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Survey on the implementation of onboarding programs for mid-career hires

Posted by en world Japan

6 months ago

71% of foreign capital companies and global Japanese companies implement onboarding programs for mid-career employees. 64% feel it’s effective.

en world Japan K.K. (headquarters: Chuo City, Tokyo, president: Vijay Deol), one of Japan’s largest recruiting firms specializing in global talent, conducted a survey of foreign capital companies and global Japanese companies on the implementation of onboarding programs for mid-career hires, and 239 companies responded.


Summary of the survey results

・71% of global companies implement onboarding programs for mid-career hires. 
・65% of companies that implement onboarding programs work hard to integrate mid-career hires. 
・The most common reason to implement onboarding was to quickly familiarize mid-career hires with the company. 
・64% of companies feel onboarding is effective. 
・The  largest percentage of companies implement regular communications for mid-career hires before they enter the company. 
・The most common responses from foreign capital companies and Japanese companies on the time spent on onboarding programs were two to three months and one month respectively. 
・The most common effort made by units (departments and teams)  that accept mid-career hires was to ask team members to support mid-career hires when they had difficulties at work. 
・The most common onboarding challenge was the shortage of human resources. 
・The most common reason not to implement onboarding was the inability to allocate human resources. 


Comments on the result

Takeshi Kitsunezaki, Vice President, Perm Recruiting Division
As companies in the US and Europe and foreign capital companies have been actively promoting onboarding, it has started to receive attention from many Japanese companies, it is because the era of the lifetime employment system has ended and career changes become more common. Onboarding supports the introduction of newly hired employees into an organization and also brings significant benefits to companies such as the development of new employees to make them work-ready at an early stage and the improvement of the retention rate. Though recruitment activities themselves and what kind of human resources to recruit are very important, the original purpose of recruitment is to retain employees and make them become active and contribute to an organization. Companies that understand the importance of onboarding and succeed in their onboarding efforts will become competitive organizations with excellent human resources.  


Details of the survey results

1. 71% of global companies implement onboarding programs for mid-career hires. (Fig. 1, Fig. 2, Fig. 3)

When we asked companies whether they knew about onboarding, a way to integrate newly hired employees into the organization and make them ready for work, 80% (foreign capital companies: 82%, Japanese companies: 75%) responded that they did. 

When asked whether they implemented onboarding programs for mid-career hires, 71% responded in the affirmative (foreign capital companies: 77%, Japanese companies: 61%). The percentage of foreign capital companies that implement such programs is higher than for Japanese companies by 16 points. 

[Fig. 1] Are you aware of onboarding, a way to integrate newly hired employees into the organization and make them ready for work?


[Fig. 2] Do you implement onboarding programs for mid-career hires?



The largest percentage (55%) of companies implement onboarding programs both face-to-face and online (foreign capital companies: 54%, Japanese companies: 56%). The percentage of foreign capital companies that implement onboarding programs online is higher than for Japanese companies by  21 points (foreign capital companies: 36%, Japanese companies: 15%).

[Fig. 3] How are you currently implementing onboarding programs for mid-career hires?



2.65% of companies that implement onboarding programs work hard to integrate mid-career hires. (Fig. 4)

We asked companies whether they worked hard to implement onboarding programs and integrate mid-career hires, and  65% (foreign capital companies: 71%, Japanese companies: 51%) responded in the affirmative (“working very hard” and “working somewhat hard”). The percentage of foreign capital companies that responded in the affirmative is higher than Japanese companies by 20 points.

[Fig. 4] Are you working hard to integrate mid-career hires through onboarding programs?

3.The most common reason to implement onboarding was to quickly familiarize mid-career hires with the company. (Fig. 5)

We asked companies why they implemented onboarding programs for mid-career hires, and the most common reason was to familiarize them with the company as soon as possible. The second most common reason was to produce results at work as soon as possible.

[Fig. 5] Why do you implement onboarding programs for mid-career hires? (Multiple answers allowed)



4.64% of companies feel onboarding is effective. (Fig. 6, Fig. 7)

We asked companies whether onboarding programs for mid-career hires was effective, and 64% (foreign capital companies: 70%, Japanese companies: 50%) responded in the affirmative (somewhat effective and highly effective). The percentage of foreign capital companies that responded in the affirmative was higher than for Japanese companies by 20 points. The most common reason was that mid-career hires quickly familiarized themselves with the company.


