Onboarding as Part of Talent Management Strategy

A comprehensive internship program can attract employees who will help you grow your company.

Big or small, every company has to onboard new employees. Some organizations manage the process better than others. A select few take onboarding to the next level and integrate their onboarding program into their talent management process. The result of this integration is that onboarding becomes a key component of a company’s talent strategy.

One example of an onboarding program becoming part of a company’s talent strategy comes from a submission to the Brandon Hall Group’s 2011 Excellence Awards in the “Best Onboarding Program” category. In its submission, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) shared details about its extensive internship program.

This program includes training about the tools employees need to perform their jobs and about the firm culture, a minimum of four weeks of client experience, coaching and development from PwC professionals, shadowing experiences, and community service. Interns who receive offers to join the firm as full-time hires have the opportunity to experience the Internship Development Program (IDP) at Walt Disney World in a joint program between Disney and PwC, where the theme parks are used as a “living classroom,” and interns are immersed in an experiential-based curriculum that includes professional insights, learning, leadership training skills, and personal enrichment sessions.

What results does PwC see from putting that much time, effort, and expense into its internship program? And what does that have to do with onboarding? Well, PwC says 90 percent of its interns will transition to full-time hires. The program provides PwC with a pipeline of consistent talent. Of the 10,000 new employees PwC will hire in a year, approximately 6,000 will be campus hires, and approximately 4,200 of those will have been PwC interns.

Along with supplying PwC with talent, the internship program produces strategic results. Former interns who work full-time for the firm are retained longer as PwC employees; they achieve higher performance ratings than non-interns; and they are promoted to manager with a higher frequency. Not only are their ratings better, but the retention rates of those who took part in the internship program are 7 percent higher than those of non-interns. This represents a significant costs savings given PwC invests $15,000 to bring an employee onboard.

Why should you make an onboarding program a part of your talent strategy? A comprehensive program will attract employees who will help you grow your company. Hiring good employees is not always easy, and a great program will help your organization attract top performers. Of course, onboarding serves a purpose besides attraction; a successful program gives your employees needed tools, skills, and information. The training PwC offers gives interns real-world experience and relationships that will help the participants succeed in their careers. It doesn’t matter if you are a large or a small organization; integrated onboarding is a fundamental component of strategic talent management. The impact from a positive or negative onboarding experience reverberates throughout an employee’s career, affecting retention, performance, and succession opportunities.

To download a copy of the New Manager Roadmap: Onboarding Performance Support, visit http://go.brandonhall.com/new_manager_road_map

With more than 10,000 clients globally and 20 years of delivering research and advisory services, Brandon Hall Group is an established research organization in the performance improvement industry. Brandon Hall Group has an extensive repository of thought leadership research and expertise in its primary research portfolios—Learning and Development, Talent Management, Sales Effectiveness, Marketing Impact, and Executive Management. At the core of its offerings is a Membership Program that combines research, benchmarking, and unlimited access to data and analysts. Members have access to research and connections that help them make the right decisions about people, processes, and systems, coalesced with analyst advisory services tailored to help put the research into daily action. For more information, visit http://go.brandonhall.com/home.

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