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Employee onboarding, HR trends

5 employee onboarding challenges you will face in 2024

If you happen to be struggling with employee onboarding challenges, you’re not alone. 

More often than not, employee onboarding is seen as a trivial or inconsequential step in the entire hiring journey. However, that’s hardly the case in today’s day and age. Employee onboarding is not just an extremely critical stage of the hiring process but also comprises far more than filling out lengthy paperwork, completing legal formalities, or introducing an employee to the role and their team. However, creating a comprehensive employee onboarding plan comes with its fair share of challenges. 

Read on to know some of the common challenges businesses like yours face while onboarding new hires in 2024 and how you can navigate these.

What are the employee onboarding problems your business will face?

According to Sapling HR, 88% of organizations fail at designing an impressive employee onboarding program. Employee onboarding is complex, especially in the post-covid world. The entire landscape witnessed a paradigm shift due to the pandemic. Unless you have a concrete employee onboarding plan in place, you’ll have a tough time ensuring a high employee engagement. Here are some common employee onboarding challenges that your business might encounter in 2024.

Information bombardment on day 1

In fast paced work cultures where time is literally money, employees are often bombarded with more information than one cannot probably absorb on the very first day itself. While it’s understandable for HR teams to avoid wasting any time in bringing their new hires up to date with the company and employee policies, it’s also unfair to expect the new hire to be able to grasp everything in one go and within a stipulated time frame.

Between endless paperwork piling up and plenty of new names to memorize and introductions to make, employees tend to feel a tad overwhelmed and ultimately fail to constructively engage with the organization.

By leveraging a potent onboarding software, you can ensure some of these tasks become much more efficient, seamless, and far less overwhelming. For example, information sharing can be automated using an AI powered knowledge management system that creates a single source of truth for all the insights that a new employee needs. This way, they can gain all the information they need in their own time, and also refer back to it whenever required.

An employee onboarding platform will also allow you to automatically generate frequently asked questions and answer employee queries with human-like responses to enable a smarter knowledge sharing process, enhancing the overall employee onboarding experience. 

Similarly, integrating with an AI powered HR virtual assistant will help improve the efficiency of your HR teams by automating responses to employee queries so they don’t have to. By answering all policy related questions within seconds, conversational AI empowers you to provide real time, round the clock resolutions to employees.

Lack of clarity around the job role

Despite a detailed and extensive job description and multiple rounds of discussions with the hiring manager and the team, clarity on the exact role and responsibilities is often not provided to the candidate before joining. This leads to misalignment, confusion, and skewed expectations from both sides. Very often, talent is hired hastily to fill up an open and critical position and very little attention is paid towards clearing defining the role to the employee. This is one of the most critical employee onboarding challenges that your business might face in 2024. 

To navigate the same, make sure you set a proper process for communicating and the nitty gritty of the role and responsibilities of the new employee very clearly as part of the onboarding process.

The expectations, key responsibility areas, results expected, challenges to be overcome, etc. need to be extensively shared with the employee before they get into business to completely avoid misalignment and ensure retention. You can create a checklist of the various team members a new hire needs to be introduced to so they can get a comprehensive download of what to expect and start on the right foot.

Pro tip: As much as you’d like the new hire to handle more at work or know about all departments, remember to avoid scope creep to avoid overwhelming them with tasks.

Assuming the new hire is up to date

Very often, there are certain aspects of the job that an employee is assumed to be familiar with. Whether it is operating a certain tool, knowing the next steps in a certain process, or even getting clarity on how to set things in motion for themselves, employees are expected to know it all and have a certain level of understanding with respect to basic processes that are pretty standard across organizations. However, that is not always the case. Employees might sometimes face issues with the most minuscule tasks and hesitate to ask, or worse – might not even know whom to reach out to.

Therefore, always have readily available training materials on basic workflows that your new employees can refer to and upskill themselves depending upon their own requirements. Such L&D efforts will ensure that no employee needs to rely on guesswork in case they are stuck at a particular stage during the onboarding process and don’t know how to proceed. They can refer to the study material and can easily figure out the next steps.

For example, if you use Slack for internal communication, you can create a short tutorial on how to get familiar with the tool for those who might be using it for the first time.

Prolonged and ineffective onboarding

Gone are the days when the entire hiring and onboarding process could be completed manually, satisfactorily, and efficiently. In today’s fast moving corporate environment, a process as critical as onboarding needs to be automated to ensure maximum HR productivity and efficiency, employee happiness, and overcoming employee onboarding challenges.

Most organizations state that their onboarding process tends to be more than a month long. More than half the HR professionals surveyed by us also believe that the involvement of manual steps in the onboarding process also leads to human error in information sharing, and sometimes off-tracking from the process owing to distractions or an overwhelming increase in the number of new hires to be brought up-to-speed.

