Why Poor Onboarding Experiences Can Lead To New Hires Not Showing Up On Their First Day

Tech & Finance Recruiting

By Ringside Talent Partners

November 29, 2023

According to the Society for Human Resources Management, the largest professional human resources organization, onboarding is “the processes in which new hires are integrated into the organization.” It includes background checks, completing the new-hire orientation, learning about the company, its corporate culture, mission statement and values and getting the new hires the tools and resources needed to become an integral team member.

This time period is critical. The duration and manner in which the business manages the onboarding process can make it a seamless, pleasant experience or cause the person to have second thoughts about joining the organization.

The new hire who hasn’t officially started yet may conclude that if they are treated shabbily and ignored during the onboarding process, that may indicate the company’s overall culture and employee experience.

Best Practices

In a CareerBuilder and SilkRoad survey conducted by The Harris Poll, 68% of workers reported that they believe their experience as a job candidate directly reflects how a company treats its people.

The study found that about half of new hires continued looking for other jobs, even after an offer was extended and they were undergoing their background checks. Nearly 70% of employers reported almost a quarter of new hires not showing up after accepting a position. The speed and ease with which an organization onboards employees impact how many new hires show up on their official start date.

The appointed representatives who handle the new-hire onboarding need to do their best to make the incumbent feel welcomed, appreciated and wanted. Without respect and transparency, there’s a high probability that the candidate may decline the offer and pursue other options that they have available to them.

Complaints About Onboarding

Sometimes, prospective employees feel unprepared, undervalued or overwhelmed during the onboarding process. Reasons include:

  • Feeling frustrated if the application process is too long or requires too much personal data
  • Feeling misled if the job description does not accurately reflect the job duties or requirements
  • Feeling unprepared if they are not given any information or guidance before their first day
  • Feeling undervalued if they are not given feedback or opportunities to provide feedback during the onboarding process
  • Feeling uncertain or unmotivated if they are not given clear goals or expectations for their role
  • Feeling unsupported if their manager did not play a critical role in their onboarding experience

What Companies Need To Do

To address these concerns, companies can provide clear information, support and feedback to new hires, establish clear goals and expectations, and tailor the onboarding process to individual roles and needs.

Use the onboarding process to showcase your organization’s culture and values. This can help new hires feel more connected to the company and its mission.

Start the onboarding process before the new hire’s first day by sending them a welcome package, introducing them to their team members and providing them with any necessary paperwork.

Provide clear information about the company, the role, and the responsibilities to new hires to avoid confusion or misunderstandings. Respond to candidates’ questions and concerns promptly and consistently to show that you value their time and effort. Assign a mentor or contact to answer questions and provide support.

Create a detailed onboarding schedule that covers all aspects of the job, including training, orientation and feedback. Ensure continual relevant communications with the new hires during the onboarding process. Involve other employees, managers, supervisors and even senior leaders in onboarding to help new hires feel valued and supported.

Be prepared to be flexible with the onboarding process, especially if new hires cannot visit the office for in-person onboarding. Consider offering remote options and adjusting the schedule as needed. Ensure that all necessary paperwork is completed as soon as possible to avoid delays in the onboarding process.

Provide new hires with ongoing training and developmental opportunities to help them grow and succeed in their roles. Encourage them to build relationships with their colleagues and provide opportunities for team building and socializing. Continuously evaluate the onboarding process to identify areas for improvement and ensure that new hires are successfully integrated into the company.


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