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The Terrible Ten: Employer Onboarding Mistakes to Avoid

The recruiting environment is so challenging these days that every new hire feels like cause for celebration. When you’ve beaten out the competition – not to mention the odds – to land a new employee, it seems a victory lap is in order.

Still, employers would be well advised to keep their eyes on the prize: while they’ve landed a sought-after professional, the process of keeping them starts immediately. Studies show employees decide in the first week if they’ll stay with a company. So, it’s imperative to create a great onboarding experience. 

How can organizations make that happen? It starts by avoiding the “Terrible Ten,” also known as the top 10 mistakes employers make when onboarding a new employee. 

1) Hiring someone and not telling HR. How is the HR team going to ensure a new employee gets started on the right foot if they don’t know about the hire? Sad to say, this happens more often than you’d think, and it’s a head-scratcher. 

2) Not sending an offer letter. Preparing and sending an offer letter that outlines the terms and conditions of a new hire is standard practice. Not to do so sends the wrong message right off the bat. 

3) Not telling them what time to arrive, or who to report to, on day one. Outside of the compensation package, these are the first things on a new employee’s mind. Don’t miss this very basic communication.

4) Not telling them who their boss is. This mistake is amplified if the boss was not involved in the hiring process – which is another no-no that should be avoided.

5) Not giving them access to the proper systems. From passwords to email to software, there are few things that will dim the excitement of starting a new job more than being left in the dark at the outset. 

6) Not giving them proper equipment. Is their laptop ready to go? Is it camera-enabled so they can participate in virtual meetings? Is their mobile phone set up? Getting these things in order should be second nature. 

7) Botching the training period. Don’t pair them with a newer employee who’s also getting up to speed. That’s a surefire way to extend training and delay production for each worker.

8) Assigning work that hasn’t been discussed. If it wasn’t listed in the job posting or talked about in the interview, why would it suddenly be making an appearance?

9) Not introducing them to colleagues. Take a few moments to let them meet their co-workers, and vice versa. Getting to know each other is key to a more seamless transition for everyone. 

10) Telling them “we’re all family, we help each other out.” You’ve just used code indicating people push work off on others. As a new employee, guess who’s going to get taken advantage of the most?

If your organization is fortunate enough to lure top talent, it’s essential to make a good first impression from the minute they’re hired. Need assistance creating an onboarding strategy that does that? Contact us today and let’s get the conversation started!

About the Author

Tom Schin Director, Talent Acquisition Partnerships & Recruiting Consulting Services for Alaant Workforce Solutions

Tom SchinDirector, Talent Acquisition Partnerships & Recruiting Consulting Services

When he’s not working, Tom is an avid board game enthusiast, from Catan to Canasta, who makes sure game night is fun for everyone (even though they’ll probably lose). He’s also fond of celebrating his status as a child of the ‘80s by watching Star Wars, listening to U2, and reminiscing about his (gone-but-not-forgotten) Andre Agassi haircut.