Cost Savings for Employee Onboarding when using a Virtual Knowledge Sharing Platform
International companies harness the power of centralised knowledge sharing and real-time enablement to onboard their new hires no matter where they are. They capitalise on their new employees' enthusiasm for a fast and efficient start. It's not just about convenience; it's about building a cohesive culture among new and existing employees in a geographically dispersed or remote workforce.
In other words – it’s a goodbye to geographical limitations, costly in-person sessions, and outdated materials.
With a virtual knowledge sharing platform, you gain scalability, compliance, security, and an immediate ROI, all within an easy-to-use, plug-and-play, brand-aligned interface. Let’s break all of these benefits down for you. For a more detailed insight into the tangible cost savings, scroll down to the bottom of this page.
Why does it matter?
Given the alarming reality that half of all new hires contemplate leaving their jobs early— a number that soars to 80% for those who feel inadequately trained due to poor onboarding—it's evident that the process matters. A Paychex survey reveals that 52% of newcomers feel undertrained post-onboarding, a sentiment that is even more prevalent among small companies at 66% and among remote workers at 63%.
However, there's a silver lining. A separate study indicates that 51% of employees are willing to exceed job expectations if they undergo a satisfactory onboarding experience. It's worth noting that disengaged employees can cost a company up to 18% of their annual salary, and this disengagement often leads to attrition. Now, let's dive into how these findings translate into tangible benefits for your organisation.
Boosted Efficiency, Sooner Productivity, Greater Savings
Leverage the advantage of inviting your new hires into a virtual mirroring of your company even before they officially come on board. A virtual knowledge sharing platform bridges the initial awkwardness and learning curve by granting them early access to acquaint themselves with future colleagues, delve into company processes, grasp sales strategies, and align with the organisation's mission. Such proactive learning sets the stage for informed and confident decision-making right from the outset.
A tangible benefit? Companies leveraging such platforms have witnessed a remarkable 30% reduction in the time typically required for a new hire to attain full productivity. What might have taken 10 weeks now only consumes 7 weeks, thanks to the possibility of early, facilitated immersion.
Let's break down the numbers:
According to the latest indicator from Eurostat, an entity under the European Union, the average annual full-time adjusted salary for employees in the EU was €33,500 in 2021, with the highest recorded annual salaries in Luxembourg (€72,200) and Denmark (€63,300).
We will use an estimated annual salary based on statistics from France, Denmark, Luxembourg, Sweden, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, Finland, and Austria, equivalent to €50,840. If we only factored in salaries for ‘office workers’ (white-collar workers) as well as general salary increase in 2022 and 2023, it is anticipated that the numbers would be even higher.Ramp-Up Time Savings: Early-access enables new hires to hit the ground running, effectively reducing the time to full productivity by as much as 30%. That's nearly three weeks saved of the first critical 10 weeks, amounting to €2,931 per new hire based on the average salary.
Enhanced Productivity: This aspect focuses on how well your employees contribute to business objectives following their training. Factor in the potential 10% uptick in productivity across the full first year of employment due to swift onboarding, available training, and enablement materials from across the organisation, and you're pocketing an extra €5,084 for every new recruit. This is obviously under the assumption that the new hire will not quit during the first year.
Direct Costs: Skipping the logistical hassles of traditional methods results in saved time, conference room bookings, travel, accommodation, printed materials, and administrative overhead. Virtual onboarding equates to approximately €1,238 in saved opportunity cost.
Operational Efficiency: On average, let's assume that 40 hours of HR time are spent per new hire in a traditional onboarding process. This includes paperwork, orientation, manual data entry, and face-to-face training sessions. Assuming the average hourly wage for an HR professional is €30, the cost per new hire would be €1,200 (40 hours x €30).
Adding these together, your total projected savings per new hire stands at €10,192, an aggregate of €2,931 (compressed ramp-up time), €5,084 (heightened productivity the first employment year), €977 (direct costs), and €1,200 (operational efficiency). When you scale this across multiple hires and international locations, the financial advantage of a virtual onboarding platform becomes overwhelmingly clear.
Tangible Gains from Virtual Employee Onboarding
Let's consider an organisation that hires 5 new employees per month with an average monthly salary of €4,237. Reducing the ramp-up time by one month for each of these employees would result in a saving of 5 hires x €4,237/month x 12 months per year, or €254,220. These aren't just theoretical numbers; they are real-world savings that your business could be missing out on without a centralised, virtual knowledge-sharing platform.
