Best Practices for New Employee Onboarding Survey

To better the process of recruitment in your company, it is important that you have a very structured onboarding survey for the new employees. Your HR department can prepare the questionnaire which will help you identify the areas where you are doing good and the ones that need improvement.

This survey process is not just a one-time thing; it should be done in phases as your new employees get accustomed to their workplace. Generally, companies do this kind of survey in a 30-60-90 format, but it can be at a different frequency depending on your employee strength.

What is an onboarding survey?

To understand the onboarding survey, first, you have to understand what onboarding is. Simply put, onboarding is the process through which a company welcomes new recruits and train them in their job.

The survey is done to see how much of this process is working for the new recruits; whether they are clear on their job demands and what they feel about the company.

Feedback from such a survey helps the company to better its employee onboarding as well as the training process. Hence it is a very important step in any organization.

Why is this survey important?

Every organization wants to retain its employees for a long time. So, it is very important that from the start, the image of the company is good to the new recruits, and they are able to see the big picture and feel motivated to work towards achieving the goals of the company

A satisfied employee works better and is more motivated in their job. And with this survey, you can measure the productivity potential and what you could do on your part to make it optimal.. The onboarding process is the first contact they have with the company, and it needs to be perfect for them to have that feeling of belonging to the organization.

The survey can be done in various forms; it can be done through a questionnaire or face-to-face interviews.

Benefits of onboard survey

Surveys like these don’t just help the HR managers & recruiters at an individual level but also the organization as a whole.

 How it helps the HR managers/ recruiters:

  • The professional setup of the company or if the setup is working perfectly or not.
  • Know what gaps there are in their onboarding process.
  • Helps find if there is any discord between team members, work obstacles, or faults in the training process so as to mitigate these problems.

How it helps organizations:

  • If the onboarding process is reflective of the organization values, culture and policies.
  • If there are any potential problems new employees face when they join the job.
  • What they need to do to increase employee retention, employee satisfaction and overall improvement of work culture in their office.

Now that you know the importance of employee onboarding surveys, let’s see what the best practices are when it comes to onboarding surveys.

To start with, make the questionnaire easy, simple, and brief. Your new employees are already in stress as they have started a new job, so they won’t be inclined to fill up a survey form that is jargon-filled, complex and long. So, a short to-point questionnaire works best for your onboarding survey, especially the first one you do.

Keep the questions in multiple-choice format as well as a close-ended type like rating questions. Avoid subjective or open-ended questions at the beginning survey as your new employees will feel cumbersome to answer them.

Now not all jobs are the same within your organization and so you need to have a customized onboarding process depending on the nature of the job. Similarly, the questions you ask in your survey should fit the job the new employees are doing and not be generic ones applicable across all departments. Also, the purpose of the survey should guide the type of questions you are asking.

As said before, the onboarding survey should be done in a periodical manner to judge how the employees are settling down in their job. The questions you ask in the survey done over a 30-day period should be different from the ones you ask around 90 days. Don’t do a survey long after the employees have joined the company as it will not give relevant feedback for bettering your onboarding process.

The last best practice regarding this kind of survey is of course acting on the feedback you are getting. And it should start from the first feedback you get; otherwise, your new employees may not feel so inclined in sharing their experience in your company subsequently. Also, by acting on the feedback you will make your future employees’ onboarding process all the better.

What kind of questions to ask in your surveys

As said before, the surveys should be done periodically and also should be customized depending on which department or kind of job the employees are doing. Here are some suggestions regarding onboarding survey questions in different phases.


New hire survey

This is the first survey your new employees will take, and it should have questions like

  • How informative and engaging the orientation/onboarding process is.
  • Did the orientation/onboarding give them enough time to understand the information they were given and work with them.
  • Did they get a complete picture of the organization, their job, different departments in the company, who their immediate supervisor was as well as the company leaders through the orientation/onboarding program.
  • Do they know about their payroll system or their medical benefits or any other company benefits.
  • Did the onboarding process help them understand the company’s values, culture, and work ethics.
  • Did they meet other new employees and colleagues through the program and how were their interactions.

The next one which can be can be done after 30 days should have questions that are in MCQ format, questions that ask them to rate as well as open-ended questions covering topics like:

  • Whether the HR helped them with their queries or concerns.
  • Whether they were welcomed by their colleagues and manager.
  • Did they clearly understand the values, goals, and culture of the company.
  • Rate how satisfied they are with their job and its responsibilities.
  • What was the best part of the onboarding process.

60-day onboarding survey questions

This survey should be a mixture of MCQ, rating questions as well as open-ended questions. The questions should cover:

  • Did they receive relevant training for their role in the company and how was it for strengthening their skills.
  • Did their job responsibilities match what was given as their job description.
  • Are they getting all the resources, tools, and information to do their job properly?
  • Rate how much are their colleagues and co-workers making them feel valued.
  • How has the onboarding process helped them?
  • What project or task in their job are they finding as most rewarding or least rewarding.

The last survey should be done around 90 days from their onboarding program. This 90-days employee onboarding survey should have questions covering:

  • Whether the manager provided them with constructive feedback to better themselves.
  • If they met their 90-day performance goal
  • Whether they have adjusted perfectly to their new position and if they know their part in the company’s organizational structure.
  • Rate how much they are optimistic about their future growth in the company.
  • Which part of the onboarding process helped them the best to adjust to their role in the company.

When it comes to gaining insight into your onboarding process or the effectiveness of your recruitment process, onboarding surveys are the best way to go. You will get qualitative and quantitative data from your new recruits which can benefit your company in many ways. Your HR can prepare a better recruitment plan as well as an onboarding program by using these data.


What is the purpose of having an onboarding survey?

An onboarding survey helps the company to understand how effective its onboarding process is and whether they need to make any changes to it or not.

How many onboarding surveys should be done?

Typically, companies should have at least three surveys taken in phases of 30 days, 60 days and 90 days from the start of the onboarding process for new employees.

Who should prepare these surveys?

The HR of the company is the responsible department for arranging this type of survey. But many companies prefer hiring consultants who frame the right questions in the surveys that will give them the right kind of feedback.

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