By taking a look at onboarding statistics, we can get a better understanding of the ups and downs that happen in the workforce.

The hiring process is never easy for the applicant or the employer.

Most aspects of the onboarding process are necessary evils, and it can lead to a variety of positive and negative outcomes.

Considering it costs many corporations an average of $1,500 to bring on a new hire, there’s a reason onboarding can seem rather meticulous.

Of course, this average doesn’t apply to every size company, but it provides a solid reference of associated costs.

Trial and error is simply a part of the hiring process, and there’s more than one reason why it can seem like such a grueling process.

This article offers a range of statistics in regard to onboarding, and you’re bound to come across a few data points that’ll jump off the page.

Key Statistics

  • 89% of employees who go through effective onboarding tend to be more productive
  • Strong onboarding can lead to an 82% increase in retention and a 70% increase in productivity
  • On average, new hires are given 41 administrative tasks to handle from the start
  • Between the first week and third month of a new job, 17% of employees are likely to leave
  • Thorough onboarding helps 85% of employees understand the scope of their benefits
  • Ineffective onboarding can cost a company upwards of 200% of an employee’s salary
  • Almost one in five employees quit within the first week
  • Roughly 35% of organizations spend zero money on onboarding processes
  • 62% of workers in the United States are considered to be engaged at work
  • Having friendships at work can make employees up to 7x more engaged

Onboarding Statistics that Stand Out in 2024

There’s plenty of data we can pull from for this topic.

However, there are some bits of information that stand out among others, as the facts can be relatively surprising.

There doesn’t have to be such a negative connotation behind the onboarding process.

Many people aren’t a fan of onboarding as it usually isn’t that effective.

If someone can see that an organization didn’t put any effort into onboarding, it acts as a precedent for what their experience is about to be like.

Nevertheless, between the good and the bad comes many unique statistics that we can sort through.

While some aspects of onboarding could use some improvement, other areas are doing better than they’ve ever been.

For starters, let’s focus on some of the most important highlights.

1. The Power of Effective Onboarding

Onboarding Statistics

You’d be surprised at the number of companies that don’t make use of effective onboarding.

It’s also no secret that some organizations simply don’t care about onboarding practices.

Nevertheless, poor logistics with onboarding can quickly lead to disaster and high turnover rates.

This generally causes headaches for both sides, but it’s much more damaging than what can be seen on the surface.

Around 89% of employees who were surveyed mentioned their stellar engagement at work stems from effective onboarding procedures.

Stats also show that these same employees are 30 times more likely to comment on job satisfaction.

Onboarding is much more than just saying hello.

If employees clearly and concisely understand what to expect, they’ll be more motivated to participate.

Unfortunately, a lot of companies tend to miss the mark in this area.


2. Productivity and Retention Rates

There are many angles that are considered when it comes to statistics on new hires.

When it comes to new hires, companies, and employees are affected in a variety of ways, productivity, and retention rates being a few of them.

Companies that make use of thorough onboarding processes see an uptick in productivity and employee retention.

Productivity has been shown to improve by 70% and worker retention by 82% through effective onboarding processes.

The numbers speak for themselves, and if a company doesn’t utilize decent onboarding methods, then it shows how little they care.

Employees of all types are responsive to such efforts, and it can be seen in those percentages above.

For smaller organizations, this may not be so important, but it’s pretty much vital for bigger companies.


3. Getting Through the Learning Curve

Regardless of how effective the onboarding process might be, every new employee will have to go through a learning curve.

This includes a few different aspects of taking on a new job, but it also comes with a decent workload in most companies.

On average, new hires are generally given around 41 administrative tasks to complete.

This could include taste like filling out a company employee profile, setting up a workstation, or getting integrated with tools and other team members.

Although necessary, this can feel a little overwhelming for some people.

41 tasks can feel like an overload on your first day.

Then again, with the right onboarding, the new employee should feel prepared to tackle each of those tasks with confidence.


4. The Cost of Onboarding

Companies need employees, but they also have to consider the cost of bringing on new hires.

In some cases, the costs can be quite steep, especially if it’s a large company with a sizable number of employees.

There isn’t just one factor that plays into the total cost either, as it includes training, resources, wages, and more.

In statistics taken from 2020-2021, businesses spent $92.3 billion on training.

During this timeframe, the average employee spent roughly 64 hours on their training.

Now, you also want to consider how many employees either quit or ended up getting fired.

From a business standpoint, that’s just burning through money.

The only way to really combat this is by developing effective onboarding strategies.

Not only will this help stagger the turnover rate, but it’ll help reduce costs by landing the best employees possible.

It isn’t a system that’s 100% perfect, and many professionals are always looking for ways to improve.

