Firms Look to Formal Onboarding Strategies to Retain New Hires

February 6, 2008 ( - Companies wanting to increase their retention of new hires and decrease the time to productivity for new hires are realizing the value of formalized onboarding strategies in obtaining these goals.

A survey from the Aberdeen Group found new employee retention was a top pressure driving 70% of firms to implement a formal onboarding program, while new employee productivity was a top driver for 53% of companies. Sixty-two percent of organizations surveyed by Aberdeen have a formal onboarding strategy – a number that will grow to 77% within 12 months.

In a report based on its survey, Aberdeen differentiates the Best-in-Class firms when it comes to onboarding strategies and lays out a road map to success in bringing on and retaining new hires. Eighty-four percent of Best-in-Class firms provide a formal new hire training program as part of the onboarding process.

Best-in-Class organizations were more likely to include socialization into the company culture (94%) and assignment of a mentor or coach (59%) in their new hire onboarding strategies. Aberdeen found Best-in-Class firms were twice as likely as all other firms to extend the onboarding process to six months.

Additionally, Aberdeen found 79% of Best-in-Class firms also offer a formal onboarding program to employees making an internal job transfer.

Of organizations with no current or planned onboarding strategy, 38% said it was due to “lack of sense of urgency among senior management” and 37% said it was due to “lack of awareness of what onboarding is or its related benefits.”

At 69% of firms, HR was responsible for setting the strategic direction of onboarding, and was responsible for executing the onboarding strategy at 62% of companies.

The report, All Aboard: Effective Onboarding Techniques and Strategies, can be downloaded from here .