42 Essential Onboarding Questions for New Hires
42 Essential Onboarding Questions for New Hires
Putting your effort into creating a good employee onboarding process is an excellent idea, but we are fairly certain that your first version of this process isn't as effective as it could be. This doesn't mean that you have to give up on it, but rather that you should tweak it over time. After all, most processes must remain fluid and be updated as you learn and grow.
The question is, how do you know what exactly you should tweak? And when you should apply changes and enhancements?
And the answer is simple: start conversations with your new hires and ask them for valuable honest feedback on your onboarding process.
Market research is invaluable for businesses to learn about their consumers and the same can be said for companies who want to learn about their employees too. Asking employee onboarding questions during the process and conducting onboarding surveys for new hires will give you valuable information and insight into the new hire experience.
For example, the True Colors Personality Test can help your company identify the different learning styles, strengths, and weaknesses of an employee. This can help you determine how their work ethics and own values fit into a team.
Employee surveys are also an important part of learning how to make invaluable improvements to your recruitment process, onboarding experience, and more.
Keep reading as we go through 42 important questions to ask new hires and future new hires during five different stages of the onboarding timeline.
Questions to Ask during Onboarding
At the Start of the Onboarding Process:
After the New Employee Signs the Offer Letter
Your employer/employee relationship officially begins once your new hire signs their offer letter, and that pre-boarding period represents your first opportunity to get feedback and begin your relationship with your new team member.
Since new hires haven't technically started working for you yet, you won't exactly be asking questions about their experience at the job. Rather, you should focus questions for new employees on your hiring and onboarding process. You can treat this as an opportunity to ask some important employee onboarding survey questions to get feedback on your company's onboarding process and the overall recruitment experience, including the use of an employee onboarding app if you have one.
Send new hires an anonymous new hire survey including questions like:
- “Was it easy to apply for this job?”
- “What did you think of the level of communication after you applied?”
- “What is your opinion on our recruiters?”
- “What is your opinion on our interviewers?”
- “What did you think of our interview process/hiring process?”
- “Were we helpful in clarifying your doubts?”
- “Did we make you feel excited about your first day of work?”
- "How was your overall onboarding experience?"
- “Is there anything we can do to improve our recruitment process and onboarding program?”
The pre-boarding questionnaire can also include questions about the employee's expectations, as the answers will serve as a guiding point for yourself to provide them with the best work experience possible:
- “What are you most excited about in your new role?”
- "What are you expecting from your training session?"
- “What do you feel nervous about?”
After Their First Day
After the preboarding is day one at the company. The first day at a new job can be nerve-racking and it's crucial that you make new hires feel comfortable and confident. This is a crucial part of the onboarding experience and the best time to make new employees feel that you are truly invested in their integration into the team. Employee onboarding surveys are helpful in making sure your new hires are having a good onboarding experience.
You can give your new employees multiple short surveys during the onboarding period but the one you give to new hires after the first day should focus on their first-day experience and how they enjoyed it. You can include questions like:
- “How did your first day go?”
- “Did you feel well oriented and integrated?”
- "How did it feel being a new team member?"
- “Is there anything you want to ask us?”
- “Could we have done anything more to make you feel comfortable?”
💡Pro tip: Though you may want to know as much as possible about their first-day experience, don't ask too many questions. Your employee is probably still processing the first day of their new professional venture, and you want to give them time and space to do so.
After Their First Week
After one week, your new employee has had some time to meet their coworkers and experience the way a typical day in your company goes, so you can be a bit more specific with these employee onboarding survey questions.
These questions are all about the first impressions and how they compare to their initial expectations:
- “What was your first impression of your team leader?”
- “What was your first impression of your coworkers?”
- “What was your first impression of the company's CEO?”
- “What do you think about the workplace environment?”
- “Do you feel welcome in the company?”
- "How much social interaction have you had on the job?"
- "How are you enjoying your co-workers?"
- “Have all your questions been answered so far?”
- “How does your experience so far compare to your expectations?”
- "How welcome do you feel in [company name]?"
After Their First Month
During their first month, your new hires will have more and more responsibilities in your team, and they will also have the opportunity to become closer with their coworkers. As such, your questions should focus on how happy and productive they feel in their position:
- “Do your current responsibilities match what you were expecting?”
