As we step into 2023, the focus on strategic employee onboarding remains crucial for many organizations. The Human Capital Institute has discovered that companies that invest in enhancing the onboarding experience are more likely to reap important benefits, including increased engagement, faster proficiency attainment, and reduced turnover.
However, innovative companies recognize that creating an effective onboarding program is an ongoing and iterative process. Whether you are initiating your program or are an experienced practitioner, take note of these ten employee onboarding statistics that are essential for 2023:
- Improving employee onboarding can boost employee retention by 82%: Glassdoor research reveals that organizations with a robust onboarding process enhance new hire retention by 82% and increase productivity by over 70%. In a competitive job market with numerous options available, engaging and retaining employees from day one is vital. An effective onboarding process facilitates this while helping new hires become productive faster.
- Only 12% of organizations excel at onboarding: Gallup found that merely 12% of employees strongly agree that their organizations excel at onboarding new hires. This means that 88% believe their organizations fall short in this area, leaving significant room for improvement. Given that effective onboarding leads to higher retention and productivity, most organizations have a significant opportunity to enhance their practices. Conducting employee surveys can provide valuable insights into areas that require improvement.
- 58% of organizations focus on processes and paperwork during onboarding: It is unsurprising that only 12% of employees perceive their organizations’ onboarding efforts positively when over half of organizations concentrate on processes and paperwork during onboarding, as revealed by the Human Capital Institute. Additionally, one-third of organizations have informal, inconsistent, or reactive onboarding programs. The best employee onboarding programs prioritize structure and strategy, focusing on people rather than paperwork.
- Most organizations limit onboarding to the first week: The Human Capital Institute states that most organizations conclude their onboarding process after the initial week, leaving new hires feeling confused, disheartened, and lacking resources. It is not surprising that organizations struggle with onboarding when all activities are completed within such a short timeframe. A week is insufficient for new hires to become acclimated to the company, its culture, and their role. The most effective employee onboarding programs extend throughout the first 90 days, and sometimes even up to a full year, ensuring comprehensive support for new hires as they progress toward full productivity.
- Negative onboarding experiences double the likelihood of new hires seeking other opportunities: According to Digitate, new hires who have negative onboarding experiences are twice as likely to actively seek alternative career opportunities in the future. Onboarding a new employee in the United States costs an average of $4000 and takes 24 days. A negative onboarding experience effectively doubles these costs and time investments. Considering the cost of vacancy, lost productivity, and the impact on morale, losing an employee shortly after hiring them is far more detrimental than it initially appears.
- 1 in 5 new hires are unlikely to recommend their employers: Digitate reports that one in five new hires are unlikely to recommend their employers to friends or family members based on their onboarding experience. Employee referrals are highly sought after because they expedite the hiring process, require fewer resources, and result in longer employee tenures. Many organizations even conduct sourcing activities with new hires to tap into their social networks for potential hires. Therefore, it is unfortunate that 20% of new hires are unlikely to recommend their employers to others.
- Buddy programs boost new hire proficiency, according to 87% of organizations: The Human Capital Institute reveals that 87% of organizations implementing an ambassador or buddy program during onboarding find it effective in
accelerating new hire proficiency. Surprisingly, less than half (47%) of organizations include a buddy program in their onboarding process. Implementing a buddy program is relatively simple and cost-free. By pairing a seasoned employee with a new hire and requesting regular check-ins, organizations can facilitate the acclimation process. Buddies can introduce new hires to colleagues, assist them in navigating the workplace, and familiarize them with local amenities.
- 81% of organizations consider cross-boarding as important as new hire onboarding: HCI reports that 81% of organizations agree that onboarding internal hires is as crucial as onboarding external hires. However, only 27% of organizations effectively onboard employees who are promoted or transitioned to new positions. Internal hires may not require company-specific information, but they can benefit from social activities that help them connect with their new team and receive role-specific onboarding.
- Inconsistent application is the biggest onboarding challenge: The Human Capital Institute identifies inconsistent application, competing priorities, difficulty measuring ROI, lack of buy-in and manager accountability, and insufficient internal resources as the top challenges faced during onboarding. If you are encountering these challenges with your employee onboarding program, take solace in knowing that many organizations have overcome them, and there is ample guidance available to help you navigate these issues. An employee onboarding solution can also provide assistance by reducing manual tasks, optimizing resource allocation, and automating reminders to ensure consistent application and managerial accountability.
- The average new hire onboarding experience comprises 54 activities: Sapling reports that new hires typically have more than 50 activities to complete during their onboarding period. This includes signing or acknowledging three documents, completing 41 administrative tasks such as desk setup, and achieving ten learning goals related to company culture, market knowledge, and role alignment. This diverse range of activities ensures that new hires become fully acclimated and integrated into their new roles.