If Sheryl Crow says it, it must be true. I can confirm the first cut really is the deepest and everyday truly is a winding road so why not take the pop star's advice? That being said, last week I accepted a new position with a wireless company as a corporate recruiter and so far so great!
The first week I spent meeting with hiring managers and executives learning the company's vision, strategy and processes. This will prove to be incredibly valuable down the road once I start recruiting full force. I realize this is fairly common place when training a recruiter, the individual tasked with selling potential candidates on the company, but do companies adopt some small scale variation of this for ALL employee orientation? They should!
It is certainly incredibly important for Nathan New Hire to know which child is required to hand over for his yearly medical insurance deductable or what time the yoga instructor arrives at the onsite gym, but equally important is getting him on fire with company history and vision. (Warning: this only works for companies who add value to society. Online child pornography rings need not trouble themselves with walking new hires through their core values.)
By equipping new hires with company knowledge such as history, strategy, and culture an organization is empowering every employee to be a company ambassador. All employees hold a piece of the company life line in the form of employee referrals. As a recruiter I have a lot more confidence in an employee referral than a cold candidate I find on a job board. There is an element of dependability that only resides in a candidate who has had someone else vouching for them. An employee however is not going to refer someone to a company they are not excited about.
Employee contentment of course goes beyond a company pep rally on the first day and also depends heavily on ensuring all you present is true and experienced once they get comfortable in their postion. The first dominoe however must be a solid employee orientation. Whatever content you choose whether you incorporate exectutive speakers or a powerpoint on the company timeline, just do something! All those who have stake in the success of the company will thank you.