Talent Acquisition

The Top 5 Onboarding Challenges in 2017


The philosophy behind conducting a proper onboarding is sound – and studies show that it pays off to invest in a program that effectively integrates new hires into culture, processes and expectations of a new job. But it’s not always easy.

Here are the top 5 onboarding challenges:

1. Conversion

Properly onboarding new hires who convert from contractor to full-time employee status or move from one position to another. Most respondents in a study conducted by Human Capital Institute believe that ‘re-boarding’ an internal hire is just as important as onboarding an external hire, but only 27% report that they effectively re-board employees after they take on a new role.

2. Length

In the same HCI study, researchers learned that most onboarding programs only last about a week, which is typically “not nearly enough time to orient, prepare, and develop a new hire to be successful in their new position.” Only 50% of respondents said they are “able to match specific onboarding practices to how much support the employee needs during the transition.”

3. Content

Overloading people with too much information in their first day can almost guarantee they won’t retain pertinent information long term. It’s good to ease them in. Ideally on the first day you’re covering benefits, getting their computers and desks set up to their liking/needs, letting them know who to go to for what. Throwing them right into the work and meetings is overwhelming and might scare someone off. Gradually introduce them to the key players.

4. Check-in

A manager and other teammates should be doing regular check ins during the first month. A manager should have regularly scheduled weekly 1:1s – early on the manager should be discussing their expectations of this person and a detailed role overview. A buddy system is a great idea – assigning someone on the team to act as their go-to for any questions and someone who can show them the ropes and be an open ear. This person should also be responsible for introducing them to various people. HR should also be doing regular check ins with the new hire in the first 90 days.

5. Integration

You want your new hire to feel like they’re a part of the team and included right from the start.  It’s great to have lunch as a team on the first day or a team outing in the first week. Having a welcome card from the team or company swag when they arrive is always a good idea.

Want more top tips for nurturing candidates at each stage of their unique career journey? Check out Recruiting with Content: A Lookbook for the Candidate Journey.

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