Onboarding Statistics: Engagement, Training, and Costs in 2022

When hiring a candidate, onboarding is an important part of the process that should not be overlooked. It allows new employees to get a first sneak peek at the company during working hours. If the process is characterized by top efficiency and full engagement, new employees will be more likely to become efficient and engaged in their turn.

If you want to upgrade the quality of your employee onboarding experience, you are in the right place. Here is a superb compilation of statistics you must know.

Top Onboarding Statistics: Editor’s Choice

  • A positive onboarding experience may boost productivity by 70%.
  • Only 12% of employees feel their business’ onboarding process is excellent.
  • 72% of employees agree that one-on-one communication with their managers is vital.
  • An onboarding program can last up to one week.
  • Employee retention should be a major concern for 87% of HR directors in the future.
  • 87% of companies state that mentorships improve the overall onboarding experience.
  • Only one out of every ten employees feel enthusiastic about their company’s onboarding process.
  • Inefficient employee onboarding can cost a firm anywhere from 1% to 2.5% of its revenue.

Employee Onboarding Statistics and Workplace Engagement

An excellent onboarding experience can significantly boost employee engagement. To learn more about how an onboarding program can contribute to workplace engagement and efficiency, here are some impressive employee onboarding statistics.

1. A great onboarding experience can increase productivity by over 70%.

Onboarding is an employee’s introduction to their new workplace. It lets them know of specific responsibilities and sets their expectations. Because of this, onboarding is the first source of motivation in their new job.

Apart from motivating productivity, onboarding statistics for 2021 demonstrate that successfully onboarding new hires can improve employee retention by a whopping 82%.

2. Top companies are 53% more likely to feature pre-boarding.

For large organizations with a global presence, new employee onboarding happens before the actual work begins, statistics show. This process is called pre-boarding. It’s a set of activities a newly hired employee must complete before their first day. 

Flawlessly executing the pre-boarding process provides employees with enough time to establish work relationships and become familiar with work regulations.

3. 54% of agencies confirm that employee onboarding improves their engagement.

One of the great benefits of onboarding is that it directly affects employee engagement. According to onboarding research, over 50% of agencies agree that having a complete onboarding program increases employees’ general engagement rate. 

When new employees feel heard and valued during the onboarding process, they are more likely to engage and become productive.

4. 50% of employees who did not undergo onboarding processes do not achieve their initial performance goals.

A recent employee onboarding survey shows that half of the employees who did not have any comprehensive training cannot reach their first performance goals. 

As a result, this leads to decreased morale and engagement. Notably, the lack of a good onboarding program affects engagement and becomes an obstacle for the entire working process.

5. Statistics for employee onboarding indicate that only 12% of employees believe that their companies have excellent onboarding programs.

It seems that in this era of constant change, many companies have to keep up.

The most recent onboarding statistics prove that slightly more than 10% of professional workers agree that their institutions have onboarding programs suited to new hires’ needs and preferences.

6. 72% of employees agree that direct communication with managers is the most vital part of the onboarding process.

Maintaining the quality of an onboarding program can be challenging for managers. An onboarding experience survey found that 7 in 10 workers point out direct communication as the key for a new employee onboarding program to be successful. 

Consequently, strong relationships with managers positively affect employee engagement and happiness in the workplace.

7. 58% of companies say their onboarding programs focus mostly on paperwork and other tasks.

What does an employee onboarding program look like in reality? Employee onboarding statistics for 2021 prove that the vast majority of organizations’ onboarding programs focus on paperwork and similar processes. 

Furthermore, a third of them found the onboarding program inconsistent or reactive.

Employee Training and Retention Statistics

Apart from improving engagement, skill training also encourages many workers to stay in their companies. Here is a list of stats on how training can affect the general retention of workers.

8. The average length of an onboarding program is up to one week.

For most companies, training starts and ends within a new employee’s first week. However, this can lead to a higher cost of onboarding new employees because of the fast new hire turnover rate. 

9. Only 37% of companies have onboarding programs that last for more than the first month.

As mentioned before, onboarding is like an introduction. This is why some companies prefer to deliver short training programs. However, team building statistics prove that over a third of companies set up programs that last for more than the first month. 

Doing so ensures employees deliver better results and form healthy relationships in the workplace.

10. In 2021, the average cost to train a new employee in the US was $1,071.

All companies on average reduced their spending from $1,111 in 2020 to $1,071. Small businesses decreased their per-person training expenditure to $1,433 in 2021, down from $1,678 in 2020. On the other hand, mid-size companies increased their training expenditures per company from 808,355 in 2020 to $1.3 million in 2021.

Overall, the cost of training new employees points to more large companies reporting reduced training budgets in 2021, with as many as 35% saying so, compared to 13% and 23% for midsize and small companies, respectively.

11. 87% of HR leaders think that employee retention should be a top priority in the future.

Onboarding is not only an employee’s concern. In a recent study, 9 in 10 HR leaders understood the importance of onboarding and retention in the workplace. If companies wish to keep up with the rising demand, they need to adopt top-notch onboarding programs.

12. 20% of newly hired employees leave their jobs within the first 45 days.

The balance between new hire time and productivity should be maintained at all costs. If not, employees are more likely to leave the company in search of better opportunities.

