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New Research Shows Rise in Executive Involvement and Technology in On-Boarding


New data shows how on-boarding trends are evolving as business leaders realise its influence on supporting new employees and operational effectiveness. The data comes from The Top Employers Institute, which has published a global paper, On-boarding – HR Insights Report. The global trends show that senior business leaders are increasingly playing a key role in on-boarding, while measuring its effectiveness and communicating digitally with new employees are also key.

In tandem with the global report, UK-specific figures have also been released which support the wider trends.

Since 2015, leaders from the UK’s 71 Top Employers, certified by the Top Employers Institute, have increasingly been involved with new starters:

  • 77% of executive managers ensure they meet with new recruits – up 15%.
  • 93% of executive management actively promote the importance of on-boarding – up 7%.
  • 89% of business leaders are held responsible for their role in on-boarding – also up 7%.

In the same period, those researched have increasingly connected with newly recruited employees digitally:

  • 77% use internal social media to chat with employees – up 14%
  • 66% share experiences over social media – up 20%
  • 24% now give new employees access to an online/virtual on-boarding platform before their first working day (new data in 2016).

There are also a number of on-boarding practices related to measurement that have increased since 2015:

  • 69% of those researched report on KPIs, up 6%
  • 68% measure first impressions, up 7%
  • 86% have an evaluation by HR, up 16%
  • 52% have an evaluation by management, up 8%.

The global paper shows five on-boarding trends:

  • Employers are turning on-boarding into an event, sometimes lasting up to a year, rather than a one-off process.
  • It is becoming multi-dimensional, covering business, situational and cultural contexts.
  • There is more active involvement with senior management.
  • It’s going digital. Technology now assumes a central role.
  • It’s providing organisational insight with data-driven programme improvement.

Eleanor Nickerson, Director of UK Operations for Top Employers Institute, said, “During the last two decades, we’ve watched on-boarding mature from its original short-term orientation, to a fully-fledged longer-term programme that genuinely supports the success of a new employee. This on-boarding period can be up to a year long, but the key is a seamless integration from new learner, to productive employee. With increasing statistics in the marketplace to prove the effectiveness of good on-boarding – or more importantly, the risks of poor on-boarding – this is now a top-of-the-agenda item for organisations, and one that executives will roll their sleeves up and get involved with.

“Technology has found a natural home in the on-boarding process, as employers create hubs and platforms that can reach out to new starters before their first day. This is a huge jump-start to the eventual social and cultural integration of the new employee, giving them the opportunity to meet colleagues, start the learning process, and to get them excited about joining weeks in advance.”

UK data comes from research into 71 companies that are certified as Top Employers UK for 2016.

The global report is based on findings from a sample size of 600 organisations in 102 countries certified as Top Employers by the Top Employers Institute. Only organisations with more than 3000 employees locally or more than 5000 employees worldwide are included.

The insights are supported by the findings of the Top Employers HR Best Practices Survey. This assesses global organisations’ HR environment in the areas of strategy, policy implementation, monitoring and communication of employee conditions and development.

On-boarding can be defined as the process which new hires adjust to the social and performance aspects of their new roles, enabling them to learn the skills and behaviours needed to function effectively.

To access the HR Insights Report on On-boarding, please go here.


During Nathan’s early career, he gained considerable experience from across many industries including Sales, Teaching and Retail, however more recently Nathan has delved into the world Digital Marketing and Publishing. Drawing on his past experiences, Nathan brings all aspects of his knowledge into Recruitment Buzz, possessing great research and social media skills.

Born and bred in Wales, Nathan is as Welsh as they come – living in the heart of the Valleys, Nathan proudly takes place as our resident Welsh speaker. However, Nathan’s knowledge of global understanding exceeds the Welsh borders, having lived in London, parts of the US and Ecuador.

Nathan is a self-proclaimed geek, having gained a degree in Natural Science via the Open University in Wales. In addition to his passion for science, he has a love for technology, nature, art and of course football!


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