New Hire Orientation Versus Onboarding

By September 4, 2018 No Comments
New Hire Versus Onboarding TTA Blog

Approximately 89% of managers believe that employees leave their jobs for more money. However, approximately 88% of employees said they left their jobs for reasons other than money.[i]

Interesting disparity, wouldn’t you agree?

Employees actually do not leave their jobs; they leave their bosses. If employees do not respect, appreciate, get along with, or even like those they are accountable to, they are more likely to leave.[ii]

Socialization is the process of acclimating individuals to critical elements of an organization’s culture and helping them connect to those there are accountable to and for partnering with professionally. It can have a pervasive impact on new-employee adjustment. It bridges the potential of a new employee’s talent with the opportunity to actualize it.[iii]

Onboarding is the new talent-engagement process that focuses on acclimating employees both functionally and socially.

What does this mean?

  • Functional acclimation is about understanding the company’s philosophies, completing tasks, and performing activities.[iv]
  • Social acclimation is about integrating into the company’s culture and becoming a part of the group.

How are these different?

It is the difference between New Hire Orientation and Onboarding!

Here’s are some high-level distinctions below.

New Hire Orientation addresses employee’s functional acclimation, including:

  • General policies and procedures
  • Job descriptions, tasks, and expectations
  • Organizational culture and values
  • General policies and procedures [vi]

Clearly, each of these are necessary for new employees to get started on the right foot at their new company. Notice, however, the tactics employed to deliver new hire orientation is information dissemination and content mastery. [vii]

This is necessary but often incomplete.

Onboarding is an extension of the new hire orientation process.

Onboarding addresses employee’s social acclimation including:

  • Integrating new employees into their company’s culture
  • Socializing new employees as a part of their team
  • Informing new employees of who they need to know (orientation often covers the what)
  • Expediting the learning curve to full productivity [viii]

A successful strategy for new employees includes both!

Visit TTA’s New Hire Training page to see how we can help improve your organization’s new hire training process.


 Dai, G. & De Meuse, G. (2007). A review of onboarding research. Los Angeles: Korn/Ferry International. Retrieved July 2009, from
[vi] Truesdell, W. (1998). New employee orientation: Starting off on the right foot. The Management Advantage, Inc. retrieved August 6, 2010, from
[vii] Adelsberg , D., & Trolley, E. (1999). Running training like a business: Delivering unmistakable value. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.
[viii] Suggs, G., (2014). Maximize the Success of New Employees, Onboarding: A Flightplan for Taking Your Workforce to New Heights, Charleston: BFP Books.