Definition of Onboarding & What It Involves

We explain what onboarding is and what it involves.

Onboarding meaning for HR professionals

It’s vital to figure out the onboarding meaning that’s unique to your company’s needs. If you effectively onboard recruits, your business can reap many benefits. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), nearly 70% of employees are likely to stay at their place of work for a minimum of three years, provided they had a great onboarding experience.

How does this help your company? Well, to replace one employee is expensive, costing up to twice their annual salary. These costs add up unnecessarily when you could have easily rectified this situation with a better onboarding program.

The SHRM also found that new employees are 50% more likely to achieve higher levels of productivity if they had a comprehensive onboarding experience.

This article will explain what onboarding is and what it involves.

What Is Onboarding?

Onboarding, also referred to as organizational socialization, is the process of introducing and seamlessly integrating new talent into their new workplace. The onboarding process helps newbies understand their job, work culture, and the expectations and requirements of their position.

When you onboard new hires effectively and efficiently, you build employee loyalty and this directly impacts your bottom line. The more loyal the employee, the longer they stay, and the less likely you’ll have to spend money finding, screening, and onboarding someone new.

what is onboarding vs orientation

Onboarding vs Orientation

There’s often a lot of confusion about onboarding and orientation. Although these terms are frequently used interchangeably, orientation and onboarding meanings are not the same.

Orientation is a one-off event, lasting one or more days. It is usually done conference-style including an introduction of the new hires to the company. You can also use presentations to introduce relevant information to the recruits and include a Q&A session for them to ask questions at the end.

Orientation forms part of the onboarding, meaning the latter involves a series of events that goes beyond orienting employees.

How To Give Onboarding Meaning To Your Company: Steps To Include

There are many ways to give onboarding meaning to your company. Essentially, onboarding should set clear expectations, help new talent build relationships with those on their team, create trust and confidence, and clearly define boundaries and roles.

In general, onboarding involves:

  • Finalizing job offers and salary negotiations
  • Filling in paperwork to get started at the new company
  • Discussing benefits, training, and education
  • Introducing new hires to their teams and the executives of the company
  • Training new talent on company policies and workplace culture
  • Training employees to successfully complete their job and meet expectations
  • Undertaking the training on the employee handbook
  • Giving the new hires access to the various company systems or networks
  • Providing tours of the business

In the world we live in now with the pandemic, all of these activities must still take place. However, how onboarding is undertaken has changed. Many workers had to transition to work remotely, requiring digital or virtual onboarding processes.

onboarding process best practices

How Long Should Onboarding New Talent Take?

Every business has different ideas on how long onboarding should take. For some, it is only a few days, while at other companies, it is a few months. There are also organizations that onboard new employees for a full year.

There is no right answer as you need to do what works best for your company. Most HR professionals, however, recommend that onboarding should take at least 90 days. To learn more about onboarding, what is optimal for your company, and the factors that influence onboarding, check out our article on Onboarding Timeline: How Long Should the Process Take?

Who Is Responsible for Onboarding New Hires?

The saying “it takes a village to raise a child” is true for onboarding too.

Most often, this process of initiation, orienting, and training new employees falls on the shoulders of HR managers and teams. However, it takes the whole company to effectively onboard a new hire. Onboarding isn’t just a meet-and-greet, filling in some paperwork, and “here’s the employee handbook.”

Onboarding is and should be, a company-wide effort to welcome the new talent. Providing the newbie with the right tools, networks, and resources ensures long-term success.

importance of onboarding

Why Is It Important To Onboard New Employees?

There are five reasons why onboarding is important for all companies. Effective onboarding:

  1. Increases employee retention, saving the business a lot of money as they don’t need to train new employees all the time.
  2. Provides the company with a competitive edge as productivity increases all around when there are fewer job openings.
  3. Results in workplace compliance from the first day, as it sets the tone for the worker’s experience.
  4. Gives new talent the information they need to do their job successfully.
  5. Helps maintain the culture of the workplace.

Final Thoughts

Onboarding new employees is a must for any business. Orientation is merely one part of onboarding, meaning that this entire process encompasses a whole lot more.

These days, onboarding takes place virtually, so there is no excuse for a company not to onboard new hires.

&team can help you automate your repeatable onboarding workflows. Contact us today to learn more!