4 Common Onboarding Mistakes HR Make With New Recruits

Onboarding Mistakes
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After the daunting task of recruitment, comes onboarding. While it simply means that HR conducts an induction program to help the new joiners know more about the company, it does not take time for the whole process to go south if it is not handled properly. According to a recent study on the employees who left within 3 months after joining, had no idea what the company goals are and what is their contribution to the company.

Understandably with many HRs still doing their work manually (approx. 85%), they tend to overlook or just be brief about onboarding. While there are many articles about how to conduct an onboarding program effectively, we will touch upon what not to do in it.

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Here are 4 common onboarding mistakes HR makes with new recruits:

  • Paperwork

We all have gone through the cumbersome, tedious paperwork that is inevitable on the first day. While it does not necessarily mean that your onboarding process is wrong, this process can be completely automated. The candidate then need not spend the whole day just filling up paper. With an automated HRMS software, you can have the new joiners fill in their details along with their documents at leisure. This helps you to design the first day/onboarding program more effectively.

  • Not scheduling the first day

One of the biggest mistakes in an onboarding process you can do is not scheduling the first day. Experts recommend emailing the schedule of their first day to new recruits, on the day before their joining. This makes them composed and relaxed and looking forward to the day without the feeling of lost or being out of place. It is very important to think according to the employee’s perception, especially when it comes to the first day.

Apart from keeping the new recruit’s desk, computer, log-in details ready, you can also make office merchandise like a water bottle, t-shirt, pen, with the company logo. Going the extra mile, you could also get it customized for the new recruits. This not only adds a personal touch but also makes the recruits feel good that their needs are taken care of beforehand. Some HR professionals also recommend, a half-hour cake party for the new recruits introducing them to their teams, this will create a buzz and a lively atmosphere rather than the usual mundane one and will give you HRs, something to look forward to other than your regular administrative tasks.

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  • Cultural adaption

This is a slow and steady process and is often ignored or left at the mercy of time. Every organization has a culture, some may be completely work-oriented while some would believe in having a work-life balance and some more, giving completely liberal and creative freedom to their employees. Since it takes a long time for new joiners to adapt to a company’s culture, HR can help smooth the process by talking about it during the onboarding process. This helps the employees to be connected with the company since day 1 and be less ambiguous about their roles and expectations from the job.

On the self-service portal, an employee can be updated on all the policies of the company, general rules and regulations, and upcoming events. Hence, HR can save time by skipping it altogether and brief the new recruits more on how they can adapt to the company’s culture faster. Every team also has its own cultures which may or may not be in line with the company’s culture. The HR also needs to help the new joiner, adapt to their team by briefing them beforehand. The presence of managers during these sessions is recommended.

  • Follow-ups

This is definitely not even considered, not while onboarding and not through the employee’s stay in the company. Communication is a key element in every relationship even between employer and employee and one forerunner and mediator for communication in the company are HRs. Once the new recruits have signed their agreement and come on board, if you stop communicating with them, this may increase the chance of leaving them in the dead zone. Small conversations with them, their managers, help in recognizing and filling their skill gaps. The new joiners will also know they have someone they can approach in need.


Onboarding processes can be customized for certain designations or skill sets, this helps in grasping the information better and faster. To read more about employee management, read our HR-related blogs here.


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