What does 2020 look like for candidate onboarding?

The current labour market is highly competitive, with the best candidates having their pick of job opportunities. This means that employers need to ensure that they onboard new hires quickly and effectively, while helping candidates remain engaged and committed throughout. With the new hiring season upon us, and many employees looking to change careers, we look at some of the hottest onboarding trends of 2020, to help you snag the top talent and keep them engaged.


Preboarding is likely to become a recruitment buzzword in 2020, with those in the know already taking advantage of the practice. Many employers recognise that on-site onboarding after hire can be highly inefficient and have a negative effect on engagement, with new employees being kept away from their desk and duties in order to carry out onboarding tasks. The latest employment software can start the onboarding process from the moment a job offer is sent out, and, combined with other “welcome to the company” gestures such as sending out company merchandise and a companywide greeting email, new candidates can arrive for their first day at work with the most tedious onboarding chores already covered.


With the amount of data now available thanks to the digitisation of most recruitment processes, there is no excuse not to use that data to help personalise your onboarding processes. Personalisation has been proven to increase engagement and helps new hires feel settled more quickly, but don’t just rely on technology to take the strain of personalisation. The human factor is just as important. Ensuring managers and colleagues carry out an onboarding program that reflects the needs and nuances of not only the particular role, but also the employee themselves, can help new hires feel secure, understand company culture and create a positive experience which will aid employee retention.

Onboarding models for non-traditional employment

With the gig economy booming, many companies rely on temporary, seasonal or freelance workers to ensure they run smoothly. And while previously onboarding non-permanent workers might have taken a back seat, employers now recognise the need to have efficient onboarding policies in place for all workers, not only to satisfy compliance, but also to provide a positive experience for the best workers whose services they might want to use again. A more efficient onboarding process for non-traditional employment situations can help protect the company from bad hires, save costs and help attract top talent.

Extended onboarding

Gone are the days of one day onboarding. Clever companies now extend the length of onboarding to improve training and socialisation which both contribute to better employee retention. Both L’Oreal and IBM have 2-year long onboarding processes which help ensure that new employees have adequate training, fully understand company values and have access to the resources they need. With studies suggesting that it takes employees 6 months to decide whether to stay with a new employer, extended onboarding can boost staff retention, and create a supportive and effective experience for new hires.

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