Getting a new job can feel like a double-edged sword at first, as both sides aren’t sure if it’ll work out.


5. Training Cost Per Employee

If you were to break down costs by each employee, it starts to make more sense on how expensive onboarding can get.

Based on available data, it’s evident that small businesses incur higher costs with onboarding than larger organizations. 

The takeaway from this is that small businesses generally have fewer resources available, which can lead to increased costs.

In the chart below, you can get a look at the training cost of employees for different-sized companies.

Keep in mind that this data only pertains to 2021.

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This is also why many small businesses prefer to keep a tight crew.

It helps them reduce costs, and they don’t have to deal with the struggles of the learning curve.

Not to mention the costs of taking on additional wages.

Of course, this can’t be avoided 100% of the time, as workers are guaranteed to come and go. 

Larger companies with more resources to strategize and streamline can lower the cost of onboarding.

This is a common situation and is simply considered a part of running a business.


Common Challenges With Onboarding

Common Challenges With Onboarding

No matter the company’s size, a range of challenges come with the onboarding process.

These can mitigated with the right approach and resources, but some challenges are merely unavoidable.

Although this is relatively common knowledge in the business world, this doesn’t stop executives from figuring out how to minimize challenges associated with new hires.

Modern problems require modern solutions.

The statistics highlighted below show the troubles associated with onboarding and how companies are adapting to this particular issue.

6. Ineffective Strategies

There are plenty of organizations utilizing different onboarding methods.

Unfortunately, not all of them are effective, and this can be seen clearly as day in the data.

88% of organizations are known to not onboard well with new hires.

This includes varying sentiments from different levels within an organization, but it highlights that it’s a pretty common issue.

It should be noted that many of these companies truly care about new hires and their onboarding, but they simply don’t have the know-how or resources to optimize it.

There’s enough data to call this common knowledge, but the right strategies are still finding their way across the corporate world.

With the right approach, this percentage should decrease over time, but that’s only if more companies start to put more effort into onboarding.

It isn’t easy, and there’s always going to be some organizations that could care less.

Overall, effective onboarding is needed for a thriving business and workforce.


7. The Biggest Challenge of Onboarding

Among all the challenges associated with the onboarding process, inconsistent practice application is the biggest problem.

Between effective and ineffective onboarding strategies, the main issue companies have is inconsistency. 

You can also find this in the different experiences with various employees.

Some may have had a great onboarding experience, while others may have been rushed through the process or never went through the appropriate channels at all.

Something else to consider is that varying priorities can lead to an ineffective onboarding process.

These include issues like a lack of resources or manager accountability, to name a few.

Without a doubt, this is an issue that’s fixable, but it has to start at the source.

Companies need more policies and procedures in place for new hires that are uniform across the board.


8. Managing Costs

Even if the process is optimized, there are inevitable costs involved with taking on a new hire.

Of course, costs can increase with poor onboarding practices in place.

The associated costs with a new hire are high enough on average already, but this can be much higher with a disregard for the importance of onboarding.

Statistics highlight that ineffective onboarding can cost upward of 200% of the employee’s salary, which can be staggering in some cases.

Even though small businesses end up spending more on each employee, larger companies generally have many more employees.

Many companies won’t simply hemorrhage money from something so fixable, but not everyone catches wind of where they need to improve.

When you look at the dollar amount, that 200% can average out to $63,000 to $140,000 in costs for every new hire.

Even if large corporations can afford it, ignoring this issue isn’t the smartest take.


9. Dealing with High Turnover Rates

With the many different reasons that play into high turnover rates, many companies are left searching for the route of the cause.

Sometimes, it’s obvious, while in other cases, not so much.

Nevertheless, businesses should focus on addressing it, and there are a few leading causes for high turnover rates that any organization should consider.

Here are a few important statistics regarding high turnover rates:

  • 80% of turnovers stem from poor hiring decisions
  • 50% of organizations worldwide struggle with some level of employee retention
  • Retention sees a 30% increase in the midst of strong management transparency
  • Businesses that support remote or flexible working conditions lower turnovers by 25%
  • New hires generally take one to two years before they can match the productivity of pre-existing employees

There’s no secret to how damaging a high turnover rate can be, but there’s enough data to support what needs to be done to make improvements.

It’s true that companies will need to allocate more resources to better onboarding strategies, yet some are still reluctant to do so. 

Anyone who has spent time in the corporate world has seen these issues firsthand.

Most people can also easily distinguish between a company that cares and those that don’t.

One of the best ways to show this to new hires is through a stellar onboarding experience.


10. Why Do Employees Quit?

To understand the full scope of the issues that play into onboarding, we have to explore why some employees quit in the first place.

You can assume this would be a long list of reasons.

Although this is true, there are a few core reasons that carry a lot of weight in turnover rates.

