Difference Between Orientation and Onboarding

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: May 14, 2023


Difference Between Orientation and Onboarding

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In addition to giving a new hire a good start, a warm welcome assures that they will work for the company with vigor, passion, loyalty, and devotion over the long run. The organization runs an orientation program to tell the new hire the fundamental information about the organization, such s its mission, vision, Objectives, policies, etc. On the other hand, during onboarding, the employee learns about his or her position within the organization as well as all other information pertinent to the position.

A formal training session with an in-person presentation requirement is part of an orientation. On the other hand, onboarding entails socialization, directing, and both formal and informal instruction. The primary distinction between orientation and onboarding is that orientation comes before onboarding.

Orientation vs Onboarding

Onboarding and orientation share the same objective of assisting employees as they adjust to their new roles, but they differ slightly. The goal of orientation is to provide employees with the critical knowledge they need right away during a brief, uncomplicated introduction. Consider it a crash lesson in how to launch your business successfully. Every new employee receives essentially the same training, with a few minor variations that can be role-specific.

With continual assistance, new hires are nurtured during onboarding to help them better understand their position within the organization. It helps them feel more at ease in their roles and is highly individualized for each person. The onboarding process can be adjusted to take into account the fact that every recruit learns at a different rate and has unique experiences, questions, and concerns.

Employee orientation often takes the form of a conference where recruits are given a wealth of information. Although there may be some interactive components, like tours and question-and-answer sessions, the main goal is to provide employees with the knowledge they need to start successfully. There are many distinct styles used during onboarding, frequently incorporating practical instruction. Depending on what each employee requires, it may take the shape of one-on-one training, group training, meetings with supervisors, or other tailored formats. Assessments are used to support the new employee based on their progression during onboarding as the new hire learns and develops their abilities.

The length of onboarding V. orientation varies depending on the objectives. It takes substantially less time than onboarding because new employee orientation is seen as a one-time event. On the first day, some businesses conduct a quick orientation that can last anywhere from a few hours to an entire day, while others stretch orientation across several days or even the first week. A program called onboarding normally lasts for the first 90 days of employment. Some businesses extend the onboarding period to the first six or twelve months. With a worker’s advancement, its length may also change. For a worker who needs extra assistance, for assistance, you might extend onboarding. Onboarding typically occurs before new hires officially start, whereas orientation begins on the first day of work for the employee. For example, you might write through welcome email or ask a new hire to complete some documentation ahead of time.

Difference Between Orientation and Onboarding in Tabular Form

MeaningA well-planned orientation introduces new hires to their work, peers, and the organization.A strategic procedure called onboarding involves integrating a new hire into the company’s culture.
InvolvesIntroducing the organization formally.A detailed explanation of the organization’s structure and functions.
Lasts up toLasts only a few days.One to three months or sometimes a year, depending from organization to organization.
Information ProvidedInformation that you need to know is offered.Information is provided that is specific to the function.
ObjectiveTo provide the new hire with the necessary equipment and fundamental knowledge to perform the job.Integrating a new employee into the culture of the organization.
ResultThe new employee is prepared for training.The new employee is prepared to help.

What Is Orientation?

A formal introduction to the organization, the workplace, and its culture, mission, vision, objectives, and values is provided to newly hired staff during an orientation course. It is expected to give the employee all the information they require to perform their job in the organization satisfactorily, including details on the company’s policies, job responsibilities, and other relevant information. Typically, orientation is held the first day or week after joining, during a conference-style event where all newly hired employees from various departments are gathered and the necessary information is presented. The information it offers is as follows:

  • Fundamental details concerning the daily work.
  • A summary of the company’s founding members, etc.
  • Mission, vision, goals, activities, services, etc.
  • Health and safety of employees, company rules, pay, and benefits, and attendance and vacation time.

Orientation is conducted to aid the employee in comprehending the requirements of the company, to make him comfortable in the position/ department/ team, to win the employee’s commitment, to remove any uncertainty and worry, to promote open communication, and to other purposes.

Points that are Accomplished During Employee Orientation

  • Reduces some of the anxieties that new employees experience on their first day.
  • Swiftly provides critical information to all new workers.
  • Helps personnel become familiar with the structure’s layout.
  • Quickly begins enhancing the culture of the firm.
  • Since it is essentially the same for all employees, it is simple to conduct.
  • Gives new workers the essential resources they need to get going right away.
  • Building connections with colleagues and coworkers.

Topics involved in Employee Orientation

  • Statements of mission, values, and vision and how they relate to personnel.
  • Company rules and regulations.
  • Safety measures
  • New hire documentation.
  • Building tour
  • Greetings from co-workers
  • Workstation arrangement
  • Instructions on how to use the tools and applications.
  • Creating logins, security clearances, and other specifications.
  • Additional new-hire training requirements.

Advantages of Orientation

  • Giving the new hires a physical tour of their new workplace and assisting them in adjusting. They benefit from having a general concept of where the relevant tools are located.
  • Providing new hires with information about company policies and procedures can help them to comply with the law and uphold organizational etiquette.
  • An organization can determine what a new hire needs with the aid of orientation. An HR person can promptly address and resolve issues when they are aware of the challenges a recruit confronts.
  • They feel more valued and have greater faith in the corporate culture when you put your attention on assisting new hires in setting into their new workplace.

