In an industry with growing demand, yet high turnover, staff retention is a key topic of conversation within organizations. As ABA providers strive to attract and retain top talent, it is crucial to ensure that new hires are provided with a positive onboarding and training experience. The onboarding process is the first impression new employees have of an organization, and it sets the tone for their future engagement and productivity. A positive onboarding and training experience can significantly impact employee satisfaction and subsequently, retention.

Make a strong first impression

Each new employee is an investment in your organization. Recruiting new RBTs, BCBAs, and administrative staff requires time, money, and resources. Don’t let that all go to waste once they’re in the door. Organizations with a strong onboarding process can improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%. Making a strong first impression during this process is vital.


You can make a strong first impression by


  • Creating a welcoming environment
  • Having a quick, streamlined onboarding process
  • Building rapport with the new employee–getting to know who they are and what their professional goals are
  • Clearly communicating the plan and expectations prior to an employee’s first day
  • Providing sufficient opportunities for the employee to ask questions and provide feedback
  • Assigning a peer mentor to support the new employee

Set clear goals and measures for success

Starting a new job, whether one is an experienced ABA professional or brand new to the field, can be overwhelming. Every company has different processes and expectations. Clarifying what new staff can expect throughout the onboarding and training process can significantly improve their experience and set the tone for employment with your organization.


Leveraging technology to support new staff through training can’t be understated. Using a learning management system, you can clearly outline training expectations and the measures necessary for success. Trumpet Behavioral Health, a provider of behavioral health services in 43 centers across seven states, uses CR Institute to streamline its new hire process. Trumpet hires anywhere from 100-150 new therapists each week for their growing organization, with low turnover rates. Dr. Amber Valentino, Chief Clinical Officer of Trumpet Behavioral Health shared:

“Our turnover is quite low, and we can get people through our new hire process quickly. For me to say CR Institute is operating smoothly is a big deal because we have a lot of people navigating the system successfully and it’s very intuitive. We can see new staff are getting through training faster with CR Institute.”

To learn more about how Trumpet Behavioral Health creates a positive onboarding experience with CR Institute, take a look at our Trumpet Behavioral Health Case Study.

BCBAs working together with children

Incorporate blended training

Online training is often a necessary and helpful component of the training process for new hires. The 40-hour RBT course, mandated reporter training, and many others are typically provided online. However, it is beneficial to provide a blended learning experience. Allow new hires to shadow experienced staff as they proceed through their training and practice the skills hands-on with clients that they are learning in their online training. Demonstrating skills as they are learned, with feedback provided can improve the maintenance of knowledge and skills.

Provide support throughout the onboarding journey

Support makes all the difference. Ensure there is a dedicated support individual for each new hire’s onboarding journey. Your new staff should know who to contact with questions, concerns, and clarifications on the next steps.


Additionally, plan for a smooth transition from training to the start of taking on cases. Completing a set of trainings and overlaps does not necessarily indicate that staff are ready to start cases. Have a process to ensure staff demonstrate key competencies before taking on clients. Additionally, ensure that staff within their first six months are receiving extra supervision, guidance, and regular check-ins.

Ready to Elevate Your Onboarding Process?

Utilizing a solution like CR Institute, you can engage with your workforce, provide content to help your staff accomplish mandatory onboarding and training, and check employee knowledge by creating interactive, easy-to-update courses. Whether onboarding staff or delivering specific training, you can leverage content to keep learners engaged.