An HR Glossary for HR Terms

Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms

New Hire Orientation

What Is Orientation for a Job?

New hire orientation typically occurs on the first day at a new job, providing an employee with the basic organizational information they need to navigate their new team, department, and role within the company.

Effective new hire orientation:

Experts recommend creating a standardized, company-wide process for new hire orientation. Not only does this ensure all new hires receive a consistent experience, but it helps take strain off of managers and training personnel, allowing them to remain productive in their day-to-day work while still getting a new employee started.

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BambooHR® helps you build an effective onboarding process with expert-approved, customizable onboarding checklists, welcome emails, and new hire packets—so every new hire feels welcome on day one.

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Do You Get Paid for Orientation?

Yes—new hire orientation typically begins on day one of employment. Because of this, employees are typically paid their agreed-upon wage or salary for the time they spend training.

Some companies may offer bonuses or other incentives once an employee has completed orientation or onboarding milestones. Because there are costs associated with training new employees, it is crucial to create a streamlined process that welcomes new colleagues and empowers them to become comfortable and productive as soon as possible.

How Long Is Orientation?

In general, a new employee’s orientation will take around three hours or no longer than a full workday.

However, the correct amount of time to spend on new hire orientation varies from organization to organization. Different industries also require different levels of training and briefing before new employees can fully participate in their responsibilities.

Orientation vs. Onboarding

New hire orientation is part of the larger onboarding process, but the two activities are not interchangeable.

Orientation begins on the first day of work and consists of first-day introductions and information.

Onboarding starts from the moment a candidate accepts their offer, includes orientation, and proceeds to encompass a longer transition period. In short, orientation is a part of onboarding, but they are not the same thing.

» Learn More: What Is Onboarding in HR?

Why Orientation Is Important for New Employees

New hire orientation is important because it signifies the beginning of the relationship between employee and employer. Ideally, the first day of work will affirm a new employee's decision to join an organization.

Orientation also sets the rest of the onboarding process up for success. By clearly communicating expectations, policies, and responsibilities, HR professionals and managers will prime new hires for the longer training period that follows. A thorough and engaging orientation can also reduce turnover due to misunderstood or unmet expectations. Finally, a clear policy for new hire orientation ensures that all new team members receive the same training and information.

When new hires receive the information they need on day one, they're more likely to smoothly transition into their new role.

New Hire Orientation Ideas

Tip: Create a New Hire Orientation Checklist

A new hire orientation checklist describes a formalized orientation process to make sure each new employee receives an adequate introduction to the company, meets the right people, and has the correct tools to quickly become a productive employee.

We recommend completing any paperwork before orientation so you'll be able to make the most of your time. For example, BambooHR provides a self-service platform that employees can navigate independently, including automated reminders that ensure all paperwork is completed on time.

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FAQs About Orientation

What Is Orientation for a Job?

Employee orientation is the process of introducing new hires to their jobs, co-workers, responsibilities, and workplace. Effective new hire orientation answers any questions or concerns a new colleague may have; makes them aware of company policies and expectations; and eases them comfortably into the longer onboarding process for their new positions.

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