What Is Onboarding?

The employee is thoroughly introduced to their concerned department’s duties during onboarding. It is a deliberate procedure that focuses on helping the new hire adjust to the new environment. The firm’s personnel acquisition, development, and retention strategy depends on it greatly. It is tailored to the needs of each person, taking into account their job, training, mentoring, and employee involvement. The employee gains an understanding of what is expected of him in terms of abilities, communication, skills, and attitude during the process.

A formal meeting, written materials, online and offline orientation, video conferencing, lectures, and other methods are used during onboarding. It typically orients expectations and performance, communicates your brand’s values and professional culture, and describes your target market, among other things. Managers might set offsite or frequent meetings to check in on their new hires. It enables you to make sure they feel at ease doing their jobs within the company.

Along with that, it entails furnishing them with the tools they need to do their jobs well as well as completing the necessary paperwork regarding labor law compliance. It aims to reduce labor turnover while raising staff commitment, satisfaction, and performance levels. An efficient onboarding process lasts up to a year and includes ongoing communication, employee feedback, and performance evaluation.

To accomplish the onboarding objective:

  • Before the employee starts working, send them a welcome package from the company and an onboarding schedule.
  • Make contact with the new hire to extend a warm welcome on behalf of a future manager or another senior corporate official.

These strategies can aid in making new hires feel prepared to begin work on their first day. The likelihood that your new workers will be keen to contribute their talents and passion to your company may be increased by identifying and executing training and onboarding procedures.

Points that are Accomplished During Employee Onboarding

  • Offers continuing assistance to assist new hires in integrating into the business.
  • Encourages the formation of early bonds between new hires and existing employees.
  • Accelerates the integration of new staff.
  • Increases productivity by assisting employees in learning their jobs more quickly by improving the applicant experience, which can help your business retain top talent.
  •  Boosts the confidence of new hires through consistent comments and support.
  • Clear awareness of job responsibilities and expectations decreases the likelihood of misunderstandings and confusion.

Topics involved in Employee Onboarding

  • Regular consultations with a manager.
  • Partner up with a coworker.
  • Instruction or training on particular job duties.
  • Projects for beginners or tests.
  • Evaluations to gauge the success of the new hire and designate additional training
  • Target setting.

Advantages of Onboarding

  • It’s usually a good idea to assist new hires with their assignments and inform them of their career options. You might also demonstrate to them how to accomplish it. It promotes the new hires’ engagement.
  • It aids in keeping employees. Miscommunications and misunderstandings tend to be reduced with effective onboarding programs. Additionally, it aids in their rapid acclimatization to their new surroundings.
  • New hires can learn their responsibilities and roles at work with the help of a successful onboarding program. It provides them with a clear understanding of what they must do. The bottom line of the business eventually benefits.
  • Programs for onboarding new employees help to lessen their stress at work. This is accomplished by outlining daily responsibilities and giving them resources to enhance their abilities. They are better able to understand the situation and attain their individual goals as a result.

Main Differences Between Orientation and Onboarding in Points

  • The term “orientation” refers to the process of introducing and guiding new hires as they acclimatize to their new surroundings, workplace, activities, etc. On the other hand, onboarding may be described as a strategy process that aids new hires in acquiring the necessary information, experience, attitude, and behavior to become devoted and competent members or insiders of the company.
  • As opposed to onboarding, which is a continuous process, orientation is a one-time event.
  • Onboarding lasts for a few months, however, in ideal circumstances an orientation lasts up to several days.
  • The company leaders that oversee orientation give the fundamentals of the business in a one-way process. On the other hand, onboarding involves two-way contact between several departments head during multiple sessions. Questions and experiences from the incumbent throughout time are encouraged during this process.
  • The employee learns about the company’s principles, rules, policies, processes, and other key information during orientation, which all workers are required to know. As opposed to onboarding, when the individual receives knowledge about the job/position from the management, supervisor, coworkers, and subordinates.
  • Location-wise, orientation is carried out in a classroom, conference room, or even online. Onboarding, however, takes occur at the employer’s location, and it does so while the person is working.
  • The fact that orientation is conducted in groups implies that all of the new hires are gathered together, and the program is organized in the manner of a conference. Onboarding, in contrast, is customized for each employee and his or her function.
  • The employees receive all the information they require during orientation, and it also oversees their use of practical resources like computers, systems, security access, etc. Customized information is given to the new employee during onboarding.
  • After orientation, the recruit will be prepared to participate in on-the-job training, whereas, after onboarding, the new hire will be prepared to make a valuable contribution.
  • The purpose of orientation is to provide the new employee with the core knowledge and tools needed to execute the job. Onboarding, in contrast, strives to integrate the new hire into the organizational culture.


It has been shown that a well-planned orientation and onboarding process aids the incumbent in understanding their responsibilities and settling into the workplace. The employee learns about his or her position within the company during orientation. In contrast, during onboarding, the employee learns about his or her position within the relevant department.


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"Difference Between Orientation and Onboarding." Diffzy.com, 2024. Mon. 20 May. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-orientation-and-onboarding>.

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