You’re Doing It Wrong: Onboarding Edition
By Kylee McIntyre26-Feb-2019Views 1546

onboarding lost

For a new hire, onboarding should not feel like something he or she has to do alone. Photo credit: Pexels.

Job searching can be stressful, but starting a new job can also feel like diving into water with no idea about the underlying current. Candidates who have had to prove themselves continuously throughout the job search process still have something to prove when they show up, but there's no way an interview process can completely prepare one for the first few days. There are logins to learn, people to meet, and possibly a lot of literature to read.

In order to do that work, he or she needs a good onboarding process - access to the tools needed to do the job well and the knowledge of how to use them. Additionally, there are plenty of team members to meet in order for the new hire to do a job correctly.

That said, if your onboarding process is terrible, then you are hurting your productivity - and your hiring as a whole. Make sure to make a good impression.

Our team has pooled their hiring horror stories and put together a list of things to do to avoid disasters, like leaving a new hire without access to the building for a month (whoops!).

1. Communicate

So the work day begins as normal. As everyone comes in to office, they vaguely notice the presence of a stranger in reception at 8:00 in the morning, but no one knows what to do, because no one knew the new employee was coming in today for onboarding.

Don't give the impression that the company doesn't care about the new candidate.

Meanwhile, that candidate is watching person after person file in with no acknowledgement.

A lot of problems would have been easier if good communication had ruled throughout. Make sure the candidate's immediate boss, team, and relevant HR officers know that a new candidate is coming in. Meet the candidate on time, and have good functional communication on hand in case you will be delayed - and need to reschedule. Running behind isn't the best first impression, but it's better than giving the impression that the company doesn't care about the new candidate.

Make sure the candidate knows the arrival time. If the building is tricky (security clearance is required, etc.), make sure to let him or her know. Your job is to get the new employees to the door. Then, you can deal with onboarding.

Finally, make sure the new employee knows who to call or message if something is missing or isn't working.

2. Prepare

onboarding happy

Onboarding should feel like a good, challenging day that makes the new hire want to come back tomorrow and keep going. Photo credit: Pexels.

Put yourself back into the shoes of the candidate who needs onboarding. You've taken care to show up on time to the correct location, only to find - chaos. The business itself isn't chaotic - you don't know enough to judge that yet, because no one was prepared for you to come in today. The person who needs to give you an office tour is busy. The paperwork you need to view isn't ready. And no one remembers your personal password to the backend.

That situation is stressful, and it doesn't say good things about the company.

You don't need to have something elaborate planned - just give the candidate the tools needed to complete the job, and communicate what the candidate needs to know. Have that ready before the candidate arrives, and clearly designate who will be free to oversee the onboarding.

Above all, don't leave new employees to fend for themselves. It's inefficient, leaves a bad impression, and just causes a lot of confusion.

3. Include

Lunch time is a very important part of the workday. Don't leave your new hires to fend for themselves! It's terrible to spend your first day eating alone or at a desk. Make sure someone is there to take them to lunch and help them get socially situated. Onboarding is about more than getting one's professional footing; one needs to get their social footing as well.

Getting to know some people in the office outside of HR - and even the hire's regular team - helps him or her integrate into the company even faster. Even with best laid intentions, people slip through the cracks. If the hire mentions during lunch that there's a door with a missing access pass, those colleagues can help figure out how to help.

Including the newbie into workplace social activities will also help the team bond faster so they can get to work! Remind colleagues to be patient - the first few days are likely to be overwhelming, and the newbie will have to remember several names at once.


Hiring is hard. Retaining tech employees is harder. But we're here to help. Signing with 100offer gives you a little extra ammunition, and you gain access to a talent team with years of experience, who can help you find the best candidates on a platform that only takes the best. Ask us for a demo today.

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Kylee McIntyre
American tech, science, health, and environmental writer. Lover of scifi, fantasy, travel, and coffee. Find her on Twitter @ejkyleem.
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