The top 5 employee onboarding problems

top 5


Nerve tingling waits and ghostly disappearances are just some of the employee onboarding horrors revealed by our snapshot survey.

They are among the many problems that are commonly faced by hiring teams as a result of outdated and ineffective ways of managing new starters.

Employee onboarding covers all of the processes that are required to convert a successful job candidate into a new hire.

During a recent Webonboarding webinar, the audience was polled on the reasons they found to be the biggest problems posed by onboarding. 

Here are the results:

What is the biggest problem in onboarding?

High staff turnover   37%

Poor engagement   37%

Long time to hire   34%

Non-starters/Nonboardees   20%

Incomplete processes 17%

Unless these issues are tackled, they can significantly damage the whole hiring process.

Here’s a closer look at each issue:

High staff turnover (37%)

With competition for talent higher than ever, attracting and keeping the best workers is a constant challenge for HR teams. The risks of people dropping out are highest within the first three months after starting.

An ineffective onboarding process will lead to higher levels of dropouts as new starters struggle to connect with their new employer. But 63% of respondents in the recent ‘Welcome Aboard’ survey said that a positive onboarding experience made them more committed to their employer.

Non-starters/Nonboardees (37%) 

You spend weeks or months trying to find the best person to fill a role. Candidates are whittled down via CVs, video chats and face-to-face interviews. The best person is finally offered the job and verbally accept.

But they never start. They accept an alternative position or, in many cases, they simply stop responding to communications. This kind of ‘ghosting’ is an increasing problem faced by HR teams.

With estimated HR costs of between £1,500 and £2,000 to hire a new employee, a slow and frustrating onboarding process can have a significant impact on dropouts.

Poor engagement (34%)

Closely related to the problems of staff turnover and non-starters is poor engagement. Engagement refers to the quality of experience a person has as they join an organisation.

Poor engagement is often the result of a long and frustrating onboarding process with candidates left in the dark as they wait for administration to be completed. It’s also affected by the type of communications they receive, whether they’re cold and impersonal or warm and welcoming.

The first-day experience plays a vital role in this. New starters are prone to being bombarded with information, making a stressful situation even more of an ordeal. The Welcome Aboard survey found that it took 57% of respondents four weeks before they felt part of the team.

Time to hire (20%)

A basic problem so many hiring teams face is simply the length of time their onboarding process takes. Often it will take weeks before contracts are signed and all of the required information is collated.

The longer it takes, the higher the risks become of dropouts as candidates assess alternative options. Long processing times also have a knock-on effect on productivity with roles being left unfilled for extended periods.

Incomplete processes (17%)

The Welcome Aboard research found that more than a third of new starters have incomplete onboarding paperwork. For one-in-ten, it took three months after they had started to complete all administrative tasks.

This kind of approach will soon be untenable for UK based hiring organisations. The forthcoming 2020 Good Work Plan legislation makes supplying contract related ‘written particulars’ a legal requirement on or before a new hire’s first day.

All of these problems are symptoms of ineffective onboarding. They are the kind of problems that are created by the traditional ways the HR teams have handled new hires.

For most organisations, it’s still handled with paper-based and manual processes. It relies on a mix of paper documents, emails and phone calls with information stored via spreadsheets.

Find out how Webonboarding can help to protect your HR team from the terrors of failing onboarding processes by requesting a call from here.





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