Among the human resources tools currently in vogue, the surprise, discovery, or astonishment report (pick one!) is becoming an essential part of successful recruitment, and more and more companies are using this exercise to ensure the successful integration of a new employee.
The aim of this document is to obtain feedback from new employees on their feelings about the company, their arrival, their integration, the atmosphere, and the working environment.
This tool, whose form remains informal at this stage, has several advantages for both the company and the new employee.
For the employee, the astonishment report makes it possible to:
- Validate whether the job matches their expectations
- rapidly build a relationship of trust with management
- Develop a capacity for dialogue and internal exchange.
For the company, it ensures to:
- Analyse the recruitment and integration process
- Consider areas for improvement
- Identify sticking points and people
- Validate the probation period
For it to be fully effective, it is important that all parties involved play the game of transparency and candour, and that this report is not used for other purposes.
However, it seems to me that this tool can also be used in a slightly different way in the context of recruitment carried out by an Executive Search firm.
In fact, all Executive Search firms have a guarantee clause in their contracts, which is activated in the hopefully rare event of a non-proving trial period.
The astonishment report could therefore play a decisive role in the consultant’s analysis with the client of the integration period of the recruited candidate.
If a first version of this report were produced by the candidate after the first 6 weeks of integration, and debriefed between the consultant and his client, it would make it possible to objectify this analysis, formalize the areas for improvement to be considered with the candidate, and arrange a meeting when a more advanced version of the report is submitted a few weeks later.
Should a negative trend emerge from the initial discussions, this would enable both parts to anticipate the activation of the warranty clause, analyse the causes of the failure in detail, and modify the mission’s expectations.
It seems that the astonishment report can and should become a tool shared with the Executive Search firm in charge of the recruitment, to objectify the guarantee triggering and make it as effective as possible.
Article written by Stéphane LEHIDEUX, CFR Global Executive Search France