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8 Real Life Onboarding Horror Stories

Posted on in Retention Strategy

Your candidate has signed on the dotted line and everyone is excited for the new hire to start. The job of recruiting and hiring is done.

Or is it?

Smart companies know that engagement must continue after an offer is extended and accepted, and they create structured onboarding programs as a continuation of the experience new hires have throughout the recruitment process.

The onboarding period marks the transition point where individuals become immersed in your culture, trained on your policies and programs, and assimilated with your team. It is not a one-time event, it begins the moment they accept the position and extends throughout their first year.

What happens when you don’t do this? Disaster ensues. Below are eight real stories from the field that demonstrate exactly what bad onboarding looks like. Brace yourself, it gets ugly.

  1. “After I accepted, I didn’t hear from anyone for 2 weeks. I awkwardly followed up with the HR Manager and she didn’t even remember who I was!”
  2. “Before I started, my (then) employer sent a nice welcome note and a coffee mug in the mail. It must’ve been a good mug because it had clearly been used before me!”
  3. “The orientation day started at 8 a.m. and went to 6 p.m. There were no breaks throughout the day as they had lunch brought in. I felt like I was held captive. Then we had homework to do in the evening!”
  4. “On my very first day, I was walked to my workspace and the previous employee’s name plate was still on the door.”
  5. “The very first day was great. But on the second, everyone (including my manager) was too busy to meet with me.”
  6. “I was impressed when my company had my business cards waiting for me. Until I saw they were for Carla instead of Carl.”
  7. “I took a job where I interviewed at the Headquarters location, but the role was in a satellite office. When I showed up, my name wasn’t on the building security list and no one knew I was coming. I spent 2 hours in the lobby waiting for someone to escort me up.”
  8. “Due to a lot of red tape and bureaucracy, I didn’t have access to all of the systems I needed to perform my job for 6 weeks!”

These disasters could have been avoided if their employers had:

  • Intentionally designed a program that was employee centric.
  • Assigned someone to own, manage, and drive the program to ensure flawless execution.
  • Conducted regular touchpoints and feedback sessions with new hires so gaps in the program are addressed quickly.

Avoid becoming an urban legend terrifying new hires and formalize your onboarding process. Get started with our Onboarding Tip Sheet, fill out the form below to download now.

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