Onboarding Timeline: How Long Should the Process Take?

An onboarding timeline guide to help you improve your onboarding processes.

Onboarding Timeline: How Long Should the Process Take?

Many companies don't value effective employee onboarding processes. Yet, ineffective onboarding results in a decrease in employee productivity. In looking at the figures, it typically takes a new hire eight months to become fully productive. Equally alarming is that poor onboarding increases your employee turnover rate.

A Boston Consulting Group study found that great onboarding processes increase a company’s revenue by 2.5 times. It can also improve their profit margin by 1.9 times.

All of these statistics prove your company needs an effective onboarding process. However, what is the ideal onboarding timeline to fully onboard your new recruits to gain maximum benefits?

How Long Should Employee Onboarding Take?

Traditionally, the employee onboarding process used to take a day, a few days, or a week. Today, some companies still don't understand how vital an effective onboarding process is, both for them and the new employees. As such, their onboarding processes are either too short, ineffective or a combination of both.

A CareerBuilder survey found that 25% of employers’ processes to onboard take a day or less. 26% said it takes a week, and 21% reported it takes one month. Only 11% of employees state their onboarding process took three months or longer.

How Long Does It Take To Onboard

These days, HR expert studies recommend that the onboarding process should take between three months and one year. The sweet spot seems to be that you need at least a 90-day long onboarding process.

However, the process to successfully onboard your new teammates depends on your company and its needs.

Five Factors That Determine Your Onboarding Timeline

1. Employee Turnover and Retention Rates

Ineffective onboarding processes foster a lower employee retention rate. Almost 20% of new hires resign within 45 days of starting their job. About 60% of employees won't stay at the company past their third work anniversary. Considering that replacing every new hire is expensive, costing a company as much as three times more than the employee’s salary, improving your retention rate is a must.

High turnovers negatively affect the work environment of your employees. Productivity decreases when they have one foot out the door. This creates a knock-on effect whereby their teammates’ productivity suffers too.

By extending your onboarding timeline and having effective workplace processes, you can boost productivity and improve employee retention scores. A lengthier onboard process means your employees feel welcome, they adapt quickly to the workplace culture, and they build better relationships with their colleagues.

Training New Employees

2. Employee Engagement

Companies regard onboarding as a quick transactional process. The new hire simply signs their contract and a few other documents, and that’s it. Once at their desk, they are expected to start working and producing results.

Instead, imagine if you can connect with your new employee on day one while continuously fostering their loyalty.

Fully engaged employees are much more likely to enjoy their jobs, be committed, and put in greater productivity efforts. They’ll also help create and contribute to a work environment that boosts morale.

3. Information, Information, Information

Depending on your onboarding process and how much information your new employee requires, it makes sense to increase your onboarding timeline. In essence, you avoid information overload to increase productivity.

No employee can perform at their best if they feel as if their brain is going to explode with too much information. After all, you can increase your employee retention by 25% with a structured onboarding process. Continually provide training and additional information your new talent needs throughout the first few months to the first year of their employment.

4. Relational Onboarding

Relational Onboarding

Relational onboarding is more time-consuming than transactional onboarding. Don’t simply give your new talent paperwork to sign, hand out the workbook manual, and send them off. Instead, with relational onboarding, welcome and nurture your new hires through humanised processes that build trust and confidence.

With this kind of onboarding, set clear expectations, define responsibilities, and provide support and ongoing training. If you want your workers to be as productive as possible, relational onboarding is a must.

5. Onboarding Technology

In the digital world we live in, technology is ever-changing and ever-improving. With talent management platforms, like &Team’s, you can speed up your onboarding process without worrying about a negative impact on its effectiveness.

Onboarding platforms help your HR teamwork quicker through the more transactional aspects of onboarding. Transactional onboarding procedures include paperwork, granting access and permissions, and opening user accounts.

Software that helps you onboard new talent should not take the place of the in-person onboarding process. You still need to engage with your employee continuously during this time.

Final Words

Your employee onboarding timeline depends on your company, its needs, and ultimately, what it expects of employees. For the most benefits, like improved employee retention, productivity, and revenue, a longer systematic onboarding process is most effective.

&Team's Talent Experience Management platforms helps you speed up the transactional part of your onboarding process, so you have the time and energy to focus on the human aspects. Contact us to learn more today!