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Using online resources to create an engaging onboarding process

schedule 29th August 2017 by Hannah Gorton in Virtual College Last updated on 24th April 2018

Two colleagues at a computer

Everyone knows that first impressions count, especially when it comes to hiring new employees. According to a 2017 survey, conducted by Korn Ferry Futurestep, between 10 and 25 per cent of new hires leave within the first six months – meaning organisations have a very limited amount of time to make a great impression. That’s where the onboarding process comes in.

What is the onboarding process?

‘Onboarding’ is usually facilitated by HR as a way to integrate new staff into an organisation’s brand, culture and values. It provides them with an understanding of their new role, where they will fit into the business and how they can progress in the future, whilst helping them gain the necessary knowledge to hit the ground running.

Why is it important?

With the amount of time and money spent on recruitment – and the fact it can cost up to £30,000 to replace an employee – it’s essential to retain new hires and 98 per cent of executives believe that onboarding programmes are a key factor for this retention. This has been proven by the fact that 69% of new employees who went through a structured orientation program were more likely to be with the company after three years. Ultimately, when onboarding is carried out correctly, it leads to higher employee engagement, job satisfaction, organisational commitment, lower turnover and less stress.

Creating an engaging onboarding process

When planning your onboarding programme you need to consider everything that a new employee needs. According to Onboarding New Employees: Maximizing Success by Talya Bauer, PhD, there are four key levels to successful onboarding, also known as ‘the Four Cs’:

  • Compliance – teaching employees basic rules and regulations.
  • Clarification – making sure employees understand their role and expectations.
  • Culture – giving employees an idea of the organisation and how it functions.
  • Connection – helping employees create vital relationships with their colleagues.

Many people confuse ‘onboarding’ with ‘induction’ and believe that everything can be done in a week or even a day. However, a formal process should help the new employee through the first 90 days of their employment at least. Companies like L’Oreal have onboarding programmes which can last anywhere between 18 to 24 months, to ensure new hires experience everything the company has to offer.

Using online resources

Online resources can be used to create a standardised process which complements your bigger strategy. Although you can’t (and shouldn’t) do everything online, some aspects of the onboarding process might be more suited as an online resource.

As mentioned before, the entire process should cover at least the first 90 days, so online resources shouldn’t be used as a way to cut this time down. Instead, they could be used to cut down on the boring, necessary tasks – such as filling out paperwork or completing mandatory checklists. These aspects could even be completed before the new employee actually starts so they can properly get stuck in on their first day, leaving more time to spend on helping them settle in and acclimatise to their role.

Off-the-shelf or custom e-learning could be utilised for introductory training, such as equality in the workplace, so you know that all new starters have the required mandatory knowledge. In the long-term, role-related training could be made available at key points to help develop your new talent further. Supplementary resources in the form of documents, videos, dynamic learning objects or even games could then be provided to help the employee throughout the entirety of the onboarding process, giving them need-to-know information in a fun and engaging way.

Using online resources in your onboarding strategy can help to create an engaging experience tailored to the needs of your new employees, allowing them to get the best possible start in your organisation.

Virtual College’s range of bespoke and custom services can help you get started, so you can focus on increasing employee retention and reducing the time and money you spend on recruitment.

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Hannah Gorton Author

Author: Hannah Gorton

Hannah is a content writer for the marketing team at Virtual College. She has a degree in English literature and writes articles and blog posts for a range of topics within the learning industry. In her spare time she enjoys reading, knitting and gaming.

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