3 reasons to invest in new hire onboarding

Two men standing in front of a blue wall

2 mins, 50 secs read time

Remember the last time you started a new job? You probably experienced a bit of an emotional roller coaster that day, ranging from anticipation and excitement to fear and nervousness. You might have been a little bored from time to time. And, if things really went poorly, there might have been some disappointment and regret mixed in there as well.

Putting yourself in a new environment can be really challenging, and unfortunately not all companies account for this when designing their new hire onboarding. The traditional approach to welcoming new employees has been to isolate them in a conference room and make them spend half a day filling out paperwork. This can be a huge letdown, especially after all the excitement and attention that candidates receive during the recruiting process.

Taking the time to build a thoughtful experience for your new hires can have significant positive effects on your company.

1. Onboarding boosts retention

First impressions can have a huge impact on the way a new hire feels about your organization. In fact, some studies have found that 90% of new hires make the decision to stay with a company long-term within the first six months on the job. If you go out of your way to make new hires feel welcome and appreciated, they’re much more likely to want to stick around.

A study by the Wynhurst Group found that employees who had been through a structured onboarding process were 58% more likely to still be at the same company three years later.

Each of these statistics illustrates an essential takeaway about the connection between onboarding and retention: Onboarding should be much more than taking care of administrative necessities, and the onboarding experience begins on a new hire’s first day, but should extend way beyond that.

2. Onboarding enhances employee engagement and performance

When you begin to consider onboarding as something more than just getting employees set up with equipment and paperwork and instead, look at is a way to introduce them to your company culture and their role, it’s no big surprise that this approach can have a positive impact on employee engagement and performance.

Here are just a few of the benefits that companies with onboarding programs enjoy:

  • 66% have higher rate of successful assimilation into company culture

  • 62% have higher time-to-productivity ratios

  • 54% report higher employee engagement

3. Onboarding builds a company-wide recruiting culture

At Greenhouse, we’re big believers in the power of employee referrals. We’ve observed that your existing employees can be an amazing asset when it comes to sourcing and recruiting top talent, so we were curious to see the correlation between onboarding and employee referrals.

We looked over the data from our existing Greenhouse Recruiting and Greenhouse Onboarding customers and found that employees who have gone through both Greenhouse Recruiting and Onboarding are 50% more likely to refer a friend within the first 90 days on the job!

These numbers help make the case for why new hire onboarding matters and what sort of impact it can have on your company. But what comes next?

If you’d like to learn more about how to implement a comprehensive onboarding program, be sure to download the New hire onboarding guide. This interactive eBook contains checklists, real-life examples, and actionable tips on building out new hire onboarding.

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Melissa Suzuno

Melissa Suzuno

is a freelance writer and former Content Marketing Manager at Greenhouse. Melissa previously built out the content marketing programs at Parklet (an onboarding and employee experience solution) and AfterCollege (a job search resource for recent grads), so she's made it a bit of a habit to help people get excited about and invested in their work. Find Melissa on Twitter and LinkedIn.