Getting employee onboarding right is an investment. It takes time to build and optimize an engaging onboarding process, and often requires employee onboarding software to scale your program. The good news is that many organizations find that the benefits of employee onboarding are well worth the resources they put into it.

Here are some of the benefits you can see from investing in your employee onboarding program.

1. Reduce new hire ghosting

Job candidates have many choices when it comes to where they want to work. For example, there are currently two job openings for every unemployed worker in the United States. 

It’s no surprise that 39% of hiring managers said that ghosting—when candidates cut off communication with employers—is more common now than it was two years ago. The top reasons candidates go dark are:

  • Poor interview process
  • Received another job offer
  • Job was different than expected

A great employee onboarding process can mitigate the risk of ghosting once an offer has been signed—but you have to begin preboarding right away. Send a warm welcome so your new hire feels immediately connected to your organization. This can help reinforce their decision to join your company so they’re less likely to accept an offer elsewhere.

You should also check in with your new team members regularly to see how things are going and address any concerns. A good cadence is to check in at the end of day 1, 7,14, 30, 60, and 90, at a minimum.

2. Decrease 90-day turnover

Nearly a third (30%) of job seekers have left a job within the first 90 days of starting. The top reasons for quitting were:

  • The day-to-day role was not as expected: 41%
  • Incident or bad experience: 35%
  • Company culture was not as expected: 34%
  • Unsatisfactory company leadership: 32%

The onboarding period is an important time to deliver on the promises made during the recruitment process. Use this time to review the role’s responsibilities and goals, experience the company culture, and get to know the leadership team. And again, regular check-ins during the onboarding process allow you to address any concerns before your new team member quits

3. Improve employee satisfaction

Seventy percent of employees who had exceptional onboarding experiences say they have "the best possible job." They’re also 2.6 times more likely to be extremely satisfied with their workplace and more likely to stay. 

Some of the most impactful ways to build an exceptional onboarding experience are:

  • Make an offer within one week of the final interview. Extending an employment offer shortly after the interview process increases a candidate’s willingness to increase their relationship with the employer by 80%.
  • Engage with new team members before their start dates. A candidate’s willingness to refer increased 93% when they had multiple opportunities to communicate goals, meet team members, and get questions answered prior to their start date. 
  • Ask candidates for feedback. When employers asked candidates for feedback prior to their start date, these candidates were 91% more willing to increase their relationship out of the gate.

4. Increase employee referrals

Employee referrals are among the most coveted job candidates because they are hired faster, perform better, and stay longer, among other benefits. 

A great employee onboarding program can help you increase a candidate’s willingness to refer in a few ways:

  • Having multiple opportunities to communicate goals, meet team members, and get questions answered prior to their start date increases a candidate’s willingness to refer by 93%.
  • A call from the hiring manager before the start date increases a new hire’s willingness to refer by 83%.
  • Allowing candidates to complete all their new-hire forms through an online onboarding system increased their willingness to refer by 83%. 
  • Making an offer within one week of the final interview increases a candidate’s willingness to refer others by 79%.
  • Asking a candidate to provide feedback prior to their start date increased their willingness to refer others by 79%.

5. Reduce recruitment costs

When done correctly, your employee onboarding program can save you money in recruitment costs.

For example, the average cost per hire is $4700. A great onboarding program can reduce new hire ghosting and 90-day turnover, helping you reduce backfills and the high cost associated with them. 

Further, 55% of companies say employee referrals reduce hiring cost. Providing an exceptional new hire experience makes your team members more willing to provide referrals, saving your organization money while helping you make higher-quality hires.

Final thoughts on the benefits of employee onboarding

A great employee onboarding program requires you to go above and beyond process and paperwork to create a truly engaging new hire experience. This requires more effort, which is perhaps why only 12% of employees say their company does a good job of onboarding.

But there are many worthwhile benefits of employee onboarding that justify the investment. This is particularly true in the current talent landscape, where great talent is hard to come by—and even harder to retain. 

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Benefits of Employee Onboarding: 5 Ways to Justify the Investment