You know it and we know—potential accounting hires have lots of options these days. According to staffing firm Robert Half, demand is high for these skilled workers and the job market is very competitive.

You want to ensure that a new hire doesn’t already have one foot out of the door  and will stick around for the long time.

An employee’s success and longevity depends heavily on his or her first weeks or months on the job. No matter the size of your accounting firm or department, it should have a formalized on-boarding process for new hires.

Our new white paper 7 Tips For Getting More From Your Accounting Hires (download it free here) offers some great advice for creating—or updating—a superlative on-boarding experience.

1) Balance Your Needs With Those of Your New Hire

First, take a breath and a step back. Many times, especially if the new hire is a direct report, managers focus on what work they need rather than what the new employee needs.

How can you introduce a new hire to your organization’s systems and culture over time? While the recommended 90 days of on-boarding may be unrealistic for your organization, you should still devote a month or more to walking your new hire through the details of the job.

Demonstrate how to do essential tasks, while inviting the new employee to contribute where and how they feel comfortable. You may find he or she is strong at creating data reports or a natural at project management. It’s also a great way to gauge their personality and how it fits with your team.

This way you can mold the job to fit his or her strengths, which will take a lot of the bumps out of the transition.

2) Focus On Day One

This is your only chance to make a first impression on your new hire, so ensure that Day One is an all-around pleasant experience.

Communicate his or her start date in advance to everyone on your team in your area and make plans to welcome the employee aboard. Organizing a team lunch may be a great way to break the ice.

Ensure the new employee’s work-space is clean and organized (including the furniture!) with a working/ready computer, accessible org charts and contact lists, and a building map if applicable.

Prior to your new hire’s arrival, be sure to give him or her clear details on how to get to the office, where to park, time to arrive and what to bring on Day One. If you’ve planned a team gathering or lunch, be sure to communicate that.

3) Treat Your New Hire Like A Customer

The rule of thumb is to treat your new hire as you would a new customer. Just like any customer, you want your new hire to know that they’ve made the right decision in working for your organization.

As such, you’ll want to make yourself available for questions or concerns. Be sure to stop by his or her desk whenever possible and set up regular check-ins, preferably as part of your formal on-boarding process.

If their on-boarding experience isn’t going well, you need to know and be prepared to always listen and help anyway you can. Do not dismiss their concerns or simply pass them off to human resources or someone else. Your customers hate that, and so do your new employees.

A little compassion can go a long way in helping a new hire transition to working for your organization.

For a deeper look at how to get more out of your new accounting hire, download Wiley’s new white paper on the topic.