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Onboarding hindered by lack of time, not budget


The majority of companies undertake onboarding in order to improve employee productivity (39%) and engagement (31%), yet a perceived lack of time can put a spanner in the works, according to research by SilkRoad, providers of talent management SaaS solutions.

Drivers and barriers:

SilkRoad’s survey revealed conflicting attitudes to onboarding. Just 3% of HR managers consider reducing administration and costs as a key driver for onboarding, yet 35% name time constraints as the biggest barrier to improving the process within their organisation.

Nicholas Roi, Managing Director SilkRoad UK comments: “What we see from the results is a lack of formalised onboarding strategy in many companies. One fifth of respondents cited lack of ownership as a barrier to onboarding while almost a third told us that centralising and providing consistency for the onboarding process would be beneficial, yet only 32% currently treat the onboarding process as a central HR function.”

When asked what elements of their onboarding process could be improved, a third (32%) suggested centralising the process and just over a third (34%) said integrating new hires with current employees.

“Many of the barriers and areas for improvement suggested could easily be tackled by using an onboarding technology. Only 24% of companies have such technology in place, however just 13% said a lack of budget was an issue,” says Roi. 

Strategy and results:

Delving deeper into the onboarding strategy at respondent companies, SilkRoad discovered an 43% of businesses do not commence with the onboarding until a person’s first day on the job, some even later than that.

More concerning perhaps is the number of companies neglecting to put checks in place to ensure that onboarding programmes are proceeding as expected and are achieving the desired results. A staggering 41% admit to a limited amount or only occasional spot monitoring while another 15% spend no time on follow ups or monitoring. Only 15% claimed to carry out extensive monitoring and tracking of newcomers to the company.

The survey results reveal that better employee retention was not considered a key driver for onboarding by many companies (14%), despite the fact that it can cost double an employee’s actual salary to find and train a new member of staff, and that approximately 70% of company expenses go towards paying salaries. When asked the turnover for new employees within their business, the majority (63%) said 5% or less, while 10% said between 5% and 10%. A smaller, yet not insignificant 4% admitted figures up to 20%, while a nominal, yet worrying 2% had a turnover of more than 31%.

“Onboarding can have a significant effect on an employee’s decision to stay in a role long-term, or move on,” says Roi. “Those companies experiencing a high turnover of new staff, and even those with figures floating around 5% might see a significant dip in turnover if they put a strategic and centralised onboarding programme, driven by technology, in place.”

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