HR Leader’s Guide

An HR Leader’s Guide To The First 3 Months In The Role

HR Leader’s Guide

You have just joined a new job as an HR Manager. You have a pile of questions encircling in your head- “How to quickly integrate with the teams and colleagues?  How would I make a meaningful impact on them? How will I make an impressive first impression? What will be my strategy? And so on… And now you are on the edge of your seat as you don’t have a plan mapped out yet. 

Sounds familiar? 

Now, Take a deep breath and calm down. We’ve got you covered. You will get all your questions answered in this blog.

HR Leader’s Guide To The First 3 Months In The Role

First of all, congratulations on the new role. But as you already know, getting the job was just the tip of the iceberg. The hardest part is still waiting on your way i.e. the journey to success. 

Here is a complete HR leader’s guide for you to navigate through the first 90 days with success. 

What are the functions of HR?

HR Leader’s Guide

Did you know? The post of HR manager ranked 35th out of 800 occupations in the U.S., as per the new employment-projection data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and scored by The Wall Street Journal.  

Before you start working in this new role, you need to understand what are the roles and responsibilities you will have to take as an HR-

  1. Recruitment
  2. Update policies
  3. Organizational Development 
  4. Payroll management: For most job seekers mentioned Salary (67%) and benefits (63%) are the most important information.
  5. Compensation and Benefits:60% of employees mentioned that benefits positively affect their engagement, motivation, and satisfaction.
  6. Training and developing employees: 72% of candidates emphasise the need for advancement opportunities.
  7. Compliance Management
  8. Improve Employee Engagement and reduce attrition
  9. Build a high performing culture

Why are the first 90 days important?

“First 90 days are critical. By the end of 60 days, one usually becomes a veteran in the fast-growth organization so from there it’s about building credibility and showing results.”- Charu Purohit, Nykaa

A new HR leader’s success is determined by the foundation they laid in the first 90 days of recruitment.

Your words and actions during this initial period can have a lasting impact in forming and shaping the perception of your people about you.

Therefore it is important to create a strong foundation for yourself in the crucial first 90 days.

Your first 3 months will help you set the tone for your future endeavours as HR. It will provide you with the opportunity to create an immediate, powerful and positive first impression as a new HR leader.

It’s the best time to showcase your abilities and prove yourself as the best fit for the role.

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The Roadmap

Here is the complete HR leader’s guide for you to discover the path of success within the first 3 months-


“If you show up looking clueless, people are going to assume you’re clueless.” 

Here are a few things you can do to prepare beforehand- 

  • Get to know the company

Read every possible information available about the company. Onboarding material can be handy in this regard. It’s also important to research about the competitors and understand industry dynamics. 

Don’t forget to research about the key persons and your direct reports. Know about the products and services as well

  • Know how the company Operates

Research about the different teams in the company and how the different layers operate.

Pin down the financial metrics and the market value of the firm. Learn the unique way with which the company is making money.

Tip: Don’t Assume. Instead, Ask

Ask questions to the right people and listen carefully to clear out any doubts that you may have.

It will help you get fresh perspectives and real insights to make sure the HR strategy is aligned to the business strategy.

“You need to have a battery of questions that you’ll probably get bored of asking. What do I need to know? What needs to change? What shouldn’t change? Come up with that list and ask them for the right people.” Tony Jackson

2Hit The Ground and Take The Charge

A survey shows that 31% of new HR leaders fail within their first 18-24 months, the primary reason being they didn’t effectively take charge during the crucial initial days. Therefore it’s important to put a plan in place ASAP and start implementing it:

  • Review employee surveys and metrics (If available)

To understand the employee attitude and opinions, review employee survey data over the organization. With survey data, you will also get some idea about the prevailing challenges and issues the firm is facing.

To get additional insights, consider organizing a new employee engagement survey. It will give you insights into the employee pulse, the work culture, Previous HR policies, and their impacts on the employees. It will also give you insight into what the employees feel about the current workforce and performance issues.

Even if there’s no data available, pick up your hints directly from the people.

“You don’t need an engagement survey to know how people are feeling – you’ll pick it up from them directly. Listen to how people speak to each other about work; there are masses of little clues in everyday interactions that tell you a huge amount about a company and its culture.”-Tim Scott

  • Review the HR tools available

There’s a $10 billion global demand for HR software. PwC HR Technology’s Survey indicates that 58% of businesses use HR technology to find, attract and retain talent.

Talk to the HR team and learn how HR resources and tools are used. Utilize these tools and resources to set up systems and gain real-time insights into your people & culture.  

By now you will have all the necessary data at hand. Set priorities and Prepare an HR strategy that will work the best

Remember: Planning won’t take you anywhere without the right action. 

3Network and communicate

“The art of communication is the language of leadership.” – James Humes

  • Meet the people

It’s important to get out and talk with your people early on. You need to know them first to be there for them. Have conversations with line managers about their goals and how you and the organization can help them deliver their goals.

  • Get alignment with supervisors

 Have one on one conversations with senior executives and key stakeholders. This will help you build a relationship of trust with them. At the same time, you will get to learn about the strategic shifts, brand aspirations, and their personal views and perception of the current HR plans.  

3 Things to avoid

  1. Isolate yourself: Don’t be an island within the organization. No one likes an HR person who is beyond their reach.
  2. Ignore company culture: Company culture determines how the people within the organization interact and work together. Ignoring it can affect every aspect of the organization. 
  3. Not seeking help: Don’t be afraid to say I don’t know. Seek help if required.

To make it simple, “Learn, Act, Talk” is the sine qua non for your success as an HR leader. The sooner you start the process the more glossy the path of success would be for you as a new HR.

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