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:
- Communicates company policies and expectations
- Handles essential paperwork
- Answers any questions or concerns that come up
- Prepare new hires to transition into their new roles
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.
Create better first days.
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.
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
- Avoid overwhelming new hires with facts, figures, flowcharts, and new faces on their first day.
- Make sure new hires have a full set-up office and equipment (e.g., phone, laptop, email account, etc.)
- Pair new hires with a "buddy" who will field questions and show them how everything works.
- Make the day feel special by planning a team lunch outing and by providing a welcome kit that includes a company T-shirt or other swag.
- For on-site workers, provide a tour of the office space, a list of nearby restaurants or conveniences, and other pointers around local landmarks.
- Share a glossary of company jargon.
- Provide an org chart and discuss how the employee’s own responsibilities fit into the larger company structure.
- Invite new hires to offer ideas for improvement on current processes, including onboarding itself.
- Assign new hires a simple project or two to get started on.
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.
Leave paperwork in the past.
Did you know electronic signatures can help you save up to $300 and 30 hours for every new hire?
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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