5 onboarding mistakes you can change and stop people from leaving your business so soon

Story by Gemma Beasley / February 6, 2023

If you’ve experienced a high turnover with new employees recently or have seen a lack of engagement from your new hires, it might be time to evaluate your onboarding process. Here are five mistakes you might be making.

  1. Not realizing that onboarding starts as soon as the candidate begins the recruitment process with you. How quickly you respond, what feedback they’re given, and what their experience was like when they came into the office to meet with you. All of this “candidate experience” sets the tone for how they’ll be welcomed into your business. And it could make the difference as to whether they even accept your offer or not.
  2. Not reaching out to them directly to say welcome to the team. You’ve asked HR to send them the onboarding paperwork. You might have passed on a few words via a recruiter. But have you actually called the candidate or, at the very least, sent them a note to say you’re looking forward to them joining the team? They’ve taken time out to interview with you, they’ve made a life-changing decision, and let’s face it, they probably had other options, so a personal message from you will help them validate their decision and feel wanted. Don’t forget that their current employer might still be working on them with a counteroffer, so don’t lose touch at this point. It could cost you.
  3. Not having HR reach out to your new hire. Many companies will leave this until the first day. And, of course, most things will be completed after day one. But any pre-start paperwork that can be completed and can be talked through by HR, or any online training is another good way to make the employee feel they are part of the company before their start date
  4. Not having their desk/ office/ IT/paperwork ready when they start on the first day. Nothing starts off the relationship on a worse note than not being prepared for them. I’ve had candidates who have felt like leaving straight away because of this. It might sound trivial, but it’s not. Be prepared. Show them that you want and need them there and that you’ll give them the tools they need to do their job.   
  5. Not setting expectations and goals. Hopefully, some of this has been discussed throughout the interview process, but providing your new employee with your expectations for them is really important and can be overlooked. They should know what to expect by the end of week one, first month, six months, etc. otherwise, what are you both working toward? Having a clear understanding of what is expected of them will help your new employees feel confident and set them up for success.

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