You can get a look at this data broken down in the pie chart below.

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Even though there are many other reasons associated with turnover rates, these take the cake as some of the most common.

Some of these issues are easier to mitigate than others, but employee turnover is just the nature of the corporate world. 

There’s no doubt turnover rates can be improved, but there isn’t a cure-all, as employees will leave if they decide to.

Regardless, it’s in the interest of every company to work toward employee retention.

In the long run, this will help to reduce costs and save time.


Understanding Retention

Understanding Retention

Many of the woes surrounding onboarding as a whole can be traced back to issues with retention.

There are numerous statistics regarding this topic, as nearly every company struggles with it at some point in time. 

Keep in mind that the following statistics will vary from one company to the next, but the numbers of a general look at the problem.

While some organizations do a great job of managing their retention rate, others struggle with it consistently.

Below, you can get a good look at how retention statistics can vary and where the biggest pain ports are.

11. How to Improve the Retention Rate

Based on data taken from corporations and employees, it’s pretty clear where improvements could be made.

Respondents in a survey cited the primary reasons new hires tend to leave after six months or less.

The information is pretty relatable, and the information goes to show what would keep many employees around for longer.

New hires leave generally leave for the following reasons:

  • Unclear guidelines for job responsibilities
  • Ineffective training
  • Coworkers that aren’t helpful or collaborative
  • Not enough recognition for their contributions
  • Not enough attention from colleagues

Considering the amount of effort many employees put into a new job, it looks like many of them don’t feel very well.

There’s a saying that many corporations look at employees like a number, and this problem can be seen as a factor in high turnover rates.

Although any company can benefit from this information, plenty of organizations are doing just fine.


12. Effective Onboarding Leads to Increased Revenue

Organizations that invest in better onboarding practices have reported healthy increases in their revenue.

This only relates to 78% of those who invested in better practices, but it’s still a staggering improvement compared to no investment at all.

All of the data is there to prove that better onboarding methods lead to benefits for everyone involved.

The problem is that there is no universal rulebook, and most companies develop internal policies at their own vices.

Employees are well aware of these benefits, as many admit that they would look for another job if a company doesn’t offer a thorough onboarding.

Many people are hoping for a solid introduction, as this will give them more confidence to do a good job.


13. Employees are Demanding Better

In our modern corporate climate, employees are starting to stand up for themselves and demand better onboarding practices from companies.

22% of employees would rather look for another job than deal with a company that doesn’t provide a proper introduction.

Aside from that, 41% of employees would consider looking elsewhere if a company offers a poor onboarding experience.

This concept doesn’t have to be rocket science, but it does have to be effective for the employee to connect and look forward to the new role.

In the bullet list below, you can get a look at other statistics that highlight varying sentiments toward a company’s efforts toward onboarding.

  • 51% of employees are happy to go beyond expectations after an effective onboarding
  • 64% of companies invested in onboarding mention decreased turnover rates
  • 23% of employees that quit within six months mention the clear guidelines would have helped them stay long-term

Not only are onboarding experiences effective strategies for organized companies, but they also helps to build trust with new employees.

Companies can improve onboarding by utilizing a handful of effective steps that have the data to back them up.


14. Improving Employee Engagement

Although there’s plenty of room for companies to customize their approach to onboarding, a few considerations should take place.

Industry experts have been through enough trial and error to determine what works for most companies, regardless of their industry.

Here are a few proven strategies for onboarding:

  • Streamline processes and expectations, and be welcoming to new talent
  • Always request supporting documents and ask necessary questions
  • Allow team members to take the lead on their own projects first
  • Promote a culture of work-life balance
  • Facilitate people skills to promote teamwork and a collaborative environment for all

These may sound pretty standard, but there are many companies that don’t put any effort into them at all.

Other helpful tips include listening to employees’ concerns, celebrating successes, conducting ongoing training sessions, and more.

This, on top of a detailed onboarding experience, can lead to a dedicated workforce.

In many cases, employee engagement can stem from the first impression they received during onboarding.

For some people, this experience sets the tone for the job ahead, and many can’t shake the feeling of a poor onboarding experience.

Companies should be as thorough and genuine as possible during this process.

People are bound to have their own experiences with this particular issue, but it’s an area that could use improvements on a global scale.

Many companies are working hard to make a difference for a new generation of employees demanding change.


The Bottom Line

As more and more business owners shift strategies to compete with the demands of a modern workforce, effective onboarding is more important than ever.

There will always be a few bad eggs that don’t change for the better, but any reputable company already sees why it’s important.

Regardless of how companies navigate this topic, they’re going to continue to choose organizations that put in the time and effort.

This article highlighted many important onboarding statistics that show more details behind a well-known issue in the corporate world.


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