Employers Should Use New-Hire Orientation for Co. Goals Discussion

February 14, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Hiring managers should not forget their job-screening process and subsequent new-hire orientation as prime opportunities to motivate the new workers to back the employer's business goals.

At least that is the contention of Ilene Gochman, an organization effectiveness expert with Watson Wyatt Worldwide, according to a news release.

In a review of human resources practices at 50 large U.S. companies, Watson Wyatt found significant differences in financial performance and employee engagement between companies that make the maximum use of their hiring and orientation process and those that do not.

According to the news release, 65% of companies with a highly engaged workforce provide interview training for managers versus 33% of companies with a less engaged workforce. Those with highly engaged workers also spend more time in preparing workers for their new jobs; they take an average of 35 weeks to bring a new hire up to speed versus 15 weeks for those with low engagement, according to the poll.

The issue is an important one for a company’s bottom line, Watson Wyatt asserted. For the typical S&P 500 organization a significant improvement in employee engagement is associated with a $95 million increase in revenue.

“Implementing effective recruiting and orientation programs is generally very cost effective,” Gochman said, in the news release. “In addition, it is not terribly difficult to make change in this area. The main requirement is to focus on improving communication, both to managers who do the hiring and to new employees themselves.”

Goldman said hiring managers should also brief new hires on why they were tapped to be brought into the company. Fifty-two percent of high financial performers said they provided such an explanation versus 29% of low financial performers, the announcement said.

“Few things are more important to a company’s long-term performance than choosing the right employees and ensuring they have the proper outlook from Day One,” Gochman says. “As a result, employers should view the recruitment and orientation process as an opportunity, not as a burden. Preparing employees for their new roles and communicating how they can help the firm meet its goals can go a long way toward determining whether new employees ultimately succeed.”