3 Things Your New Hires Hate about Onboarding (And How to Avoid Them)

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Joining a new company is both exciting and nerve-racking. After the ink has dried on the contract, emotions start to run high for your new starter. For anyone who has worked elsewhere before, they will undoubtedly begin to wonder what their onboarding experience will be like (and hope that it isn’t as bad as the last experience they had!). After hearing from many new hires, we wanted to share the three main things that your new hires will likely hate about onboarding.

1. Admin overload

“I love filling in detailed forms”. When was the last time you heard this? (We suspect never). Admin is, of course, a crucial part of any new hire’s onboarding process. The part of this that can be reviewed however is the type of admin being requested, and the way it is delivered.

When did you and your team last review the forms that you’re asking new hires to complete? At RecFest recently, Yodel’s head of Recruitment, Ben Gledhill, described an exercise that they went through to review content. In Yodel’s case, it turned out delivery drivers were being asked to complete questions that had nothing to do with their role. Undertaking a similar audit at your company could prove to be very interesting. When reviewing onboarding questions, think to yourself – what would we actually be using this information for?

The second area that admin can be improved is the way that it is delivered. These days, there is a range of technologies that can boost your reputation big time among your employees. E-signing platforms, like Docusign, provide incredibly fast and simple ways for formal documents to be completed. Not only this, they also allow for certain parts of forms to be pre-filled automatically (using the information you already have about a new employee). I don’t know about you, but we’re not fans of having to write our name and contact details on a form when we know they already have that information!

Companies like Xref are improving another horrid admin experience – reference checking. By minimizing back and forth interactions during such a crucial stage of employment screenings, they help organizations create a much faster and positive experience.

Reference checking tool for onboarding process

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2. Information overload during induction

Often when a new hire joins your business, they will be fresh out of another role – where they’ve had to do handovers, wrap things up and go through the emotional ups and downs of a big life change. When a new hire walks through the door on day 1, many companies will greet them with an induction program; an air-conditioned room, islands of tables and a 100-slide powerpoint deck ready to go. Sounds like fun…right?

Or is it more like torture?

Most new hires will say that they enjoyed the induction program. When quizzed on what they actually took away from it though, they’ll often struggle to give you more than the year the company was founded…and perhaps the organization’s mission and vision.

Similar to the exercise with your admin process, it’s crucial to spend some time to review the content you are delivering to new hires during your onboarding program (whether in a formal induction program or through learning management system content). Do they really need to know about product specifics on their first day? New hires (and the person delivering the session) will be exhausted – so make sure that the exhaustion is worth it by delivering meaningful content.

As well as the type of content, think about the method of delivery. Most new hires will expect to be sitting in a meeting room for their first day. So, why not blow them away with an entirely different experience? LinkedIn, for example, provides their new hires with an immersive experience. It involves bean bags, photo hunts and creating team names (which have to include the [in] bug of course). Other organizations’ are looking at gamification, turning the boring into the exciting with providers like Kahoot and Goosechase providing some great solutions.

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An onboarding scavenger hunt

What about a scavenger hunt to onboard new hires?

3. Isolation after day 1

When the first day is over and done with, the biggest fear that your new hires will have is how to meet other people and fit in. This is only natural, of course. If you’ve had an induction day,  a new hire will often have a great connection with their new hire group, although this group will all be in the same situation – new, afraid to ask questions and feeling like they need a hand.

One simple and effective way to reduce this anxiety is by assigning a new hire a buddy (not necessarily someone in their own team). Ideally, the new hire and buddy will be introduced before the new hire begins – so that they feel less anxious when first joining. It’s important here to stress that a buddy isn’t the new hire’s manager or mentor, they are someone to help the new hire settle in, understand the company culture and make sure they feel settled.

Another way to do this is through using technology. We here at Enboarder love using Slack as our internal communication platform, and if you happen to have this at your company, there’s a great integration called Donut. This will randomly connect people in your business, encouraging a coffee catch up to occur. It means that not only new hires can feel a sense of connection, even existing employees who might not feel as connected have a great chance to meet people from different teams.

Donut's people-first onboarding

Donut builds tools to help your new hires
connect with other employees.

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You don’t want your new hires to hate your onboarding experience. As you can see, through a mix of process rethinking and integration with technology, you’ll be able to create a much more positive and engaging experience.

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