An onboarding program refers to a strategy that organizations use to equip new recruits with requisite skills to enable them to discharge their duties without challenges. The primary objectives of this program are to assist new hires, especially recent graduates to familiarize with a company, minimize the time it takes for them to become productive, and reduce cases of employee turnover. Hall-Ellis (2014) argues that an onboarding program consists of numerous phases and ought to be consistent, wide-ranging, and strategic.
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Some onboarding practices include mentorship, ordered orientation, and continuous training. An organization must ensure that an onboarding program matches with its needs. This program is vital to new recruits, particularly recent graduates because it minimizes stress, enhances productivity, and facilitates their retention.
Importance of an Onboarding Program
A well-thought-out onboarding program helps an organization to retain new recruits, thus saving it from the costs attributed to turnover. Hall-Ellis (2014) holds, “The cost of replacing an entry-level employee is 30-50 percent of the person’s annual salary” (p. 140). A company can incur additional expenses if it is to replace senior-level workers. Each time an organization loses employees, the performance and spirits of the remaining workers suffer.
Therefore, it is imperative that organizations work hard to retain their workers, especially those that graduated recently. Hall-Ellis (2014) maintains that the initial six months of employment are essential to a graduate because it is the time when they decide whether to remain in a firm. A well-organized onboarding program helps to create a good, permanent impression on recent graduate employees. Moreover, the human resource department uses the program to demonstrate its commitment to helping the graduates assimilate into a company.
The time-to-productivity parameter has gained popularity amid hiring and talent development professionals. Krasman (2015) defines time-to-productivity as the period that a fresh graduate employee takes to acquire the relevant skills, information, and tools necessary to discharge their duties at an efficient level. A well-designed onboarding program enables new hires to gain experience in their areas of specialization, therefore becoming productive within the shortest time possible (Krasman, 2015). The program helps the employees to achieve work proficiency, making it difficult for one to differentiate them from experienced workers.
Minimization of Stress
New recruits, especially recent graduates who have limited experience, encounter numerous challenges in their initial assignments. In most cases, the employees rely on speculation to execute their functions. Ross, Huang, and Jones (2014) allege that the use of presumptions results in the graduates developing apprehension, which can be detrimental to their productivity. A well-thought-out onboarding program provides fresh graduate employees with information regarding their job specifications. Ross et al. (2014) assert, “New employees learn what is expected of them, how to deliver, and how and when they will be evaluated” (p. 731). Consequently, fresh graduate workers assume and execute their responsibilities with confidence because they understand an employer’s expectations.
An onboarding program is a policy that organizations use to equip new recruits, particularly graduates with limited working experience, with the skills to perform their duties. This program is helpful to companies because it enables them to retain the new recruits. Employers use this program to appreciate the significance of the fresh graduates to their companies. In return, the employees feel to be valued, thus opting to remain in an organization. An onboarding program assists organizations to expedite the time-to-productivity for fresh graduates. It also helps to minimize stress amid new recruits, hence improving their productivity.
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Hall-Ellis, S. D. (2014). Onboarding to improve library retention and productivity. The Bottom Line, 27(4), 138-141.
Krasman, M. (2015). Three must-have onboarding elements for new and relocated employees. Employment Relations, 42(2), 9-14.
Ross, W. E., Huang, K. H. C., & Jones, G. H. (2014). Executive onboarding: Ensuring the success of the newly hired department chair. Academic Medicine: Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 89(5), 728-733.