either. You have the freedom to fail and the space to learn from your mistakes. Once you know better, do better.

3. When you fail, don’t lie. We accept mistakes, not excuses. You receive our full trust on day one – you don’t need to earn it. You are only able to lose our trust. Don’t.

Now, there are certain rules that our clients must follow:

1. Respect our time, and

2. Respect our team.

Clients matter, but our team matters more. 
Back to you.

Remember that you don’t work for us – you work with us.

Be a team player and respect that we all come from different places in life. Your opinions matter and your voice will be heard.

Ask questions. Learn from those questions. Then, ask better questions.

Let’s do this.

For your next hire, ask yourself one important question. Are you hiring or inspiring?

Every rockstar needs coaching before hitting the big stage. Be ready to coach, then get out of the way.

About the Author:

Matt Bralove is the co-founder of Zone Accounting, LLC, and is on a mission to turn the public accounting world on its side. Matt isn’t afraid to be different – he thrives in that space. In 2016, Matt, and his business partner, Vince Craig, founded Zone Accounting as an alternative for forward-looking business owners. They traded the stale billable hour model in favor of transparent pricing, and opt for plain English over technical tax lingo. After a nearly 20-year career, Matt has learned that accounting isn’t a business of numbers; instead, accounting is a business of people. Matt’s job is to teach you the fundamentals, and then help you lean on the gas and find the real power behind your business. Nearly every CPA knows how to prepare taxes – Matt knows how to prepare you for profit.

This is an excerpt from an article written by Matt Bralove, originally appearing in the March 2022 issue of Baltimore Real Producers. Follow Baltimore RP on Instagram and Facebook.