Knowing the Difference: Employee Orientation vs Employee Onboarding

Employee Orientation vs Employee Onboarding

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A common misconception that people have is that employee orientation and onboarding are one and the same. But the truth is, they’re two different procedures that aim to accomplish the same thing – getting your new hire settled into the firm. While both tasks have the same goal, they differ in their scope of work.

Orientations are a type of training to welcome your new hires, while onboarding is the process of getting them settled into the organization. In this article, we discuss the difference between these two critical services further. Continue reading to settle the debate between employee orientations vs employee onboarding.

What Makes Them Different?

Once your selected applicant has signed your job offer, on paper they’re now officially a part of your organization. They’ll need to go through the entire employee onboarding process to fully become a member of your company.

Getting new team members settled in will take weeks to months of training, which is the entire scope of the onboarding process. While orientations are a one-time training module to officially welcome new hires into your organization.

What is Orientation?

As soon as your new hire signs their documents, they’ll be given a schedule of when to report for work and when they’ll be oriented. The orientation is conducted to help fresh recruits get familiar with the company’s values, policies, and culture. Orientations can either be held online or face-to-face, but it’ll always be conducted in a classroom-like setting.

This event can serve as the official welcome for your new team member, but it’s also meant to equip the latest hires with the knowledge to effectively navigate their new environment. Orientations have the objective of equipping its attendees with pertinent company information.

Below are some of the goals that this engagement needs to accomplish:

  • Introduce the new hires to some key HR personnel
  • Give a brief background of the organization’s history, and subsidiaries if there are any.
  • Introduce the company’s values, mission, and vision
  • Give insights about the company’s culture
  • Discuss employee benefits, attendance, and leaves policies
  • Talk about the security, health, and safety standards of the firm
  • A guided tour of the workplace
  • A quick review of compensation dates
  • Discuss government benefits and tax deductions
  • Introduction of the company’s hierarchy model and key organization figures
  • Distribution of parking tags, company handbooks, and IDs
  • Review of IT and HR’s contact details

Think of orientations like a crash course about how your company works. These events are supposed to help keep new employees informed about what they’re entitled to, how to conduct themselves in the workplace, and give them an insight into the company’s culture.

Onboarding vs Orientation

What is Onboarding?

The onboarding process is a series of trainings that involve new employees getting introduced to the company’s system and becoming comfortable with it. This is a long process that will go through documentation, orientation, and ultimately, integration.

Onboarding is a critical HR process that can ensure employee retention. This is because a well-conducted onboarding process will equip your team with the right knowledge to perform their jobs in the organization. We’ve split up the onboarding process into categories for better understanding.


Before the employee’s first day, you’ll need your new hire to submit government requirements and any additional paperwork like a certificate of employment, a copy of their CV, and other documents you may need. Collecting these papers is a crucial step for your company because it’ll enroll your recruit to your system and ensure a timely disbursal of their compensation.

It’s best to get these requirements out of the way immediately because collecting all of these documents will take time, especially if they’re a fresh graduate. Gathering these vital papers earlier will also give you more time to verify the authenticity of the documents.

If the orientation will be held virtually, the devices that the company will lend the employee should be done around this time.


Orientation is the next step in the onboarding process. Your employee’s first day would usually be this training module. 

For companies holding their orientations in person, this is also where devices are distributed to recruits.


The training phase of your new employee can include personal development trainings before they’re deployed to their respective teams. This part of the onboarding process prepares your employees for their new responsibilities at your firm. You can also take this time to further instill the values of your company in your new hire through training.

Once your fresh talent has been introduced to their new team, the training phase will now begin. They’ll be taught how to perform their new tasks according to company standards, introduced to the project management system the firm employs, and the internal processes of the organization.

Your rookie is now fully immersed in their new workplace.


After some time, you’ll need to check up on your hires and see how well they’re settling in. A quick check-in to discuss any feedback, issues, or recommendations can be done in this phase.

This is the last part of the onboarding process.

How Can I Do Each One Effectively?

The employee onboarding process will take time and care to execute effectively. Each phase in the onboarding process is time-consuming for Human Resources. You can save on manpower by automating certain parts of the procedure to ensure the quality of onboarding.  

Partner with us at to automate the document collection stage of your onboarding process. By outsourcing this step, you and your HR team can focus on giving a great welcome to your new hire.

I’m In! What Do I Do Next?

We make it easy for you to hire the right people and build talent within your organization.

Contact us today to improve your selection and recruitment process.