5 Potential Challenges Of Onboarding New Recruits

Unsure of how to tackle onboarding and get it right?

5 Potential Challenges Of Onboarding New Recruits

If you work in HR in 2021, we probably don’t have to explain the challenges of onboarding to you. Inducting new recruits has always come with its fair share of tall orders, and the changing employment landscape that has developed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has only added more hoops that need jumping through.

Findings by Universum show that almost half of 22,000 young South African professionals surveyed were ready to leave their current employers, with an average job satisfaction level of 6 out of 10. Addressing this retention problem starts with the onboarding process, which sets the tone for the employee experience right off the bat.

Here are five common challenges of onboarding and steps to take to overcome them in 2021 and beyond.

Five Challenges Of Onboarding That Can Throw Even The Most Seasoned HR Practitioner For A Loop

1. Making Remote Onboarding More Personal

These days many businesses are employing people they might not see in-person anytime soon. This means that a strong focus on the intricacies of remote onboarding should be at the top of the mind for any forward-thinking business.

It's essential to help remote team members connect with their peers and to put systems in place for effective communication, especially if there are time differences or flexi hours in the mix. Ideally, managers should also be trained to support dispersed employees and given the tools to do so efficiently.

2. Fostering A Reciprocal Rapport From The Start

Easy Onboarding

Employees are far more likely to become optimally engaged at a new place of work if they feel that they are valued beyond the particulars of their CV. Big companies often battle to make the vital human connection with new hires simply because not enough time or resources are allocated to onboarding. It often falls to the office manager or even receptionist to show a new employee around.

With proper planning, this type of error can be avoided. Crafting an effective welcome email for new employees, for instance, is a simple yet wonderfully effective way of showing that you are planning for their arrival. It sets the tone and lets them know they will be met by a team that is ready to enable them to do great things.

3. Differentiating Onboarding From Orientation

There is a distinct difference between onboarding and orientation, and your business needs both. Onboarding is the way in which a business integrates a new recruit within a company and its culture. This includes setting them up with everything they need to do their job, as well as the information they'll require to contribute to the overall success of their team and the business in general.

On the other hand, orientation refers to the nitty-gritty aspects of welcoming someone new to the office. That is, filling out HR paperwork, showing them the layout of the premises, introducing them to their co-workers, and so on.

It helps to have a step-by-step welcome guide for new hires that the HR team can follow when they induct someone new. This way, they can be sure that they cover all their bases and that every person who joins the team receives the same standard of welcoming treatment.

Onboarding vs Orientation

4. Drowning New Hires In Paperwork

If the notion of spending your first day at a new company filling out paperwork and making copies of your ID, CV, and other documents seems like a snooze fest to you, that’s because it is. Ideally, new hires should be spending that all-important first day meeting their peers, checking in with their superiors and generally being given the lay of the land so they can feel settled and secure.

As such, it is recommended to invest in onboarding software such as &Team, that allows new employees to complete and sign documents online. Before they arrive, they can upload their documents to a cloud-based storage facility where it is guaranteed not to go missing.

5. Dropping The Ball After The Initial Welcome

Once the first day is done and dusted, you should not forget about your new hire. At first, pre-schedule regular check-ins on a daily or weekly basis to see if they are settling into the role and have everything they need. This can then be stretched to monthly meet-ups during which managers can discuss KPIs and general feedback can be provided by all relevant parties.


The challenges of onboarding do not need to become insurmountable hurdles when you have a platform like &Team as a part of your HR ecosystem.

Our innovative SaaS-based tool has been tailored to make remote onboarding more personal and foster a reciprocal rapport from the start. It also differentiates onboarding from orientation and keeps new hires from drowning in paperwork, laying the groundwork for regular, ongoing check-ins.