Daisy Warner

Daisy Warner


July 19, 2023

Onboarding vs induction: Differences, importance, and more

Read more about the differences between onboarding and induction, their importance, how to execute them remotely, how to elevate each process and more.

Onboarding vs induction: Differences, importance, and more

As a HR professional, induction and onboarding will be two key parts of welcoming a new hire to the team. You may use these terms interchangeably, or you only use one or the other. However, they both differ in terms of what they entail and why they are important.

This article looks at how they differ, how it varies in remote first companies and their importance. It also looks at how to elevate each part of the process and an overview of how they differ to orientation and training. 

How does induction and onboarding differ?

There are some key differences between the two processes including:

Steps to introduce and prepare candidates 

An induction aims to welcome a new person to the company by providing them with essential information during a presentation to begin their new role. Inductions ensure that a person feels settled into their new position and their team.

Whereas onboarding is the complete transition from being a new starter to a fully trained member of the team. Onboarding aims to equip people with the tools and information to perform their roles successfully and a thorough process has been shown to enhance productivity by over 70%.

Tasks required

Induction may require form filling of personal and payroll information, sign up forms for employee benefits, integration with the tech tools used at the company and completing any safety or other initial training.

Onboarding may involve mentoring or buddy schemes to facilitate understanding of role and the organisation, provide key information surrounding the job responsibilities and company values, and introduce to workplace culture, colleagues and managers.


Depending on the role and company, inductions typically begin on the first day of a new person joining and may exceed to their full first week. Meanwhile, onboarding may start before a person’s first day and last for their first weeks or months.

For HR departments it can feel like a mighty task to organise and execute onboarding and induction effectively, aswell creating and managing a new employee’s contracts alongside other legal tasks. Book a demo with Legislate to streamline the contract management process.

Importance of induction and onboarding 

Inductions provides employees with full oversight of the company’s founding, values, learning and development, DEI, and health and safety policies. A clear induction process helps employees have a smooth transition into the company.

Onboarding is important because it helps employees adapt to the new company and their colleagues. It also helps familiarise them with the organisation’s expectations and resources available to complete their job. 

New employees are more likely to be committed and will be happier overall if employers take the time to welcome and onboard them. A strong onboarding process will improve new hire retention by over 80%.  

How do these processes differ in remote first companies? 

Onboarding and induction can be performed online, and it is important that employers equip remote workers correctly. Remote onboarding and induction will usually occur via video or phone interaction. It is important that the HR team, line manager, mentor, or buddy always has an open line of communication with the new hire to answer any concerns or questions. 

It may be helpful to have an online platform containing all onboarding administration, communication and induction materials to ensure the person has all necessary resources. The remote onboarding process will generally be self-driven and require some self-learning.

Hosting virtual meetings and conversations with the whole team can help a person feel connected wherever they are based and ensure their employee experience before, during, and after onboarding and induction is positive. 

How to elevate induction experience? 

  • Prepare in advance: Contact the new joiner before their induction to inform them when to come to the office or when they should be online, and anything they may need to do to prepare.
  • Initial introductions: Welcome your new hire, and introduce them to people on their team. While it can be overwhelming for a new joiner to meet lots of people it is important they have familiar faces they can reach out to. Consider having an in person or virtual breakfast/ lunch to enable them to meet people in a relaxed setting.
  • Be available and provide support: When starting out in a new role a person may have a number of questions relating to all aspects of their position in the team and the wider company. 

How to elevate onboarding experience? 

  • Prepare in advance: Remain in close contact after the job offer and be open to any questions. Provide key information and expectations for the role, and any initial reading required.
  • Provide structure: Structure the entire onboarding process with an agenda and timetable so the new hire can know what to expect and prepare accordingly. Employers should be mindful of not bombarding new joiners with too much information early on so may spread out training sessions.
  • Make it interactive and fun: Try to make the learning experience a bit more enjoyable, for example using training videos or interactive tests. By using a screen recorder you can easily make training videos which will save time, and also it will be helpful to watch them repeatedly. And by interactive tasks, it could be helpful to assign certain training tasks to different members of the team so they can meet colleagues.
  • Use a buddy scheme: Pairing up a new hire with someone can make them feel more comfortable when asking questions and provide reassurances. 
  • Regular check-ins: Check how a new hire is getting on and make sure they have everything they need throughout the process to ensure they feel supported. Invite them to provide feedback or fill in a survey after their onboarding to gauge what went well and what could have been improved.

.vs orientation 

Orientation refers to the initial introduction new joiners receive to their role, colleagues, and the company. An effective orientation programme provides people all the necessary information they need to know on their first day. Orientation typically prepares people for their training. 

.vs training

Training helps a new joiner understand the specific tasks required to complete the job. It may also include learning new skills and procedures and understanding the tools and equipment more in order to be fully prepared for the role. 

Training typically lasts for a few weeks, although some roles may require more ongoing training for a long period such as a few months. 


Legislate is a contract management platform that empowers scaling businesses to take control of their legal contracts. This allows HR departments to focus on the higher value aspects of their work, making the contracting process much more efficient and increasing their overall job satisfaction. Book a demo or sign up today.

The opinions on this page are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice on which you should rely.

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