Bersin by Deloitte Research: Strategic Onboarding Can Help New Hires "Get Off on the Right Foot" and Provide an On-ramp to Long-term Employee Success

Makers of virtual onboarding software challenged to provide a consistent, compelling and contextual way of personalizing and delivering a positive new-hire experience

Oct 23, 2014, 08:00 ET from Bersin by Deloitte

AMSTERDAM, Oct. 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Onboarding – the process  of hiring, orienting and immersing new employees into their roles and into the organization's culture – can play an important role in engaging, retaining and helping employees succeed over the long-term, according to new research from Bersin by Deloitte. Summarized in a complimentary WhatWorks® Market Brief, the research findings appear in Bersin by Deloitte's new industry study "Onboarding Software Solutions 2014: On-Ramp for Employee Success."

The research underscores the importance of successful onboarding in a new world where 79 percent of business leaders say it is both an urgent and important priority[1]. The study provides a guide to essential features required in an onboarding solution for today's organizations. It also challenges software makers to provide a consistent, compelling and contextual way of personalizing and delivering a positive new-hire experience. This is critical as onboarding grows increasingly digital – with audio, video, mobile and interactive processes occurring across multiple channels, including mobile and social technologies, and the Internet.

"The business case is strong for software that can get an employee productive quickly while bringing that employee into the cultural fold with the goals of increased engagement and retention," said Katherine Jones, Ph.D., vice president, Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP. Jones leads research on human capital management technologies for the firm. "Research tells us that 4 percent of new employees leave a job after a disastrous first day and 22 percent of staff turnovers occur in the first 45 days of employment.[2] These losses can add up, given estimates that losing an employee in the first year costs at least three times that employee's salary[3]."

Based on a survey of more than 50 human capital management solution providers, including in-depth interviews, the industry study provides an overview of onboarding functionality as it resides in hiring management systems today. It also shows that in organizations of any size, there are four starting guidelines:

  • Customize the on-ramp: Onboarding programs should be customized for various job roles and generational groups. Ideally, individualized portals are available on the first day of hire. Those solutions providing strategic onboarding include employee-specific and customized onboarding task lists.
  • Keep it consistent: Providing a consistent experience and messaging throughout the entire organization is equally crucial. For example, all new hires should have the same introduction to an organization's culture. Lack of consistency can lead to very divergent new hire views of the organization's culture, mission and values.
  • Automate the experience: Automation is critical to both the efficiency and consistency necessary for successful onboarding programs, regardless of organization size. Virtual onboarding allows new hires across the enterprise to have a uniform and timely introduction to the company. It also eliminates the necessity for classroom or instructor-led sessions that may differ radically from location to location.
  • Start early, finish strong: To optimize new employee engagement, onboarding should begin immediately upon the candidate's acceptance of the job and last as long as it takes for the new hire to become integrated in the culture and productive on the job.

By following these guidelines, Jones added, "the onboarding experience can very likely lead to more rapid enculturation, higher engagement levels, and a decreased time to full productivity."

Register to join Katherine Jones for her online webinar, "Onboarding: The On-Ramp for Employee Success," 2:00 p.m. ET / 19:00 BST, Jan. 13, 2015.

Bersin by Deloitte WhatWorks® members are also invited to attend a member roundtable, Onboarding: The Importance of Getting Started Right on November 20 at 2:00 p.m. ET / 19:00 BST. In this interactive roundtable, members will have the opportunity to share their experiences with onboarding programs.

Those interested in learning more about Bersin by Deloitte or its WhatWorks® membership may email or call +1 510 251 4400.

About Bersin by Deloitte
Bersin by Deloitte delivers research-based people strategies designed to help leaders and their organizations in their efforts to deliver exceptional business performance. Our WhatWorks® membership gives Fortune 1000 and Global 2000 HR professionals the information and tools they need to design and implement leading practice solutions, benchmark against others, develop their staff, and select and implement systems. A piece of Bersin by Deloitte research is downloaded on average approximately every minute during the business day. More than 5,000 organizations worldwide use our research and consulting to guide their HR, talent and learning strategies. For more information, please visit or

As used in this document, "Deloitte" means Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

[1] Deloitte Human Capital Trends 2014

[2] Help New Hires Succeed: Beat the Statistics, The Wynhurst Group, April 2007.

[3] Egon Zehnder International 2007, as quoted in

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SOURCE Bersin by Deloitte