Onboarding employee statistics confirm that 20% of newly hired workers resign within the first month, with half of them blaming inept onboarding for doing so.

13. 87% of companies state that buddy programs or mentorships improve the onboarding experience.

There is a balancing connection between new hires and old employees. In compliance with that, the most recent employee onboarding trends reveal that mentorship can massively improve onboarding processes. After all, the first few months are the most critical for new employees.

14. 12.2% of HR professionals use internal technology for onboarding programs.

While many companies still focus on paperwork, some have moved to digital processes. In a recent employee onboarding survey by Statista, 12.2% of HR professionals utilize in-house onboarding technology.

15. Only one in ten workers is optimistic about their company’s onboarding experience.

Most workers want a new employee onboarding program. However, research shows that only a small percentage of employees have a positive experience with their company’s onboarding process. 

In fact, employee onboarding statistics confirm that the vast majority of employees won’t recommend their company to other people, affecting overall morale and reputation.

Statistics on Onboarding Costs

Now, it’s time to look at employee onboarding’s financial impact. The cost of onboarding new employees and the potential return on investment are two aspects that shouldn’t be ignored. Let’s take a closer look.

16. There’s $37 billion spent on workers who do not fully understand their jobs.

Establishing an insufficient onboarding program can have the opposite effects than expected. When considering the cost of a bad hire, statistics prove that unproductive employees that do not understand their responsibilities can result in a costly investment for the company. 

Yet, through the benefits of onboarding, it’s possible to change this situation for the better.

17. Replacing an employee can amount to 20% of their salary.

Setting up an onboarding program might need some budget, but replacing employees costs a lot more. A recent employee onboarding survey reveals that replacing someone in a company can cost as much as 16% to 20% of their salary.

18. Inefficient employee onboarding can cost 1% to 2.5% of the company’s revenue.

Instead of increasing a company’s growth rate, an inefficient onboarding program can generate a tremendous financial loss. 

While there are no available onboarding statistics for 2021, companies know that unproductive onboarding can be responsible for a 1% to 2.5% cut in business revenue.

19. Half of the new and externally hired senior-level professionals fail within the first 18 months.

The latest onboarding research by SHRM revealed that onboarding benefits do not apply to entry-level workers alone. Senior-level executives should also be part of the onboarding process. 

Otherwise, they might fall into the staggering 50% of newly hired executives who fail within 18 months due to a lack of proper training.

Onboarding Statistics: The Takeaway 

Thanks to this compilation of impressive onboarding statistics, weighing employee onboarding’s pros and cons should now be pretty straightforward. The most critical point to remember is a growing demand for something new, inclusive, and dynamic. Based on the statistics, in the future, onboarding programs should become more prioritized.

Undoubtedly, focusing on company expansion is essential. However, if you want to achieve long-term industry goals, high morale, and a golden reputation, it’s in your best interest not to dismiss employee onboarding. Starting from the hiring process, the company can then move upwards globally and turn into a competitive institution.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does onboarding take?

For many companies, the process of onboarding new hires only takes one week. Some firms go for one month or beyond. Employees who cannot fully adjust to the workplace may have a lower performance rate, which leads to failed goals and demotivation.

To solve this problem, some institutions extend the program’s duration or execute pre-boarding, which is the process of letting the employee acclimatize before their first day in a new position.

Why onboarding matters?

Apart from integrating new employees into the company, onboarding provides them with the proper training and support to become integral members of the team. Not to mention, onboarding helps familiarize with other coworkers, have a broader knowledge of the company’s mission and culture, and better retain employees.

Once new employees become accustomed to the company, its roles, and expectations, they are more likely to be engaged and productive. Consequently, highly engaged workers care about the company and want it to succeed.

How much does it cost to train a new employee?

On average, organizations spend $1,071 per employee on training and other development initiatives. The actual cost that will weigh on your company’s shoulders depends on a few factors.

  • Company size
  • Employee’s skills
  • Type of training
  • Productivity loss incurred
  • Hidden costs (supplies, transportation, administrative costs)

All that considered, companies can now calculate the actual training cost for each employee—dividing the total cost by the number of employees. Suppose that the amount spent on productivity loss and hiring a training instructor is $200,000, and the number of employees is 200. In that case, training would cost the company $1,000 per employee.

Does onboarding mean you are hired?

As onboarding is defined as introducing a newly hired employee in the business, the company has a clear interest in a long-term commitment with the worker.

However, this period primarily serves employers to assess the new hire’s knowledge, skills, and working capabilities, as well as communication skills with team members. This assessment will help the manager choose the best position for newcomers and understand if more training is needed to upgrade their skills.

How long does it take for a new employee to be productive?

Onboarding programs might vary in length, but a complete adjustment can take a long time. According to the latest statistics, it might take an average of one to two years for an employee to become fully productive.

This stat speaks volumes about the high value of onboarding. The latter shouldn’t be addressed to new hires alone, nor is it supposed to last for only a week. Onboarding statistics say that around 87% of HR leaders agree that onboarding should be a prime concern in the future.


Amesite, Click Boarding, Flo Recruit, Learn G2, Sapling HR, Statista, Training Magazine, Upstack, Workable