7 costly onboarding mistakes you can avoid

Guest post by Emily Burgess.

When making a new hire, it's important that the onboarding process is handled carefully. If it is not done correctly, then you could end up with a number of issues: hiring the wrong person for the job, seeing a rapid turnover rate, or having clashing expectations of the new employee's productivity and role, for example.


Here are 7 big mistakes that you just don't want to make.

1) Poorly structured hiring process

When your hiring process is poorly structured - or not structured at all - you could end up with all kinds of issues. Make sure that you have a clear structure for your recruitment, your interviews, and your screening process, as well as tests if necessary to ensure that the candidate has the required skillset. Don't rely on reported skills, or on hiring people that are friends and family members of current employees.

2) Poor vetting

How do you vet your employees before you hire them fully? You should be doing extensive background checks to ensure that they do not have prior convictions or other issues. You can even ask them to complete personality tests, such as the Myers-Briggs, to see if they are a good fit for the company. It's not unknown for criminals to be hired by an organization who have no idea about their past until it comes back to bite them as Phil Foster, CEO of Love Energy Savings found out to his detriment.

3) Lack of structured onboarding

How do you know that every single employee has been given the right health and safety rundowns? When does everyone learn where things are in the company building, or who deals with what? Make sure that you have a clear and structured onboarding process. This should be something that a manager can read from a file and implement step by step, so that it is the same for everyone.

4) No introductions

One of the first things that should be done is taking a new employee around the office to meet all of the other employees. If this is not done, it can be very awkward for the new employee trying to settle in. They can feel isolated and even shy about talking to others, even if this is not one of their usual characteristics, because of the high pressure levels of the situation.

5) Insufficient information

A new hire needs to know everything that there is to know right off the bat. Where should they go for lunch? What time should they go? Where do you find certain departments? Is there a party on Friday night that the whole company is invited to? It's best to give all of the information rather than leave something out. They may find that they are lacking a piece of very important information, or may feel left out if they are not told the full story.

6) No assimilation

You ought to be able to describe your company culture in a few sentences, and if you can't, it's important to figure it out. When you know your culture it becomes much easier to assimilate a new hire. Again, this helps them to feel more at ease right off the bat.

7) No follow-up

Onboarding is a long and gradual process. Don't make the mistake of giving a new hire a ton of information and then leaving them alone to deal with it. After a week, a month, and even 6 months, you should still be offering support and asking for feedback from the new hire about the process.

Onboarding is critical for building a workforce that gels properly, is efficient at getting things done, and most importantly, has a high retention rate.


This post has been written by Emily Burgess

Emily is an avid blogger who enjoys writing about all aspects of improving a business, be it marketing, customer service or training. Emily is currently sharing some of her ideas at Course Guru - experts in the field of online education. Personally, she's a great fan of foreign languages.

Views expressed in this post are entirely the author's and may not always reflect the views of Colonial Life.