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Onboarding 101: Here’s What You Should Focus On When Onboarding Young Professional Talent

In our latest report, young professionals shared that onboarding can oftentimes feel rushed when thrown into a new role and environment. When unprepared with the tools and training needed to be successful, young professionals can feel like they are getting started on the wrong foot, which directly impacts their likelihood of staying or leaving a new position.

Young professionals have shared that “having a runway to grow, make mistakes, and learn” for at least three months makes them more likely to stay in a position.

We have worked with clients that have 3-6 week onboarding “programs” and have helped them revamp their process after understanding it was a barrier to high retention.

We recognize that not all companies are the same and in order to identify if onboarding is a barrier to your own company’s retention, it’s worth exploring how your own process stacks up (this is what we look at in our Audit!). 

We recommend the following steps when reviewing your onboarding process:

  1. Identify the length of onboarding, then ask for feedback. Are you giving your YoPros time to absorb information before they get “on the job”? If not, consider asking current young professionals and employees how long it took until they felt onboarding time helped them be successful and comfortable on the job. While our data points to 3 months as the sweet spot, it could be shorter or longer at your company, and until you ask for feedback, you will not have your answer.
  2. Focus on both the technical and soft skills. While it’s critical to understand the technical, day-to-day skills needed for a YoPro to do their job right, it’s equally important to balance out this information with soft skills. What does communication look like in the office? Are there community service opportunities, and if so, what are the expectations there? What does working from home look like? Make sure you include this in your onboarding process. If they have to find it out the hard way later, it’s a direct result of a lack of expectations.
  3. Bring in tangible examples. I’m a big fan of having current employees come in to do some of the onboarding, or at the very least, come in to share their experiences at the company. We know that young professionals embrace authenticity and trust companies that exemplify this, so consider inviting current talent to share their experiences – both the good and the bad sides (think: as an accountant, busy season can get pretty tiring, etc…). This will earn their trust quicker than you might think!
  4. Measure your success. Check in quarterly to measure how onboarding prepared your young professional employees. This will help you update onboarding in the future and lets your team know you are interested in their success at your company.

Again, while most companies view onboarding as a quick process to get the most out of a team, our research shows it is a critical factor in retention of young professionals. In other words, you want to get it right! When assessing your own onboarding, consider this information to ensure your YoPros are set up for success after the onboarding period.


Did you like this week’s post? Then you might like these posts below.

Free Report: What You Can Expect from The Current State of Young Professionals

How To Keep YoPros Engaged In The Workforce

How to Remedy Generational Communication Barriers


What’s Next?

For innovative organizations seeking to hire, engage and retain YoPros, our consulting and coaching arm will partner with you to create a captivating culture where prime candidates thrive long term. Schedule your discovery audit today.



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2024 YoPro Survey

If you are a young professional (21-39 years old), tell us about your experience as a YoPro. This information will be used confidentially to inform company leaders and support their strategic decision-making and company offerings.

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