The Hidden Costs of Inadequate Onboarding

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Updated: Mar 14, 2023
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I want to talk to you today about why onboarding/training is inadequate for most of the United States and many other countries as well. This will explain and let people know why most companies fail to provide inadequate training for new hires as well as people that have been at a company for long periods of time. I hope this will be a fresh perspective on the subject at hand and give you an insight on why these companies are failing with this training method.

Let’s start off with some statistics that may surprise you with most companies. Nearly 24 percent of big and small companies estimated that they have no onboarding program at all. The fact that this exists even in bog corporations comes as no surprise to American manufactures in the United States. Most companies that do not have this onboarding process do not want to spend the money to have such a program in the first place. There is the first fact that many companies do not even have this program, and therefore many employees of a company are failing to meet the standards of a typical trained employee personal.

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The survey of 350 HR leaders in the U.S. found that organizations are not effectively onboarding their new hires at 76 percent of respondents’ workplaces. The companies that do have this program even with the program are not training their employee in the correct way or s the article says not training them effectively. One of the main reasons for many companies not having this program at all is because of high turn over rates. They don’t see the need to have such a program is employees are not likening the job in which they are performing.

The article also states that orientation is not an onboarding process. These are two very different methods of new hires for a company that should not being mistaken to be the same process. We also have a culture integration of employees that companies must deal with if they even have an onboarding process at all. Try to imagine for example an automotive manufacturing plant that needs to hire 300 new hires and they hire people from all over the world. In the United States alone we have many different cultures that live in this country, so the companies face this culture issue as well.

There is another reason that this process of onboarding is not effective for many companies is because of loads of paperwork that must be filed for all new employees that are starting a new job. The paperwork sometimes can be overwhelming for a company if they have a massive hiring event and hire 300 new employees. Most HR departments cannot handle the loads of paperwork and will not do so with the high turnover rates that many companies go through. They just do not want to spend the money to do this process and even if they do, most success rates are only above average rating.

One system that many companies have started using with the onboarding process is making the process automated. The process of automation or using computers to better automate the process is becoming rapidly more effective, yet still so many companies do not wish to take the time use the equipment or purchase the computers needed to perform this process.

More than half (53 percent) of employers with onboarding programs have set them up to last between 30 and 90 days. This seems to be the standard of new hires of companies that are using the onboarding process and if the new hires don’t get through this process, they usually must find some other type of employment. Longer onboarding process have been in place for some companies that are willing to spend the money to train people that have been with a company for many years and the company is sure that the employee with stay employed before they use this process with a long-term employee.

Most long-term onboarding process are used for only for promotion of an employee that has been with a company for many years and is willing to take the training provided to extend the long term employment to a employee of a company. Let’s use an example of how Steve Jobs used Tim Cook and promoted him to be the CEO of Apple corporation. Tim Cook was hired by Steve Jobs about 15 years ago to be an employee at the Apple corporation. At the time, Cook was working at a company called IBM computers. Cook was offered employment at Apple in which in an interview he was unsure of how the company Apple was going to grow. This was around the 2007 before the first iPhone was launched.

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Cook was a graduate of Auburn university in Alabama for his undergrad in engineering. He went on to Duke university to earn an MBA degree. Apple used the process the long-term onboarding process with Tim Cook to train him how the Apple corporation was run on an everyday basis. This is just a small illustration of how the process works. And now about 12 years later Tim Cook is now the CEO of Apple. Steve Jobs and the company of Apple knew that Cook would stay with the company for a long time and therefore the company used the long-term onboarding process with Tim Cook.

Longer onboarding programs are associated with stronger talent and business outcomes such as employee engagement, employer reputation, percentage of diverse hires, quality hires, and internal hires and promotions. The last item that companies started doing was letting new hires do a survey of how the whole onboarding process was after they had been with the company for an extended amount of time. This survey option that was given too employees was to let employers see how the process works and to see the effects and the strengths and weaknesses of this process. The employees would be able to rate their training methods and give feedback on the whole process itself. This method is also known as a reflection of how the employee process is with the onboarding process.


  1. Maurer, R. (2018, April 11). Employers Risk Driving New Hires Away with Poor Onboarding. Retrieved from
  2. Mohan Karambelkar, Shubhasheesh Bhattacharya, (2017) “Onboarding is a change: Applying change management model ADKAR to onboarding”, Human Resource Management International Digest, Vol. 25 Issue: 7, pp.5-8,
  3. Cam Caldwell, Ray Peters, (2018) “New employee onboarding – psychological contracts and ethical perspectives”, Journal of Management Development, Vol. 37 Issue: 1, pp.27-39,

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The Hidden Costs Of Inadequate Onboarding. (2021, Jul 05). Retrieved from