Designing Your New Hire Approach

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Collecting feedback from your newest employees is more than a nice gesture. An effective New Hire survey approach can help you: 

  • Confirm if what you describe in the recruitment process is truly accurate
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of your onboarding process
  • Understand if more training is needed to accelerate a new employee's ability to perform their roles 
  • Identify and address any issues that new hires may be experiencing 
  • Determine if and why there are engagement or retention risks early in the tenure 

Getting Started

Quantum Workplace offers survey templates to capture the experience of your newest hires. These templates are great starting points as you design your new hire survey(s) as they assess important aspects of the employee experience regardless of industry, job type, or other factors. 

However, because the onboarding experience and talent challenges differ by organization, most customers add to or edit these survey templates. 

To design your new hire survey approach, you'll need to decide on the following:

  • Whether a single-survey v. a multi-survey approach best fits your needs 
  • Whether a confidential or non-confidential survey(s) best fits your needs
  • Which questions to ask, using Quantum Workplace's best practices survey templates as your foundation

Keep in mind: The three decisions above are somewhat dependent on one another. For example, if a confidential survey makes sense for your organization, that may influence which questions you include in the survey(s).

New Hire Survey Approach: Single-Survey v. Multi-Survey

Single-Survey Approach Pros

  • Convenience: While launching new hire surveys can be automated via an HRIS integration with Quantum Workplace, one survey requires less time and effort from both, the HR team and new hires.
  • Established Perspective: By waiting until a new hire reaches 30 days, you can gather more feedback on various aspects of the onboarding process, the employee's experience so far, and their understanding of their role and your culture. 
  • Less Risk for Survey Fatigue: The frequency of surveys alone does not cause survey fatigue. This can also be influenced by employees' perceptions that their feedback is reviewed and acted on.

    Feedback being collected from a single survey may be easier to review and act on. 

Single-Survey Approach Cons

  • Delayed Feedback: If issues or concerns arise early in tenure, you may not hear about them immediately. 
  • Potential Bias: New hires may not remember specific details from their first few days. If the survey asked detailed questions about their first week, responses may be less accurate. 

Multi-Survey Approach Pros

  • Timely Insights: Multiple surveys allow you to capture feedback at specific stages of onboarding- helping you take more targeted action.
  • Focus: Each survey can be designed to gather insights on specific aspects of onboarding.

    For example, a survey at a new hire's one-week point allows you to ask about first impressions while the memories and experiences are recent. Later, at the 30-day point, you can ask for more detail about role responsibilities and team dynamics as the employee gains more experience. At 90 days, you can understand if they feel equipped and supported to successfully perform their role. 

Multi-Survey Approach Cons

  • Time and Resources: New employees will need to spend more time sharing feedback in surveys. The HR team and others in the organization, e.g. managers, and leaders, will need more time to drive participation, review critical insights, and take action.
  • Potential Survey Fatigue: A higher number of surveys can risk survey fatigue, particularly if employees feel their feedback wasn't acknowledged or acted upon. 

Quantum Workplace's Recommendation

For organizations early in their journey of employee listening or for organizations where strong participation can be challenging, e.g. organizations with a large deskless population- a single-survey approach after 30 days is recommended. 

For organizations experienced in capturing and acting on survey feedback, or for organizations with low engagement or high turnover earlier in employee tenure- a multi-survey approach is recommended. 

A cadence of one-week, 30-days, 90-days, 180-days, or some combination of those to target different phases of the onboarding experience. It's recommended to not exceed a total of four surveys, as response rates tend to significantly drop when five or more new hire surveys are used. 

New Hire Survey Confidentiality

Confidential Survey Pros

  • Reduced Employee Fear of Confidentiality: In some organizations, employees may be hesitant to share honest feedback. With confidential surveys, they may be more willing to participate and share honest feedback without fear of negative consequences. 

Confidential Survey Cons 

  • Limited Follow-Up: A confidential survey does not allow you to know who said what. For example, if an employee responds to the survey question, I have the materials needed to perform my job, with Strongly Disagree, it can be difficult to directly address this. 
  • Lower Response Rate: Quantum Workplace finds that confidential new hire surveys yield lower response rates, which may reduce the feedback and value you capture about the new hire experience. 

Attributed, Non-Confidential Survey Pros

  • Faster Insights: Admins can view responses as soon as the first employee participates, unlike a confidential survey, where a threshold of responses must be met before analytics are published.
  • Personalized Support: You can take targeted action with a specific employee based on feedback they shared, as needed.
  • Stronger Response Rates: Quantum Workplace finds that non-confidential new hire surveys yield stronger response rates, leading to more feedback and value. 

Attributed, Non-Confidential Survey Cons

  • Fear of Sharing Honest Feedback: Some individuals may be less candid or honest, or choose to not participate if they recognize that their identity is tied to their survey feedback. 
  • Greater Accountability to Act on Feedback: If employees share concerning feedback, they are likely expecting a follow-up. While this is not a con, it does require regular review of survey feedback and willingness to take action. 

Quantum Workplace's Recommendation

Attributed, non-confidential surveys are generally recommended because of the benefits associated with them.

Confidential surveys are recommended only in organizations with low trust. In these organizations, it may take more time and explore to surveys for employees to trust that their feedback is used for positive change. 

Questions to Include in New Hire Surveys

First, review Quantum Workplace's recommended templates as these are great starting points for every organization. 

For an additional resource to help identify survey questions that fit your organization's most pressing business or talent challenges, follow this link.

If your organization has a service package that includes assistance with Lifecycle Survey Design, your Insights Analyst can also be a resource.