Scalability: No Boundaries, No Limits
Imagine you're hiring 50 new employees across multiple continents. Instead of investing in separate training programs, rooms, and instructors for each location, you upload your onboarding material once, and it's accessible to everyone that should have access to it. This knowledge sharing can reduce costs by thousands of Euros in travel, accommodation, and material printing. This level of scalability is a cornerstone of "knowledge sharing" and a way to future-proof your company.
Brand Alignment: An Intangible Asset with Tangible Impact
A study by Deloitte reveals a concerning gap between perception and reality when it comes to organisational culture. Only 19% of executives and a mere 15% of employees strongly feel that their company culture is consistently maintained across the organisation. With a brand-aligned virtual experience, you’re not just onboarding employees; you're integrating them into the fabric of your company, which can translate to a productivity increase worth 10-25%, equivalent to €12,500 for an employee with an annual €50,840 salary.
Your new hires will log into a virtual environment styled with your company's logo, colour scheme, ethos, and even a digital version of your company’s HQ. This branded experience fosters a sense of belonging from day one and is a critical "enablement" tool for aligning employees with your corporate culture. This is especially true for remote workers, as research by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), found that there's a notable disconnect between remote workers and their supervisors. Specifically, 42% of managers admit to occasionally overlooking remote employees when delegating tasks.
Research from both the Queens School of Business and the Gallup Organisation underscores the profound impact of employee engagement on various performance metrics. In companies with disengaged workers, absenteeism rose by 37%, accidents increased by 49%, and errors and defects spiked by 60%. These organisations also saw a decline in productivity by 18%, profitability by 16%, job growth by 37%, and their share price plummeted by 65% over time. In contrast, companies with highly engaged employees received twice as many job applications, indicating a more attractive work environment.
Through these tangible examples, it's clear how a knowledge sharing and enablement platform offers not just financial savings, but also increases efficiency and minimises ramp-up time.
Compliance: One Standard, Zero Worries
If you operate in the financial sector, one single compliance mistake can cost upwards of €50,000 in penalties. A standardised onboarding process ensures all employees get uniform compliance training. This minimises risks and potential costs associated with compliance errors.
Having a centralised knowledge sharing platform ensures every employee, whether in Paris or Tokyo, gets the same compliance training. This level of standardisation is crucial for international companies and makes audits a breeze.
So, not only are you significantly reducing the risk of a €50,000 mistake, but you're also making your entire operation more efficient, accountable, and ready to withstand scrutiny from regulators.
Employee Retention: Hold Onto Talent
With the aforementioned average annual salary, it costs approximately €6,130 to hire a new employee as it is commonly agreed that the hiring process (scouting, interviewing, and appointing people) takes around 44 days. On top of this, it typically takes from five to eight months for a newly hired employee to reach full productivity.
Improved retention rates mean you have to go through this costly and lengthy process less often. This is critically important as 20% of employees leave within the first 45 days of employment.
A seamless onboarding process through a virtual knowledge sharing platform can improve retention by up to 25% as new hires feel supported and engaged from day one, which goes hand in hand with how employees rank intangible elements such as regular and candid communication and access to management the highest in terms of ‘culture-building’.
Intellectual Capital: Store Today, Benefit Tomorrow
The value of a best practice found by a veteran employee can be hard to quantify but is immensely valuable. By capturing this on a digital and on-demand platform, new hires can implement these best practices immediately, possibly saving hours of work each week. Let's say it improves efficiency by just 5%; for an employee with an annual €50,840 salary, that's €2,542 saved per year.
Say an experienced team member discovers a more efficient method to approach a common company task. This "knowledge sharing" can be captured and stored on the platform, thereby enabling future hires to learn this best practice during their onboarding, ultimately leading to a ‘compounding effect’ both in terms of new hires benefitting of the particular ‘tip’ but also in terms of employees and colleagues being able to distribute their valuable learnings to perform a given job or role at the company even better (also see next chapter).
According to a Harvard Business School study involving eighty-three executives, the daily cost attributed to a variety of people-related issues was evaluated on a scale from $0 to $20,000. 'Time wasted in unproductive meetings' emerged as a significant concern, ranking third in the list of costly 'people problems.' The average daily loss attributed to this issue was $8,000. This highlights the need for a solution that offers on-demand flexibility while still allowing for live meetings when they are beneficial, ultimately leveraging intellectual capital in the best and most time-preserving manner.
