HR trends: Onboarding Candidates

HR trends: Onboarding Candidates

HR trends: Onboarding Candidates

About the series: CV-19 has accelerated many trends, including (or especially!) those related to HR and recruitment. Companies that want to hire valuable candidates – who don’t quit after 3 months – have to make sure they keep up with the newest trends. What’s even more important: they need to implement new strategies in the right way.

Trends that are introduced too fast and/or by the wrong department will backfire by e.g. generating additional costs, negative employer branding, losing valuable candidates, longer recruitment processes, low(er) candidate experience, etc.

To help companies avoid these mistakes, we put together a summary of the most important trends along an employee’s life cycle – with their accompanying threats and – where possible – adding relatively simple quick wins – everything backed up with stats and real cases.

This week, we are sharing trends and threats related to Phase #3 out of 5: Onboarding Candidates.

Trend #1: Virtual onboarding

If somebody asked us to describe the “new reality” of work environment in times of and post-CV-19, we would definitely answer with one word: virtual.

(Almost) all activities have been moved online – and it concerns not only employees who have been with the company for many months or years, but also (or especially) the new ones.

As data from says:

  • Only 12% of employees think their organization does a great job when it comes to onboarding new employees.
  • Great employee onboarding can improve employee retention by 82%.
  • 58% of organizations say their onboarding program is focused on processes and paperwork.

Here more numbers from continu statistics:

  • The number of new hires who say they had a positive onboarding experience has increased from 74% in 2020 to 79% in 2021.
  • The number of organizations using virtual reality (VR) for onboarding has more than doubled from 5% in 2020 to 11% in 2021.
  • The number of organizations offering remote work options as part of their onboarding process has increased from 41% in 2020 to 54% in 2021.
  • Due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the onboarding process 86% of organizations indicated that their shift to remote work has been successful or very successful.
  • More than 50% of organizations shifted to online applications, virtual hiring & virtual onboarding post-COVID-19.
  • 87% of respondents are “very committed” to adopting AI for a smooth hiring and onboarding process.

What are the potential threats?

  1. The corporate culture is not communicated well enough to the new employee – and that can lead to lower levels of loyalty, higher personnel turnover and candidates leaving the company shortly after they have started working for it.
  2. Loss of time and money if you do it poorly:
    • Statistics delivered by Foundation Recruitment show that employees who had a negative onboarding experience are twice as likely to look for other career opportunities in the future.
    • Gallup data from July 2021 says that replacing exiting workers costs one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary. Assuming an average salary of $50,000 that replacement cost translates to between $25,000 and $100,000 per employee.


→ Plan & prepare your onboarding process very well, taking into account various potential issues that might occur. Describe the procedures and rules carefully.

→ Use various media while virtually onboarding new employees: e-mail, e-learning materials, video calls, onboarding buddy.

Real-life case

Accenture changed its onboarding process last year: remote workers receive not only a laptop, but also Oculus VR Headsets. The company has created a virtual campus “One Accenture Park” enabling the employees to get a feel for the environment and to meet new co-workers. What’s more, Accenture has created digital copies of their offices. This year, 150,000 new hires are working from the metaverse on their first day at Accenture.

Coming up next: “HR trends: Managing Candidates”

If you’d like to discuss how we could potentially support your organization, feel free to get in touch by email with

Here are the other articles from the series: