The onboarding horrors you need to guard against


A cold and eerie atmosphere, suspicious looks from locals and mysterious disappearances - it has all the elements of a classic horror movie.

But these are just some of the typical experiences that new hires have to face every day of the year as they go through slow and ineffective onboarding processes.

It’s why starting a new job remains such a potentially stressful and anxiety-inducing period. The recent ‘Welcome Aboard’ study found that 46% of UK employees have had negative joining experiences.

What’s particularly scary is that this caused 10% of the respondents to drop out of the process altogether. It sends HR costs soaring and means missing out on the best talent.

So what makes onboarding such a potentially grisly experience?

Alone in the dark - the onboarding gap

The main problem is simply the time it takes to complete. After the excitement of accepting a job offer, candidates find themselves left in the dark and having to wait days or weeks before they get everything signed off.

It creates an anxious and stressful time as they remain in an employment ‘limbo’ with very little knowledge of what’s going on. It’s during this period that candidates are most likely to drop out.

The new starter stranger

A new starter excitedly arrives for their first day of work and…nobody knows who they are or what they’re supposed to be doing. It’s an all too common problem that’s caused by poor administration and a lack of clear communications.

It creates the worst possible first-day experience and leaves a new starter pondering whether this is the kind of employer they want to commit themselves to. These initial experiences play a crucial role in forging the future employer-employee relationship.

Ghosted away

‘Ghosting’ is a problem in which HR professionals are the ‘victims’. It describes the increasingly common practice of chosen candidates dropping out before their start date without informing their prospective employer.

Calls won’t be returned and emails will go unanswered. Often HR only finds out about this problem when the person fails to show up for their first day of work. It’s an issue which heightens the cost and disruption caused by dropouts.

Information overload

‘Death by PowerPoint’ is a regular complaint that’s expressed by new starters. This is when they arrive for their first day and find themselves bombarded with instructions to follow, paperwork to sign and a pile of documents to read.

It makes for a stressful experience and means they’re being given important information in a manner that they’re least likely to absorb. This is a particular danger when health and safety information is being shared.

Snowed under onboarding paperwork 

For HR teams, there’s the creeping problem of paperwork. The more new hires are being managed, the greater the administrative workload becomes as information has to be manually transferred across emails, paper documents and Excel spreadsheets.

It’s the manual nature of these tasks that make them slow and error-prone. Trying to keep on top of this flood of information becomes an increasing problem as organisations grow and the hiring demands increase.

How to future proof onboarding at your organisation?

At the root of these problems is basic administrative inefficiency. It’s the time and resources that are required to manually manage all of the information and tasks required for new starters.

This is why a cloud-based solution such as Webonboarding is so effective at improving the experience for both HR professionals and incoming hires. It uses an online portal to remove the need for any paper-based or manual tasks.

A new hire can access and complete all of the information they need using only their mobile phone. A process that can take weeks when documents are posted can be completed in a matter of minutes.

It gives HR the tools they need to craft a simple, warm and engaging experience for incoming hires while reducing the need for tedious and time-consuming manual tasks. 



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