In a practical onboarding setup for a sizable corporation, imagine starting with a 'main stage' welcome session where the CEO greets 10 new employees via a tailored, department-centric video. Following this, the new hires would transition to a live meeting led by the department head, offering a personalised introduction. After that, newcomers would be directed to watch pre-recorded videos that are specific to their individual roles. These videos would serve as a springboard, enabling them to explore additional content related to their particular job responsibilities. Once they've absorbed this role-specific information, they'd return to the virtual scene where the welcome session originated, to receive further instructions for the next stages of their onboarding journey, which could continue to be virtually, hybrid, or physical.
Continuous Learning and Best Demonstrative Practices (BDP) Across the Organisation
This isn't a one-time benefit. The platform fosters an environment for continuous learning and the constant utilisation of Best Demonstrative Practices (BDP) throughout the organisation. Whether it's for up-skilling current employees, education and training initiatives, or optimising existing working capital, the value of shared knowledge compounds over time, becoming an invaluable asset for the company's future.
What does this translate to on a yearly basis per employee?
In terms of a culture of Continuous Learning and Best Demonstrative Practices (BDP), consider the costs of up-skilling, which can run into thousands of euros per employee per year. Through a virtual platform's central repository of BDPs, employees have immediate access to best practices and educational resources, reducing the need for external training programs or consultants.
Also, the value of avoiding mistakes or sub-optimal practices, thanks to BDPs, can also add up. While hard to quantify, even saving one hour a week of an employee's time would result in a yearly savings of around €1,300, assuming a 40-hour workweek and 52 weeks in a year.
Documentation: Streamlined Onboarding with Built-in Accountability that Meets LMS Integration
Maintaining accurate and comprehensive records of your employee onboarding process is not just best practice—it's essential for compliance, performance evaluation, and quality assurance. A knowledge sharing platform needs to excel in this by integrating with existing Learning Management Systems (LMS) to fetch particular learning modules into a single, unified platform.
Through this integration, a secure, organised space where all onboarding materials, checklists, and progress reports are readily available. This ensures a seamless and accountable onboarding experience. Each stage of the onboarding process—from training modules completed to evaluations and assessments—is automatically documented.
This high level of documentation serves multiple purposes. For HR and team leads, it provides invaluable data to identify areas for improvement. From a compliance perspective, it minimises the risk of regulatory infringements and legal complications. In a landscape where regulations and expectations are continually evolving, integrating LMS capabilities into our platform isn't just a feature; it's a strategic enablement tool that safeguards your organisation's reputation and operational integrity.
Dynamic Content Update: Always On, Always Current
Outdated sales pitches or obsolete product information can lead to lost deals, perhaps costing €10,000 or more per missed opportunity. Real-time updates ensure everyone is working with the most current and accurate information, thereby avoiding such costly mistakes.
Based on research by Gartner, when it comes to purchasing intricate B2B solutions, the decision-making group usually consists of six to ten individuals. Each of these decision-makers comes equipped with four to five independently gathered pieces of information that must be reconciled within the team. Again, this underlines the need for having a platform with updated content available to both new hires as well as for colleagues who have been in the role for longer.
In an extensive analysis involving over 2.5 million documented sales discussions, covering both straightforward and intricate sales scenarios, the data revealed that 40% to 60% of prospective deals eventually fall through. Despite customers initially indicating a willingness to make a purchase, these deals often do not come to fruition.
If a product feature changes, the associated training materials should be updated instantly and become easily available to all relevant stakeholders, especially those selling the products and services. This "enablement" feature ensures that everyone from sales to customer service is on the same page, making your operation more cohesive and efficient.
Real-Time Analytics: Data-Driven Decisions
Understanding your onboarding effectiveness can save future costs. For example, if analytics show that 90% of the new hires struggle with a specific module, you can quickly adapt it, saving the time and productivity lost in additional training sessions.
You can instantly see how many of your new hires have seen their onboarding material and how much time they spent on each module. This level of data can inform future "knowledge sharing" strategies and contribute to overall organisational efficiency.
6 Most Important Employee Onboarding Features
Handcrafted features specifically made to enhance employee onboarding.
Enable effective communication and engagement with diverse audiences, breaking down language barriers and ensuring an inclusive experience for all.
Organise, curate, and deliver relevant and personalised content to the audience, enhancing engagement, and knowledge sharing.
