Copyright - Fastcompany
How to design a great first job
- source: Fastcompany -

By the time they arrive at your doorstep, your new hires will have been wooed by many organizations. So their expectations will be high. Entry-level work can be mundane. But most first-time hires don't know that -- since no one dares to tell them the truth during the recruitment phase. Here are ways to soften their landing.

Roll out the welcome wagon.
Get rid of the administrative stuff beforehand. There's no quicker way to kill youthful enthusiasm than to choke it with hours of filling out forms. Before your recruits start work, send all the necessary paperwork to their homes.

Spend the first few days introducing new hires to your mission, strategy, and culture. Make them feel like part of the team. "It amazes me that companies don't take the time to explain to new hires how their businesses actually make money," says Maury Hanigan, whose company -- Hanigan Consulting Group, based in New York City -- focuses on recruiting and retention. "How is the company positioned in its market? What do its various divisions and departments do? How do they all fit together?"

One more first-day tip: 22-year-olds love getting their own business cards. It makes them feel like the adults that they nearly are. Why not have a box ready for them on day one? And can we please get past those boring white rectangles? It's much more fun to have something funky and colorful to hand out to your friends.

Let them hang with the stars.
Entry-level workers want to feel like they're in the loop. So give them access and exposure to the big thinkers on your staff. How can it hurt to let new hires sit in on a few strategy meetings? "There's rarely any reason to give out information on a need-to-know basis," says Marc Muchnick, a corporate consultant in Coral Springs, Florida, who helps companies like Fidelity groom their new hires. "So put your young employees into situations that they wouldn't otherwise be in."

Make work, not dues.
What do entry-level workers want? Two years ago, Maury Hanigan posed that question to 250 students. More than half answered that job content was the most important factor -- even more important than money.

If your entry-level jobs still involve making coffee and shuffling papers, then you're in trouble. "The logic behind dues paying is that, in the long run, there will be a reward," says Bruce Tulgan, of RainmakerThinking Inc., in New Haven, Connecticut. "But these days, investing in those kinds of long-term rewards is risky, since the 'Lifetime Job Club' isn't admitting too many new members. It's easy to imagine paying those dues now and never cashing in."