12 Common Problems With Onboarding New Hires in 2023

employee onboarding problems

Onboarding the offered candidate marks the completion of the recruitment process. Every interaction and communication with the hired candidate from the first call till the point of onboarding will influence the overall experience for the new hire. However, the Onboarding period is when many interactions and a lot of information are shared. During this process of onboarding, where the new hire is equipped to be productive and at the same time culturally integrated with the organization, HR and hiring managers face many problems. Being aware of these common problems will enable you to prepare better to face them or avoid them completely.

Common onboarding problems that companies may face in 2023.

1. Lack of Pre-boarding

As discussed elsewhere, pre-boarding is an important period where the new hire is kept engaged, making them feel welcome into the organization even before the actual joining date. This has to be done by both the HR team and the hiring manager and contribute to various aspects of interactions. Ignoring pre-boarding will adversely impact the overall onboarding experience for the new hire. On the other hand, a properly executed pre-boarding will ensure a smooth onboarding process.

2. A Bad First-day Experience

There are many things that could go wrong on the first day of the employee at the office. From rushed and heavy paperwork to minimal human interactions to a bad meal at the cafeteria, will aggravate any new hire’s first-day jitters. It is important for the HR team to plan it meticulously, and ensure the new hire meets and interacts with as many colleagues as possible. A great meal in the office canteen will go a long way in ensuring a great joining day experience.

3. Remote Onboarding

With more companies transitioning to remote work models due to the COVID-19 pandemic, remote onboarding has become the norm for many. This presents challenges such as difficulty in building relationships with new hires, communication gaps, and reduced access to company culture and training. Special care should be taken in such cases and interactions should be via video calls. This will ensure that the interactions are more personal and make it easy to establish working relationships.

4. Technology Challenges

Onboarding requires access to various tools and platforms, including HR systems, email accounts, project management tools, and communication platforms. Technology glitches, connectivity issues, or a lack of proper training can hinder the new hire’s ability to effectively onboard. Ensuring IT personnel are available to quickly restore services will provide assurance that these problems can be overcome quickly if they do occur.

5. Unclear Expectations

New hires may struggle to understand what is expected of them and what their role entails. This confusion could also stem from the fact that the job description is not entirely accurate or yet at times misleading. Clear communication and goal-setting between the employer and the new employee is critical for a smooth onboarding experience.

6. Lack of Socialisation

Socializing is an important human need. Creating a similar experience as an in-person onboarding via these online tools is next to impossible. While online onboarding and remote working get the job done, they are devoid of any physical socialization and make the new hires feel disconnected from the team. They may feel isolated and that can adversely impact their productivity. As the COVID-19 pandemic is waning, organizations are resuming physical onboarding except where the new hire requests otherwise due to some unavoidable circumstances.

7. Inadequate Training

There are two sets of training that every new hire may need. One set deals with familiarizing them with the organization’s policies, procedures, systems, values and culture so that they can navigate the company to do their job. Another set of training can be on the professional skills required to perform the job. New hire does not automatically mean they are always adequately skilled because they have successfully interviewed for the job. Providing refresher training will positively impact the productivity of the new hire as well as the organization.

8. Duration of Onboarding Processes

A lengthy onboarding process can be overwhelming and disorienting for new hires. A shorter one will not equip the new hire to be productive or feel integrated with the organization’s culture. It’s important to strike a balance between providing enough information and not overloading new employees with too much information too soon. Read this blog to plan your onboarding process.

9. Inadequate Quality and Inundating Quantity of Information

There is a problem of providing information that is irrelevant or stale to the new hire. This could be a result of recycling old onboarding material without any quality checks. There is also a problem of providing too much information in a short span of time overwhelming the new hire with information. These problems can be avoided by conducting quality checks on the information before every onboarding. It should also be checked to see if the information is relevant to the role that is being onboarded. There is always a common set of information applicable to all new hires. However, some roles may need additional information. Providing this information should be paced in such a way that the new hire can absorb and comprehend it.

10. Lack of Feedback

Feedback helps the receiver to understand where they stand with respect to the work they completed. Managers are expected to provide regular feedback to help the new hires to be on track and feel supported to excel at their job. It is also equally important to gather feedback from the new hire on the onboarding experience. Gathering this feedback should be done throughout the onboarding process. Encouraging the new hire to provide honest feedback including the areas of improvement will help organizations to better their processes.

11. Unfamiliar Onboarding Software

Even though your onboarding software feels intuitive, new hires could face difficulties in navigating and inputting information. This could lead to delays or wrong data input requiring rework. This problem can be avoided by ensuring that the features and screen navigation are explained to the new hires before they are required to use the system.

12. Cultural Differences

Many times new hires leave within the first year due to the fact that they find themselves not in sync with the organization’s culture. Irrespective of these differences, if organizations have the fundamentals right, where everyone is treated with respect and dignity, employees will find it easier to integrate better and also have a great onboarding experience.


Being aware of these common problems should help you to review your onboarding process in a view to addressing any shortcomings. No process is perfect and can be iteratively improved based on the experiences of new hires and their feedback.