Why you should care about on-boarding

We are launching on-boarding and employer brand consulting services, and we wanted to share a bit about what that entails and why it matters! A great on-boarding program is really important when building up your employer brand. Just ask Steve Shannon, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Critical Mention: “Working with CFW on our on-boarding process really strengthened our game.  While we thought we were organized, CFW took our sales rep on-boarding process to a new level, with speed and efficiency that had our newest sales hire rapidly and more effectively engaged in what we hired them to do: sell!  I highly recommend!

What is employer brand, you ask? Employer brand is an organization’s reputation as an employer and its value proposition to employees (rather than its customers), and the term covers everything from how you attract and retain talent, to how you consistently communicate company culture and values throughout the organization. To ensure a positive employer brand for your company, a strong on-boarding program for new hires is key. To explain how the two constructs connect, CFW Vice President, Rachel Fagnant-Fassler, asks employers to look back on their college days:


On-boarding and employer (or in this case, student) brand is something that universities do really well. Before the students even start, they are exposed to a tremendous amount of school spirit, and clear, consistent messaging: ‘This is where you’re supposed to be. You are special because you are here.’ That message is reinforced consistently throughout their college careers, and the university becomes an integral part of the student’s identity. Typically, college students will introduce themselves as a part of their college (I’m Rachel, and I’m a student at the University of Michigan. Go Blue!). A strong corporate on-boarding program should have the same effect. Employers should want their employees introducing themselves as a part of the organization (I’m Rachel, and I’m a recruiter at CFW Careers—a really great boutique recruiting and talent consulting firm.) Think of all of the swag we see employees carrying around, further identifying themselves as a part of their company: Google backpacks, WeWork Do What You Love t-shirts, Facebook water bottles. This is all part of employer brand, and the seeds of this identity are planted during the on-boarding period.

Photo by Rawpixel Ltd/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by Rawpixel Ltd/iStock / Getty Images

So, what exactly is On-boarding?

On-boarding is the period of time from when a new employee receives and signs their offer letter through their first 90 days on the job. While most companies have training programs in place for their new employees, many don’t realize that on-boarding and training are not the same. Training refers specifically to teaching the new employee how to do their job (developing skills, processes, and product knowledge); on-boarding encourages integration with the company. Creating an open dialogue between manager and employee is key to helping the new employee find their place within an organization and identify with the corporate values.

Why is On-boarding worth the effort?

Retention: Simply put, it’s a lot more expensive to replace employees than to properly onboard them. Program Development Lead and Talent Consultant Stephanie Kronenberg explains, “Every time you bring on a new employee, you are investing staff time and therefore money into attracting, interviewing, hiring, and training them. If they leave, you have to do it all over again. In sales, there’s a turnover rate of about 26%, which is really high. The cost of replacing an employee can amount to almost 75% of their annual salary, so to invest a fraction of that into keeping them pays for itself.”

Attracting Talent: Companies with a strong and positive employer brand can attract and hire talent at a reduced cost, and more easily woo employees away from companies with a negative or neutral employer brand. As Fagnant-Fassler notes, “People don’t just work to live anymore; they want their work to mean something. If you’re not offering some sort of story, some sort of message, something that makes the person feel like they’re building something, they’re going to get that from someone else, and that’s where employer brand comes in.”

How can CFW help?

As a placement firm, we are in a unique position because we have access to a wide range of industry hiring managers as well as candidates who share with us their reasons for making career moves. Our conversations on both sides of the hiring process inform our consulting program. Here’s how it works:

Employer Brand Assessment: We assess your company’s culture and values to identify what parts of your employer brand is working, and what might need some help.

Idea Generation: Based off our assessment, we come up with on-boarding ideas to ensure that our plan will boost your employer brand. 

Supplementary Materials: We help generate brand-specific materials and develop a clear, easy-to-follow plan for the hiring manager. Our programs are completely turn-key. Once the plan is developed, you’ll have a repository of on-boarding information, a detailed checklist, and all the hiring manager will need to do is work through the program, one step at a time.

Follow through: Although the individual hiring manager will be responsible for executing the program, we are there every step of the way. We offer multiple check-ins and serve as a sounding board for any on-boarding and employer brand-related needs.


If you’re interested in learning more, or would like to schedule a free consultation, email Katie Keane at Katie@cfwcareers.com or Rachel Fagnant-Fassler at Rachel@cfwcareers.com