How to ensure a good onboarding experience

A global survey of 4,000 employees from the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand, has revealed that two in five (42%) companies fail to provide basic tools, such as a computer, desk or phone, from day one of an individual’s employment.

This survey helps to highlight the importance of onboarding when it comes to engaging with a new starter. However, the poor experiences highlighted demonstrate that it is a global issue.

The global survey also revealed that 15% of employees said they had turned down a job offer due to the problems or issues faced during the onboarding process. This was closely followed by 10% leaving the job after only a few days and 9% leaving the job within months of starting.

This can have big cost implications in terms of recruitment time and resources, not to mention longer-term reputational problems and associated difficulties attracting and retaining new talent.

Top tips to help solve onboarding issues

  • Engage with onboardees

Don’t leave a communications vacuum between recruitment and employment. Issue offer letters, contracts and any supporting documents quickly and correctly.

  • Review your current process & gather feedback

Find out what works well and what could be improved. This should include obtaining feedback from existing employees about their experiences of starting in the new role and any problems encountered. The survey showed that employees are reluctant to raise issues about onboarding, with almost nine in 10 (88%) admitting they had not made a complaint about the onboarding process or their early days with a company.

  • Decide who is responsible for onboarding

This responsibility is often shared between recruitment, HR and hiring managers, which can create problems in itself. Decide who is going to oversee the process and then make sure all the relevant people know when to expect a new onboardee, so that they will receive an appropriate welcome and have everything they need in place from day one.


This article is adapted from No laptop, no desk, no phone – a disappointing welcome for 42 of the world’s new employees, by Melanie Guy, Head of HR at webexpenses, writing for HR Zone