How Long Should Onboarding Take for New Hires?

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Allie Blackham

Marketing Content Manager

Effective employee onboarding is essential for successful recruitment and strong retention rates. A common question among those responsible for new hires is: how long should onboarding take? In this post, we explore the answer and highlight the benefits of a more intensive onboarding program.

Average Time to Bring On New Hires

Research from CareerBuilder reveals that over half of HR professionals conduct onboarding in less than a week. About 25% complete it in a day or less, while only 28% extend it beyond a month. However, some industries, such as enterprise and tech, typically onboard new hires over three months.

Onboarding should be more than a one-day event. New hires cannot fully grasp their roles after a single day of information overload. An overly brief process can leave employees feeling overwhelmed and confused.

A thorough onboarding process involves multiple stages and the participation of various team members. Below, we delve into the reasons for extending the process and its numerous benefits.

Investing in a Comprehensive Process

The optimal length of bringing new hires onboard depends on your company, industry, and specific roles. Experts recommend a comprehensive process that allows new hires to gradually acclimate to their roles, rather than being overwhelmed with information all at once. Extending onboarding facilitates continuous learning and development.

Benefits of Enhanced Onboarding

By extending and improving your practices, you can provide a more positive experience for new hires, yielding numerous benefits.

Improves knowledge retention

Recall your first day at your current job. You likely felt overwhelmed by the barrage of information about your responsibilities, company policies, and workplace layout. Research by Goins & Fisher indicates that new hires retain about 10% of what they learn during initial onboarding after 30 days. In contrast, nearly 75% of new employees retain knowledge gained through hands-on experience. Practical training is far more effective than passive information absorption. Aim to introduce concepts and then quickly apply them in practice.

Establishes a supportive, learning-based culture

An extended onboarding period fosters a culture of continuous learning within your organization. Employees who learn progressively tend to develop stronger skills and better retain knowledge. This approach can drive growth and innovation by continuously providing learning and development opportunities.

Drives business success

Ultimately, you want your business to thrive, and well-supported employees are key to this goal. Return on investment is a crucial metric in recruitment and onboarding. Employees who feel confident and understand their roles can become productive and engaged more quickly, directly contributing to business success. Therefore, investing in a comprehensive onboarding process is worthwhile.

Recommended Onboarding Duration

We suggest extending onboarding to at least three months for entry-level roles and up to a year for higher-level positions. Provide opportunities for new hires to meet with colleagues and understand how they fit into the company’s strategy and goals. By doing so, you can foster a positive outlook among employees and prepare them to excel in their roles.

Now that you know how long onboarding should take, implement a consistent process within your organization to drive increased success and higher retention rates. WorkforceHub includes powerful tools that simplify the process and ensure that your new hires feel confident and ready to rock their roles.

Simplify HR management today.

Simplify HR management today.

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