by Nancy S. Charney

Many of you recently participated in a survey we conducted about onboarding experiences. Onboarding is clearly an important issue to you as your participation gave us the highest response rate in our firm’s history. We received some very interesting feedback that we’ll share in detail. Most importantly…

Only 17% of respondents were completely satisfied with their company’s onboarding process.

Unfortunately, this critical part of the hiring process is often misunderstood as purely administrative in nature. However, statistics prove that 50% of new hires leave the job within two years of employment and often as a direct result of poor onboarding procedures.  Integrating a new employee into the company culture impacts employee retention so significantly that it’s essential not to view it as just another administrative task.

The best way to combat excessive turnover and increase productivity and profitability is to create an effective onboarding policy. In fact, a study by The Brandon Hall Group concluded, “Organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%.” In short, any time spent on onboarding is worth the investment.

Managers serious about creating high performance teams prioritize the onboarding process, even if that means investing their own time and energy to developing a strategy that could then be shared with peers and top executives.

A career transition is stressful and, when under pressure, it is easy for a person to shift from making logical decisions based on careful thought and reasoning to begin reacting out of fear and uncertainty. Undoubtedly, consistent communication is critical to a new hire.

Put yourself in a new employee’s shoes. Tendering a resignation means saying goodbye to a work family. The good times are remembered more fondly, and negative experiences are no longer distressing. If the new employer is not available or does not offer words of welcome and reassurance, remaining in the comfort of the known work environment is much more enticing.

It’s important to note that in this job market, qualified candidates have many other choices if they feel undervalued or ignored. This includes staying with the current employer who makes an enticing counteroffer by appealing to emotion. Managers and companies determined to keep top talent understand this vulnerability and present counteroffers filled with promises, temporarily neutralizing any discomfort.

Without frequent communication from a new employer, candidates are likely to:

  • Misinterpret the new Manager’s silence as disinterest or, worse, rejection.
  • Wonder: “Is this how it’s going to be at [XYZ Company]?”
  • Reconsider the decision to leave.

In the past, companies had a wealth of applicants and the luxury of time to make decisions. Now, the candidate is in control. Quickly and successfully assimilating new hires into the new company culture is key to improving the entire team’s morale and employee engagement from day one.

Survey Results

Creating an engaging candidate experience requires a new level of personal involvement and strict attention to detail.  Not prioritizing onboarding is bad business and will cost you time and the company money.

Studies show new hires who viewed their onboarding process positively had 30x higher job satisfaction. Integrating and engaging your new hires is the best way to ensure productivity, profitability and retention of these valuable employees.

Take an opportunity to look over your company’s onboarding policy or create one yourself. Check out our Onboarding Strategy Essentials checklist to jumpstart the process. Your success as a Manager depends on hiring the best team and long-term success begins with an effective onboarding policy.


The Brandon Hall Group. “The True Cost of a Bad Hire.” By Madeline Laurano VP and Principal Analyst, Talent Acquisition. Accessed on April 21, 2022.

The Undercover Recruiter. “3 Ways Effective Onboarding Builds a Better Workplace.” By Gues Author Kelsie Davis. Accessed on May 5, 2022.

Zippa. “17 Incredible Onboarding Statistics [2022]: HR Trends in Hiring, Training, and Retention.” By Chris Kolmar. Posted February 13, 2022.