[Fig. 6] Do you feel onboarding programs for mid-career hires are effective?


[Fig. 7] Please respond if you feel onboarding is highly effective or somewhat effective. Why do you think so?



5.The  largest percentage of companies implement regular communications for mid-career hires before they enter the company. (Fig. 8)

We asked companies what kind of onboarding programs they implemented for mid-career hires before they joined the company, and the largest percentage chose “regular communications to check on them.” 

The percentage of Japanese companies that chose “no program implemented before joining the company“ is higher than for foreign capital companies by 15 points (foreign capital companies: 20%, Japanese companies: 35%). The results show that the percentage of Japanese companies that do not implement an onboarding program for mid-career hires was higher than for foreign capital companies.

[Fig. 8] What kind of onboarding programs do you implement for mid-career hires before they join you?  (Multiple answers allowed)



6.The most common responses from foreign capital companies and Japanese companies on the time spent on onboarding programs were two to three months and one month respectively. (Fig. 9, Fig. 10)

We asked companies how much time they spent on onboarding after mid-career hires joined them. The largest percentage of foreign capital companies chose “2-3 months” (foreign capital companies: 40%, Japanese companies: 25%)  and the largest percentage of Japanese companies chose “-1 month” (foreign capital companies: 36%, Japanese companies: 50%).

We asked what kind of onboarding programs they implemented, and the largest percentage chose “interviews with the supervisor” (foreign capital companies: 73%, Japanese companies: 68%) and “induction training” (foreign capital companies: 78%, Japanese companies: 55%). The difference in the percentage between foreign capital companies and Japanese companies was the largest in “tasks such as e-learning.” The percentage of foreign capital companies that chose it was higher than for Japanese companies by 38 points (foreign capital companies: 56%, Japanese companies: 18%). 

[Fig. 9] How much time do you spend on onboarding programs for mid-career hires after they join you?



[Fig. 10] What kind of onboarding programs do you implement after mid-career hires join you? (Multiple answers allowed)



7.The most common effort made by units (departments and teams)  that accept mid-career hires was to ask team members to support mid-career hires when they had difficulties at work. (Fig. 11)

We asked companies what kind of onboarding effort the units (departments and teams) made, and the most common response was to ask team members to support them when they have difficulties at work (Foreign capital companies: 70%, Japanese companies: 72%).

[Fig. 11] What kind of onboarding effort do the units (departments, teams, etc.) that accept mid-career hires make? (Multiple answers allowed)



8. The most common onboarding challenge was the shortage of human resources. (Fig. 12, Fig. 13)

We asked companies what was their greatest challenge, and the largest percentage responded that it was the shortage of human resources (Foreign capital companies: 63%, Japanese companies: 54%).

 We asked companies that implemented onboarding online (working from home, remote working) or both face-to-face and online what was the online onboarding challenge, and the largest percentage responded that it took time to establish a relationship with employees (foreign capital companies: 54%, Japanese companies: 61%). 

[Fig. 12] What is the greatest challenge in onboarding programs for mid-career hires? (Multiple answers allowed)

[Fig. 13] Please respond if you implement online onboarding programs. What is the online onboarding challenge? (Multiple answers allowed)


9.The most common reason not to implement onboarding was the inability to allocate human resources. (Fig. 14)

We asked why some companies did not implement onboarding programs, and the largest percentage responded that they could not allocate human resources (Foreign capital companies: 50%, Japanese companies: 71%).

[Fig. 14] Please respond if you do not implement onboarding programs for mid-career hires. Why is that? (Multiple answers allowed)




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[Outline of the survey]
Survey method: Online survey
Area: Japan
Number of valid answers: 239 companies
Period: March 29 - April 2, 2021
Respondent attribute: Foreign capital companies 63%, Japanese companies 37%
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About en world Japan (https://www.enworld.com/)

en world Japan is a recruiting firm established in 1999 specializing in global human resources with offices in four countries in the Asia-Pacific region. We specialize in supporting Foreign Capital Companies and global Japanese companies in recruiting human resources for middle to high level positions. We help companies with recruitment and job seekers with career changes from every angle by staffing full-time workers, contract professionals, and executive human resources and providing recruitment process outsourcing solutions.

Contact information for inquiries about this news release
en world Japan K.K.  PR representative
Email : enworld-pr@enworld.com
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