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OncoreAugust 1, 20234 min read

Why candidate onboarding is so important

Did you know that onboarding can make or break an employee’s experience with a company? Candidate onboarding is a critical process that sets the tone for an employee's experience within a company.

A CareerBuilder and Silkroad Technology study found over two-thirds (69%) of employees are likely to stay at a company for at least three years if they have a good onboarding experience. The same study found 9% of employees left a company due to poor onboarding.

Here are insights into why strong onboarding processes are crucial for organisations.

A strong onboarding experience sets employees up for success

A great onboarding experience sets an employee up for success. After onboarding, an employee should better know their role, teammates, company culture and essential workplace policies and procedures. 

When a company provides a great onboarding experience, 69% of employees are likely to stay for at least three years. When employees are engaged, 87% are less likely to leave their company, meaning they are five times less likely to leave than unengaged employees.

Engaged employees are more likely to be committed to their roles, stay with the company longer, and contribute positively to the organisation's culture and productivity.

Plus, the better the onboarding, the quicker employees reach full productivity. A Harvard Business Review article reported systematic onboarding brings new employees up to speed 50% faster.

The length of an onboarding journey varies in organisations and depends on job role and seniority. A junior administrative assistant may get up to speed in just one week, whereas a new executive usually needs more time to get to know their team members and work processes.

Organisations should assess their onboarding processes in the context of the jobs they are hiring for and adjust them to suit. 

Employees have different expectations since the pandemic 

Employee expectations have changed since Covid-19. The Great Resignation that followed the pandemic shows people want to work for organisations that treat them well and have their best interests at heart. 

The move to remote work during the pandemic also prompted organisations to rethink the employee onboarding process. It’s likely that most managers want to provide a memorable, inclusive and welcoming experience for their newest employees even though workforces have been scattered. 

The result is that many employees now expect better onboarding experiences as part of the norm. 

Reimagining onboarding for a new age

Candidates should be made to feel a part of the team as soon as they accept a job offer. Their experience with the formalities should be easy. If you’re still sending long contracts in the mail before a candidate’s first day, you may not be providing the best experience. 

Since the pandemic, many candidates expect more technology-driven pre-boarding and onboarding programs. Those expectations are higher if the role you are hiring for is remote or hybrid. The way you use technology during onboarding indicates how your organisation may communicate day-to-day. 

If your onboarding process leaves employees feeling isolated and confused, the new hires could assume working in your organisation would leave them feeling the same way. 

When onboarding is digitally driven, personalisation, where possible, significantly impacts the employee experience. 

Personalisation can involve custom welcome messages, delivering an employee their favourite snacks and tailoring onboarding specifically around an employee’s new role and preferred learning style. 

“The human element of onboarding is very important. Consider an employee’s end-to-end experience starting with the recruitment process.” Mia Baldock, Talent Acquisition Manager at Vicinity Centres.

Non-permanent workers require a strong onboarding experience too

Often onboarding plans are considered with a permanent workforce in mind. However, with the rise in more flexible work arrangements and the increased use of the contingent workforce, providing a strong onboarding experience for non-permanent workers is crucial. It ensures efficiency and productivity by helping them understand their roles and responsibilities quickly. 

Alignment with company goals, integration into the team, and clarity on key outcomes can enhance their contributions. A positive experience also boosts an employer's reputation and branding and promotes you as an employer of choice. Treating non-permanent workers well fosters a positive working relationship and optimal outcomes for both parties and as many organisations are finding, can lead to contractors returning for more gigs or even converting to permanent workers. 


At Oncore, we have over 20 years of experience. Founded by contractors, we have a unique understanding of what it means to provide your contractors with the best overall experience including onboarding. We care about the contractor's entire journey with us, with end-to-end management.

Oncore values the importance of onboarding so much that we are sponsors of the Excellence in Onboarding award at the Internal Talent Awards for 2023.

Candidate onboarding is a critical process that impacts employee engagement, productivity, retention, and overall organisational success. Companies can reap the benefits of a strong, committed, and high-performing workforce by investing time and effort in creating a thoughtful onboarding program. Want to know how we can support your contingent workforce onboarding? Reach out to us today.