- “Do you feel motivated and fulfilled at work?”
- “Did you have access to everything you needed for your job?”
- “Is there any specific training you feel like you need?”
- “Did we meet your expectations for your first month?”
It is also a good idea to ask how well they have settled in with the team, not only professionally but also socially:
- “Did you get along with your team members?”
- “Do you feel socially integrated?”
- “Do you feel like you work in an inclusive place?”
- “Did you experience any conflict?”
- “Do you know where to go if you have any issues?”
After Their Third Month
Three months in, your employees should be completely settled in, but that doesn't mean you don't have to check in on them to make sure they continue to be satisfied with their experience. A few questions you should ask on this milestone are:
- “Do you see yourself working here long term?”
- “Is there any training you feel like you need?”
- “Do your manager and coworkers communicate well with you?”
- “What did you think of our onboarding process?”
- “Do you feel like you fit in?”
- “What can we do to help develop your career?”
- "Are you happy with your career path?"
- "How well do you think you fit in [company name] company culture?"
Why Asking New Employees Questions is an Integral Part of the Onboarding Experience
You might be thinking that if you've just hired a new employee, you've already asked them all the questions you need to ask. But truthfully, a lot of the recruitment interview questions only cover the basics of their skill set, how they can handle their job duties, company policies, and past work experience.
There are still a lot of important questions you can ask each new hire that will benefit the company and will tell you more about how your new team members will fit into your organization.
Questions you ask during the onboarding process will allow you to see how your new hire fits into the company culture and your work environment. It's also a good way of getting employee feedback from the beginning and gauging the success and efficiency of your employee onboarding program.
Additionally, choosing the right employee survey questions will help raise employee engagement and help new hires to adjust to thrive in their new environment. It also gives you an avenue to see how an employee's level of engagement changed compared to a later period of a new hire's tenure.
Here's a list of benefits from having good employee onboarding survey questions:
Better Employee Experience
A great new hire process and employee onboarding survey set the tone for the employee experience from the start.
If your employee onboarding survey questions focus on things like company culture, employee development, team dynamics, and organizational values, you'll make your employee as equally important as your profit.
Extending your employee onboarding surveys beyond the employee's onboarding period gives you a competitive advantage as it helps ensure a strong employee experience from hire to retire. This means your company is more unlikely to experience an employee turnover.
Better Employee Engagement
Engaged employees, even those recently hired for a new position, are most likely to go above and beyond to perform well in their tasks. When the job excites them and makes them feel important, they are likely to be more productive.
Apart from conducting surveys, one great way to increase employee engagement is by setting up your new hire with an onboarding buddy. Giving them a partner during the early days allows them to learn about the company from a fresh perspective.
You can also celebrate their work anniversary or provide them recognition for being successful in a task or for solving challenges.
Better Employee Retention
As with any organization, employee turnover can be very expensive, especially when you factor in things like the cost of backfilling the position. An organization with a strong onboarding process can greatly reduce its employee turnover by up to 82 percent.
Onboarding should begin from the moment a potential employee steps foot inside your organization. Have your manager or employees extend a warm welcome at the start of the recruitment process. Don't take up too much of your new hire's time with paperwork so their first day can be filled with introductions and early learning about their co-workers and any additional duties they need to perform.
We know what you might be thinking right now. “These are a lot of Q&As to keep up with”. While that is true, it's only by requesting feedback that you can continuously improve your hiring and onboarding processes. The good news is, Qualee can help you ask all these questions (and more!) to your new hires, thanks to our powerful Survey feature!
Asking the right questions will show your employees that you care about their happiness at work, while also helping you improve everything that needs improvement, so there's no reason why you shouldn't do it. Try our Starter Plan today!
You might be interested in the following resources:
Calculate onboarding ROI using our Onboarding Cost Calculator
Learn about our Why Digitization Is Changing Onboarding and Engagement
Read about 33 Exit Interview Questions for an Effective Offboarding Experience
Look at our Onboarding, Induction, Orientation and Training – What's the Difference?
Our How a Structured Onboarding Process Improves Productivity and Efficiency