Survey: New Executives Receive Little or No Onboarding

Executives in the U.S. and Canada report lower rates of onboarding than other geographic areas.
By: | March 25, 2019 • 2 min read

A new global study finds a majority of U.S. executives received no formal workplace onboarding in their most recent roles.

The survey by BlueSteps, the executive career service of the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants, was based on a survey of more than 1,400 executives worldwide, including more than 300 in the U.S.

The survey also found executives in the U.S. were 35 percent less likely to receive formal onboarding compared to the global average. And when it comes to grading onboarding experiences on a scale of 1 to 100, executives in the U.S. rate theirs as mediocre with an average score of 59.


Of those executives who did have a formal onboarding:

  • Less than one third (30 percent) of U.S. executives received guidelines on social media or corporate brand responsibility as part of their onboarding process; and
  • Only 42 percent of U.S. executives received any IT training or protocol as part of their onboarding process.

The study found a variance between those who receive a formal onboarding from their organization both by career level and by location: Those in the Middle East and Africa are most likely to go through one, with 58 percent of executive leaders surveyed in the region reporting they had a formal onboarding process at the start of their most current role.

“Those least likely to have a formal onboarding are those in the U.S. and Canada,” the study’s authors note, “with only thirty-six percent reporting they had a formal onboarding process.”