2021 brought the Great Resignation, which for most companies meant numerous vacant positions. For organizations and staff everywhere, this means more time and money spent onboarding software. In addition, HR staff and managers alike are facing challenges associated with increased remote onboarding. It’s easy to see why onboarding has changed significantly within the past two years.
Companies now recognize the need for standardized onboarding procedures that set their new hires up for success. In the past onboarding was often primarily thought of as an HR task. Now it is shifting to a shared responsibility between HR and management.
Hottest Employee Onboarding Statistics for 2022
Given the changes brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic and the Great Resignation, onboarding has undergone rapid change. These updated onboarding stats give insight into the current state of onboarding.
- 20% of turnover occurs within the first 45 days of employment (Talmundo, 2021)
- 37.4% of companies listed remote onboarding as a challenge they faced because of the Covid-19 pandemic (Workable, 2020).
- 61% of HR professionals expect new hires to stay at their company for at least two years (The Manifest, 2020)
- 48% of HR professionals believe onboarding should continue past the first month of employment (Talmundo, 2021)
- Data collected in 2019 indicates that one-third of all employees will leave their jobs voluntarily before 2023 (Work Institutes, 2020).
- 49% of HR leaders intend to hire and onboard remote employees beyond the end of the pandemic (Software Advice, 2020)
- 42% of employees reported that they were not supported in their first week of work (Talmundo, 2021)
- 49.7% of companies cited onboarding remotely as a challenge they will continue to face post-Covid (Workable, 2020).
- 64% of employees said that they struggled with role clarity, while only 29% of employers cited this as an issue for new hires (Talmundo, 2021).
- 37% of HR professionals say that lack of work-life balance contributed to higher turnover rates (Work Insitutes, 2020).
Onboarding Software News and Developments
HR software products are adapting to the “new normal” with features that streamline multiple HR processes, including onboarding.
Rippling is Making Waves
Rippling, which offers a suite of HR management tools to its users, raised $250 million in October of 2021 and. is now valued at $6.5 billion. Founded in 2016, Rippling is an example of the massive growth occurring in the HR software space. Rippling also demonstrates the popularity of software products that perform many HR tasks, such as applicant tracking, employee onboarding, payroll, and benefits administration, in one platform.
TriNet Acquires Zenefits to Give More Benefits
In December 2021, TriNet announced that it will acquire Zenefits for an undisclosed amount. TriNet specializes in human resources for SMBs through their risk mitigation and human capital expertise. Zenefits is a “people operations platform” that provides specialized compliance performance management tools in addition to its HR management capabilities.
Through this acquisition, TriNet can expand its services to include the Administrative Services Organization (ASO) that is currently a part of the Zenefits platform. As such, TriNet will be able to more effectively serve the needs of SMBs as they grow. Additionally, TriNet will receive a huge bump in market share, as they will now be serving approximately 600,000 employees at 24,000 SMBs.
Paradox is Growing
Paradox, the Scottsdale-based HR and conversational AI platform, raised $200 million in December of 2021. By bringing AI into the HR space through their virtual assistant, Olivia, Paradox aims to simplify the recruiting process. Their hope is that this will give managers more time to spend coaching their employees.
This use of technology reflects an ongoing trend in the HR space. More companies are placing a strong emphasis on a strong onboarding experience to improve employee retention
Upcoming Onboarding Trends for 2022
Onboarding continues to evolve at the start of2022, with a focus on improved employee experience and engagement. Companies are also implementing strategies to decrease employee turnover and burnout. These trends are likely to continue through the course of the year and well beyond.
Longer Onboarding Periods
HR professionals know that a longer onboarding period (roughly 90 days) leads to higher retention. When employees receive support, training, and clarity on their roles, they stay with their companies longer. Given the rate of turnover most companies are facing at the moment, expect them to take extra efforts to keep their new hires.
Beyond new hire retention, longer onboarding periods are linked with better new hire productivity. Given these benefits, HR professionals will continue to push for a structured onboarding process. Investment in HR technology can allow companies to balance onboarding costs with the fantastic ROI we have discussed.
Most of us have started a new job and spent our entire first day doing paperwork. Companies are starting to realize that this isn’t the best first impression to make for their new hires. Instead, they are using preboarding to make new employees feel welcome. Preboarding involves completing some onboarding tasks prior to the first day. Generally, the company will also send gifts and equipment to the employee’s home.
Since some of the necessary paperwork is completed before their start date, the employee can spend their first day meeting coworkers and learn about their role. This also allows HR professionals to spend their time, and thus company money, on the essential onboarding skills they are trained for.
Ensuring the employee has company merch and equipment prior to their first day, employers can show they are committed to having the employee on their team and boost employee engagement.
Manager Involvement and Career Planning
Employees who felt their managers were not actively involved in their onboarding are more likely to leave their roles. Employees are more likely to stay in their roles when managers actively participate in onboarding. This is even more true when managers engage and discuss upward mobility with their new hires.
While it seems like common sense that someone would like their job more if they felt valued by their manager from day 1, this has not always been the case. Onboarding has traditionally been viewed as an HR task.
Moving forward it is more likely that onboarding will be a collaborative effort between HR and management. Managers will likely do more frequent check-ins throughout onboarding to provide a positive employee experience. In the post-pandemic period, a balance of engagement is required to proliferate success while respecting the distance many have come to expect. People-focused engagement, rather than micromanagement, is the key, and one based on two-way communication.
As companies shift to permanent remote work, social activities during onboarding become crucial. Getting to know new coworkers while learning a new role is challenging, and it’s even harder over Zoom. Employees with good relationships with their coworkers are typically happier in their positions.
Expect more managers to implement social events during onboarding, such as mentoring programs, buddy programs, or team lunches/happy hours.
Fundamentally, these social activities can thrive with optional events and willful participation. For many, gone are the days of awkward conference room parties of forced attendance. This new model allows for engagement when, how, and for as long as people want.
Emphasis on Work-Life Balance
Working from home allowed some employees to thrive, while others struggled with work-life balance. This work-life imbalance can contribute to burnout and turnover. HR professionals will emphasize healthy work habits during onboarding to improve retention rates.
Employees who are encouraged to keep a standard work schedule, use their time off and set healthy boundaries (such as not answering work communications outside of work hours) are less likely to feel burned out. HR professionals will continue to adapt their onboarding procedures to help build a healthy company culture from day 1.
With the rise of remote work, this is more important than ever. Companies are experiencing strong productivity even with less direct management and time-based methods of evaluation. It is up to management to ensure this translates to trust in workers.
- Expectations vs. Reality of Onboarding (Talmundo, 2021)
- 2020 Retention Report (Work Institute, 2020)
- The New World of Work (Workable, 2020)
- 10 Onboarding Best Practices To Turn New Hires Into Lasting Employees (Software Advice, 2020)
- Hiring Trends: 4 Tips to Onboard New Employees Remotely (The Manifest, 2020)
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