Onboarding with a Purpose

By March 19, 2019 Featured

The average cost to onboard a Direct Support Professional is estimated to be around $2,500. If a company hires 100 Direct Support Professionals a year, they are spending a quarter of a million dollars on just onboarding staff. Let that cost sink in. What if agencies had a tool to assist in detouring potential staff who do not quite understand the job duties from onboarding in the first place?

Our system, I-TRAIN, has been proven to assist agencies in weeding out staff who should never onboard. So why does that matter? More importantly, why is it important to make sure potential staff understand the role they will soon play?


The average turnover rate for staff in the disability services industry is 30-40%. Compared to many other fields, this rate is outrageous. It could be due to the pay of the job versus the responsibility. It could also be due to the intensity that the position often entails. Or it could simply be due to the fact that the job of Direct Support Professionals is commonly misunderstood. Those who are hired rarely understand what goes into it until they are already on the payroll.

Staff Demographics

Although this varies, typically a large portion of staff are college-aged individuals who have decided to enter into employment. They find that this job can be used as experience or a reference while they pursue a career in special education, social services, therapeutic interventions or anything in between. As these individuals begin employment and realize the intensity for which some duties might entail, it is easy for them to bow out and leave the job before even getting started.


While it is impossible to completely eliminate the chance of this happening, it is possible to put tools in place to assist your company in reducing turnover. I-TRAIN is your solution to training Direct Support Professionals. The first module in the list of our curriculum listed for trainees to complete is the “Are you Ready” module.

This module was requested from a state representative who wanted staff beginning employment in the disability services field to fully understand what the job duties entail. It is currently used by I-TRAIN agencies during their onboarding process.

Before agencies pay for background checks, TB tests, or even have them complete CPR/First Aid training, they send their staff through the “Are you Ready” module. Once this module is completed, staff have all of the information in front of them to decide, “Am I ready to be a Direct Support Professional?”

Final Thoughts

In an industry where costs and turnover are high and budgets are low, it is crucial to utilize tools such as I-TRAIN. Understanding the demographics of those you are hiring, making sure to educate them on the job duties so they fully understand the expectations, and giving them the tools to effectively train are simple tasks which significantly affect the agency’s profit margin. In addition, a training module such as the “Are you Ready”  module lays out this information and allows your potential employees to truly decide if they are ready to become a Direct Support Professional.

For more information on I-TRAIN’s “Are you Ready” module please download our free pre-onboarding resource below or book a demo today.

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