Why collecting feedback is an essential part of new hire onboarding – and how to do it

Two people using their smart phones

3 mins, 4 secs read time

How do you know that all the hard work you put into your onboarding of new hires is paying off? Ask them!

There’s no reason that onboarding has to be a one-way stream of information. You can – and should – give new hires the chance to share their feedback about the company in general and the onboarding process in particular.

You can use the information you gather during the feedback process to get a sense of what’s working well (and maybe not so well) in your new hire experience and then make refinements to your program as necessary.

Want some tips on how to collect feedback from new hires as well as templates you can use in your organization? You have a few options about the best way to collect feedback. The most common methods are one-on-one sessions and surveys. Let's explore these...

1. One-on-one sessions

One-on-one sessions are great for collecting qualitative feedback on how employees think and feel. You may be able to condense this information into quick soundbites or anecdotes to share with key stakeholders.

It often makes sense to have an employee’s direct manager conduct the session, but you can also have someone from your People Team run the session if you think you’ll get better results.

If you’re planning to hold one-on-one feedback gathering sessions, here are a few ideas for questions you can use:

  • How is everything going so far? What have been some highlights of your experience? What are some challenges you’ve faced?

  • Do you have enough, too little, or too much time to accomplish your work?

  • How does your experience so far compare to how the company and job were presented to you during the application and interview process?

  • What feedback do you have about your onboarding experience?

  • Is there anything that’s still unclear about our company or your role?

  • Do you have everything you need to accomplish your work?

  • What would help you do your job better?

  • Was there anything that came up during your feedback session that wasn’t covered by the previous questions?

2. Quantitative surveys

If you’re trying to get more of an overview of how your new hires are feeling overall, you can use a quantitative survey. It’s often useful to send this type of survey at key points during the onboarding process, such as at the end of an employee’s first week or first month.

Here’s a template you can use to design your quantitative survey:

Do you disagree, somewhat disagree, feel neutral, somewhat agree, or agree with the following statements:

  1. The orientation experience provided me with a clear outline of my job description and responsibilities.
  2. I have a clear understanding of the company’s mission and vision.
  3. I know who the points of contact are for different issues, such as benefits, payroll, and expense reimbursement.
  4. I was introduced to managers from every department.
  5. I feel well prepared to succeed in my job after attending orientation.

A few final thoughts

It may feel like scheduling time for one-on-ones and building and collecting surveys is creating additional work. And that may be true, but that time has an immediate and obvious impact: It shows new hires that you care about their experience and their opinions, and that you want them to have a hand in shaping your organization. Sending this type of message to new hires early on is essential. You want to be sure to catch them during that crucial window when they’re making the decision about whether to stick around long-term.

Get even more practical tips on building out your onboarding program when you download the New Hire Onboarding Guide eBook.

Get the guide
Melissa Suzuno

Melissa Suzuno

is a freelance writer and former Content Marketing Manager at Greenhouse. Melissa previously built out the content marketing programs at Parklet (an onboarding and employee experience solution) and AfterCollege (a job search resource for recent grads), so she's made it a bit of a habit to help people get excited about and invested in their work. Find Melissa on Twitter and LinkedIn.