Increase in Productivity and Sharing of Knowledge
"Using Virtual Hive to onboard our new hires before their official start date has been a game-changer for us. The early introduction has streamlined our entire process, reducing ramp-up time by almost three weeks per new hire. The platform lets them familiarise themselves with our team, culture, and key processes—making them productive contributors from day one. It's not just a time-saver; it's a strategic advantage."
Breaking down the cost elements involved in traditional onboarding
Direct Costs: Quantifiable Cost Reductions
A typical onboarding process often consists of 5-10 different courses, usually a mix of physical and digital meetings. With our virtual platform, the majority of these can easily be converted into virtual sessions, adding another layer of efficiency and cost-saving to your onboarding process.
With printed onboarding material (€18 per employee), conference room bookings (€360 for 4 hours), travel and accommodation for both trainers or new hires (€900 per individual), logistics and administrative costs (€180 per onboarding session), equipment and supplies (€30 per employee), and welcome packages (€20 per employee), a traditional onboarding process might cost you around €1,508 per new hire. In contrast, a virtual platform has a subscription model that averages around €270 per new hire in total (82% less) – but the main difference is that it mostly consists of licence subscription (which becomes cheaper the more onboardings) and the time of administrator in setting up content on the platform (most content can be reused and redistributed as the onboarding processes are fairly consistent).
Not only do you save on tangible costs, but there's also a lesser-known benefit: a reduced carbon footprint. By minimising the need for physical travel—whether it's by plane, taxi, or other means—you are not just saving money but also making a positive impact on the environment.
Estimated Direct Cost Savings: €1,238 per employee.
Efficiency: Optimised Training Processes
Bypassing the logistical challenges of traditional onboarding means a direct saving in terms of time. For a new hire with an average salary of €50,840 per year, every week saved on onboarding translates into roughly €977 saved in opportunity costs.
In traditional onboarding models, it's estimated that HR professionals spend about 40 hours on each new employee. This time is consumed by tasks like processing paperwork, organising orientations, manually entering data, and conducting in-person training. Given that the average hourly wage for HR staff is €30, the total cost for onboarding a single new employee in this manner equates to €1,200 (calculated as 40 hours multiplied by €30).
Estimated Process Savings: 1 week less HR activities, equal to €1,200.
Reduced Ramp-Up Time and Early Onboarding
Our platform allows new hires to be invited to the virtual company universe months and weeks before their official start date which translates to faster time-to-productivity. This early exposure can further reduce ramp-up time, as the new hire can familiarise themselves with colleagues, internal processes, sales pitches, and organisational strategies, leading to more informed decision-making from day one.
Companies have reported a 30% reduction in the time it takes for a new hire to become fully productive, equaling around three weeks for the average role.
Additionally, if we consider the faster time-to-value, meaning that employees are not just working but actively contributing value to the company, the savings could be even more significant. For instance, if we assume a 10% increase in productivity or value addition across the first year of employment due to faster onboarding, that's an additional saving of €5,084 per new hire.
Estimated Savings: Three weeks of quicker productivity at an average salary of €50,840 per year would mean about €2,933 saved per new hire + 10% increase in productivity equal to €5,084, totalling €8,017.
Summary of Calculated Savings:
The estimated total savings per new hire are as follows:
- Direct Costs: €1,238
- Operational Efficiency: €1,200
- Reduced Ramp-Up Time: €2,933
- Increased Productivity: €5,084
Total Estimated Savings Per New Hire: €10,453
The 20.56% savings on the average annual salary per new hire during their first year of employment amplifies when applied across numerous hires and multiple international locations.
The financial benefits become even more apparent when you factor in scenarios like 'reboarding,' where employees returning from extended leaves such as parental leave also benefit from streamlined processes. Moreover, this doesn't even account for the opportunities to up-skill your existing workforce, essential both for employee retention and for keeping pace with ever-changing market demands.
It's essential to acknowledge that maintaining the platform will require a dedicated administrator, costing around an average annual salary of €50,840. However, when considering the savings of €10,453 per new hire made possible by the platform, the investment starts to pay off with more than 8 hires per year. This breakeven point takes into account both the licensing fees for the platform and the full-time salary for the administrator responsible for ensuring the content remains current and relevant.
Leading companies are beginning to increase content re-use, lower incremental costs, and reduce overall compliance risk.
Being able to engage with clients much more quickly
"Not only have our remote employees received consistent and thorough training, but they've also been able to engage with clients much more quickly and effectively. We're now confident that everyone on our team, no matter where they're located, is on the same page."