The month of September is often associated with a surge in hiring activity, commonly referred to as the 'September Surge'. As we reach the end of summer vacations and the beginning of the final quarter of the year, companies are prompted to ramp up their hiring efforts to meet year-end goals. As a result, corporations often experience a significant increase in new hires during this period. This surge brings with it the need for efficient and effective new hire and onboarding training. With the rise of remote work and the increasing reliance on online training platforms, it is more important than ever for companies to prioritize preparing and improving their online, cloud-based new hire and onboarding training.

During September Surge, job postings increase by 25% in September compared to the average month

(LinkedIn, 2020).


Usually, this surge happens across various industries and results in a spike in hiring new employees. In 2023, this is much anticipated, as most large tech companies went through significant layoffs earlier in the year.

However great this may be for job searchers, this surge in hiring activity presents several challenges for Learning and Development professionals and Training Administrators, as the need for efficient onboarding, ensuring a smooth transition for new employees, and managing a high volume of new hires becomes more relevant to their job titles.


The Importance of Effective Onboarding

Effective onboarding is crucial for both employee retention and satisfaction. A study by Glassdoor found that organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%. A well-structured onboarding process helps new employees understand their role, the company's culture, and its expectations. It also provides them with the necessary tools and resources to succeed in their new position. Moreover, effective onboarding helps in building a positive perception of the company in the minds of new employees, which is essential for their long-term commitment and loyalty to the organization.

In addition to improving retention and productivity, effective onboarding also has a significant impact on an employee's overall job satisfaction and engagement levels. According to a report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), new employees who participated in a structured onboarding program were 69% more likely to remain with the company after three years. This highlights the long-term benefits of investing in a comprehensive onboarding program. Furthermore, a well-executed onboarding process can also lead to better team cohesion and a more inclusive work environment, which are key factors for the success of any organization.


Key Elements of a Successful Onboarding Program

A successful onboarding program includes several key elements:

  1. A Comprehensive and Well-Organized Onboarding Plan: A well-structured onboarding plan that outlines the key activities, milestones, and goals for the new hire's first few weeks and months at the company is essential. Learning and development professionals should start by creating a detailed onboarding schedule that includes all the necessary training sessions, meetings, and activities that a new hire needs to complete. This schedule should be shared with the new employee before their start date so they know what to expect. Additionally, assigning a mentor or a buddy who can guide the new employee through the onboarding process can also be very helpful.
  2. Use of an Online Training Platform: Utilizing an online training platform to deliver onboarding training ensures that new hires can access the necessary resources and training materials anytime, anywhere. This is especially important in a remote working environment. Learning and development professionals should ensure that the online training platform is user-friendly and contains all the necessary training materials, such as videos, documents, and interactive modules. Additionally, the platform should allow new hires to track their progress and complete assessments to ensure they have understood the content. Read more about this in our article about Launching An Online Training System: Your First 60 Days.
  3. Incorporation of Interactive Elements: Including interactive elements such as quizzes, simulations, and real-life scenarios in the onboarding training helps to engage new hires and reinforce their learning. Learning and development professionals should design the onboarding training to be as interactive as possible. This can be achieved by incorporating gamification elements, such as points, badges, and leaderboards, into the training. If you're in the manufacturing industry, check out our off-the-shelf Virtual Reality courses, which allow Learners to have an engaging and interactive experience in a safe environment. 
  4. Regular Feedback and Support: Providing regular feedback and support from managers and peers helps new hires to adjust to their new role and address any challenges they may face. Managers should schedule regular check-ins with new hires to discuss their progress and address any concerns. Additionally, creating a supportive and inclusive work environment where new hires feel comfortable asking questions and seeking help is essential.

Read more about this in our article about 7 Tips for Giving A Constructive Performance Review.

By focusing on these key elements, learning and development professionals can create a successful onboarding program that will help new hires quickly adjust to their new roles and become productive members of the team. 

How to Improve Your Onboarding Training

Improving your onboarding training involves assessing the current state of your onboarding program, identifying areas for improvement, and implementing changes. Here are some steps to help you improve your onboarding training, as well as a mini-checklist that will ensure you're on the right track:

1. Assess the Current State:

  • Gather feedback from recent hires, managers, and other stakeholders on the current onboarding program.
  • Analyze the performance data of recent hires, such as time taken to complete the training, assessment scores, and feedback received. Make sure you know all about how to analyze your LMS Data for this step, including metrics and KPIs!
  • Review the content, structure, and delivery methods of the current onboarding training.
  • Document the strengths and weaknesses of the current program. To make this part easier, you can use our downloadable SWOT Analysis Guide.

2. Identify Areas for Improvement:

  • Prioritize the areas for improvement based on their impact on new hires' performance and satisfaction.
  • Identify the specific content that needs to be updated or added.
  • Determine the interactive elements, such as quizzes and simulations, that need to be incorporated or updated.
  • Identify the additional support and resources needed for new hires.

3. Implement Changes:

  • Update the onboarding training materials as identified in the previous step.
  • Incorporate the new interactive elements into the onboarding training.
  • Provide the additional support and resources identified for new hires.
  • Communicate the changes to the new hires, managers, and other stakeholders.
  • Work closely with managers and other stakeholders to ensure smooth and effective implementation of the changes.

4. Continuously Monitor and Update the Program:

  • Regularly gather feedback from new hires, managers, and other stakeholders on the updated onboarding program.
  • Analyze the performance data of new hires, such as time taken to complete the training, assessment scores, and feedback received, to assess the effectiveness of the updated program.
  • Identify any new areas for improvement and update the program as necessary.
  • Document the updates and communicate them to the relevant stakeholders.

To learn more, download our free eBook, Employee Onboarding: An In-Depth Look From the Perspectives of Trainers, Learners, and Internal Teams

By following these checklists, training administrators can ensure that they are taking the necessary steps to improve their onboarding training and better prepare for the September Surge. This will help to ensure that new hires have a smooth transition into their new role and become productive members of the team as quickly as possible.

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