An automated onboarding process handholds the employee through the journey starting from the day they sign the contract up until the end of the probation period. Such a thorough and robust system will ensure that your employees are engaged with your organization all throughout, never feel overwhelmed, and find all the answers they need. An AI backed onboarding and pre-boarding platform ensures that the entire journey is people focused and not process dictated. 

From document submissions to welcome messages to rigorous follow ups, everything is taken care of by the employee onboarding platform so your HR team can focus on strategic initiatives and building long-lasting employee relations. Learn more about employee onboarding automation here

Keeping employees engaged and interested

You dedicate a whole lot of time, effort, and resources into acquiring great talent, which sometimes ends up dropping out even before completing the onboarding process. Reasons could be varied, but very often they have a lot to do with a poor, overwhelming, or unengaging onboarding experience.

Losing talent to such solvable challenges is one of the significant employee onboarding problems that demands your attention. To improve new hire retention metrics, you need to fix your broken onboarding and pre-boarding processes to ensure your new joiners are constantly engaged so that you are in touch with them and aware of any challenges they might be facing.

A probable solution to combat new joiner attrition is to constantly get a pulse check of what they feel about your organization via employee surveys and sentiment analysis. You get to uncover actionable insights about what your focus areas need to be, what your employees care about, the roadblocks that they are facing, and how you can potentially provide satisfactory solutions to them.

AI powered survey tools take into account the stage of the employee lifecycle for every new hire and accordingly share personalized surveys with them to derive valuable insights. Open-ended employee feedback about your onboarding process, culture, and organization, in general, will help you come up with effective, real time solutions to retain new employees and offer a delightful employee experience.

Managers lacking the skill to offer a great experience

The onboarding process is sometimes delegated to  reporting managers. Some of them will impress new employees with their knowledge, while others fail to do so. A consistent onboarding approach is always better.

Managers always have a tight work schedule. Moreover, they aren’t trained to provide new hires with a positive onboarding experience to lay the foundation of employee engagement, leading to long-term retention and a sustainable career.

Insufficient on-the-job training of the frontline workers

Onboarding many knowledge workers and frontline personnel often pose a genuine challenge. This applies to any customer-facing company, such as national retail chains, telecommunications, utilities, and infrastructure companies. The HR team often doesn’t have the time or resources to provide the experience that new employees expect and deserve through a good onboarding strategy. The result is dissatisfactory and leaves reporting managers to do the work and discover themselves lacking the time and knowledge required to provide a good and consistent experience to all or any.

Getting the stakeholders to work together

Every existing employee should know their duties regarding the new hire. They should know who is assigned for the new hire’s daily activities, whom they are supposed to report, and whom they should approach for any help or one-on-one. 

Integrating communication channels will improve consistency and keep everyone on the same page. An onboarding software package can improve identifying key team members and their duties throughout the employee onboarding process. This strategy ensures that all new hires are properly supported, allowing them to focus on their work at a better level of productivity while supervisors can get their jobs done as well.

Want to learn more about the role of AI in employee onboarding and engagement? Download our State of Employee Onboarding Report today.

Summing up

Onboarding challenges have existed forever, but they require more attention than ever before in order to help thrive in the new normal.  Now that we are relying on hybrid models wherein employees can choose to work from their home or office, it becomes all the more crucial to streamline and polish your onboarding process to make new employees feel comfortable and induce a sense of belongingness that very often gets lost. The key is to always abide by the employee onboarding best practices.

To experience the magic for yourself and learn how to tackle onboarding challenges, schedule a demo with one of the experts at Leena AI today!

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Frequently Asked Questions 

What are the challenges in onboarding?

The most common onboarding challenge is that almost all new hires lack clarity about their role. Instead of providing quality information and taking feedback from the new hires from time to time, the management gives too much information too quickly. Another problem they encounter is that they aren’t ready with all documents and paperwork during their first day because they never received any intimation on the documents to carry on their first day. To ensure smooth onboarding, the management must provide all information to the employee beforehand.

What are the challenges for new employees?

The biggest challenge for new employees is mismanagement and improper training programs. Lack of familiarity with others, a lack of comprehension of the process, and a lack of understanding of the workplace culture can all have an impact on their confidence. This leads to making frequent mistakes in their job role. It is okay to make mistakes for the first few days, but it shouldn’t be persistent. Another problem is blending with coworkers, especially in today’s remote working conditions.

What are the most common mistakes during the onboarding process?

The most common mistake businesses make during the onboarding process is failing to create a defined strategy. Most companies believe that providing information on the first day is more important than making new hires feel at ease. Failure to create a solid communication channel between the organization and its new employees is another area that afflicts organizations. Even in today’s paperless environment, most businesses are dealing in paper documents, so on the first day, new hires are busy filling out various documents the entire day.

Is onboarding difficult?

Onboarding isn’t difficult if HR builds a strategy to handle issues like time management, communication with managers, coordination with other departments, and navigating the culture handling personal transition and relocation. Onboarding can be a seamless process that engages and motivates new hires to work towards their goals.


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