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5 Ways How Employee Surveys Can Improve Hiring and Onboarding

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Retaining top talent should always be a priority for businesses. This is especially the case today when employees have many options, and the internet has made it easy to move from one company to another.

In fact, a survey by BambooHR found that 31 percent of workers change companies within the first six months.

Do you know what the primary reason for new hires quitting is? It is a poor hiring and onboarding experience.

A Glassdoor survey found that new hire retention can be improved by up to 82 percent by putting a strong onboarding program in place.

But how does a company identify what's not working in their onboarding process and how to improve it?

This can be done by asking their employees what's going right, what's going wrong, and what they would like to change through employee surveys.

An employee survey is the strongest weapon in your arsenal when it comes to enhancing employee experience and satisfaction, and we'll tell you exactly why in this article.

5 ways to improve your hiring & onboarding process through employee surveys

1. It measures the engagement and satisfaction of new hires.

Conducting an employee survey for new hires is a great way to measure their engagement and satisfaction levels.

The reason why conducting a survey early on in an employee's career is important is that new hires are more likely to quit than settled, experienced ones.

In fact, research shows that 91 percent of new employees are willing to quit a new job within the first month if the role or company culture is not what they expected. Another separate study found that 33 percent of new employees in the US actually quit in the first 90 days.

You can tailor the survey questions to determine how engaged new hires are and if they are happy with the work culture. You can ask questions like:

  • Was the training provided sufficient for performing well in a live setting?
  • Did the trainers cover all the topics needed for you to perform well?
  • Was your manager/superior available to answer your questions?
  • How quickly were you able to start on BAU tasks?
  • How likely are you to refer a friend or family member?

Questions like these will help you understand how satisfied or unsatisfied new hires are and if they are getting the knowledge needed to perform well at their job.

2. Pulse surveys help you track specific employee satisfaction targets.

Pulse surveys, as the name suggests, are short surveys conducted more frequently to track specific employee satisfaction metrics.

Conventionally, employers conduct annual or bi-annual engagement surveys. These are long and cover every aspect of an employee's life, and obviously, they take longer to complete.

The purpose of these surveys is to understand how the company has treated its employees over a period of a year (or half a year).

A pulse survey is different from a conventional annual (or bi-annual) survey. A pulse survey tracks and measures a specific item (or metric) using short and frequent reviews.

A pulse survey, for example, could contain the following 4 questions:

  • Do you feel valued by the company?
  • How likely are you to recommend this company?
  • How often do you feel stressed out due to work?
  • Do you feel a sense of job security?

Now, employees are given this pulse survey more frequently, maybe as frequently as once a month. Because it is a short survey, employees are happy to comply.

It enables the company to not only obtain the survey results, but also to track how the results change over time.

It is this new dimension of tracking change over a period of time that makes pulse surveys so powerful. You can use these to see if your onboarding process improves as you introduce new changes.

3. Featuring positive survey results will help you attract top talent when hiring.

In 2019, Glassdoor surveyed over 5000 employees across four countries (the US, UK, France, and Germany) as a part of their Mission & Culture Survey and found that:

77 percent of employees consider a company's culture before applying for a job there is over 50 percent of employees value culture over salary.

The question is, how does a company portray something intangible, like culture, in a job posting?

A recruiter posting a job opening on LinkedIn, for example, can easily convey salary and benefits through the JD. But how can they convincingly convey that the work culture is positive and thriving?

The answer is through employee testimonials and the results of employee surveys. In this case, the company rep recruiting via LinkedIn can include employee testimonials and positive survey results that illustrate how happy and satisfied employees are with the company and the management.

Employees are more likely to believe a peer when it comes to matters like work culture, growth opportunities within the company, and the quality of the leadership team than the recruiting rep or interviewer.

The voice of your employees will be a more credible source and will attract top talent to your company.

4. Gives you a clear picture of the effectiveness of the onboarding process

The onboarding period is an important milestone in an employee's career, and without employee satisfaction surveys, there's no way for you to judge the effectiveness of your onboarding program.

We mentioned earlier how critical it is to nurture new hires and how easy it is to lose good talent within the first few months.

It is a known fact that employees are most receptive during the first few months (often called the honeymoon period) - when they are being trained, introduced to peers, exposed to the company culture, and presented with growth opportunities.

Or in short, they are most receptive during the onboarding period.

They judge the company and its leaders during this time and make up their minds about the bigger picture - whether they see themselves staying with the company for a long time or quitting when a better opportunity knocks on their door.

This makes onboarding a critical process, and most companies invest in designing an impactful onboarding program.

But how do you know it's working and your investment is bearing fruit?

Conducting employee surveys for new hires after 1,2, and 6 months of joining is a great way to assess your onboarding program. You can ask questions that give you feedback about the kind of training, managers, and so on to gauge how well the onboarding process is designed.

The survey can also have specific questions that give you an idea of how prepared the employee is, indirectly telling you how well the onboarding program is. For example, the survey can include a question about a day-to-day activity like process documentation, and how correct the employee's answer is is a reflection of how well the training program was.

5. It sets the tone of employee experience for the future.

Employee surveys are one way to open the line of communication between management and employees.

A survey allows employees to anonymously give in their feedback - positive and negative. It makes them feel heard, and it tells them that the company cares about their opinions.

It also allows them to have a stake in the direction the company is moving in. When their feedback is considered, and changes are made, employees believe that the management is receptive to their ideas and needs.

This fosters a positive environment in which employees look forward to surveys so they may express their concerns and appreciation because they believe the organization truly cares about their opinions.

In such an environment, employees feel empowered and valued and tend to stay loyal and highly productive workers.


In the race to create amazing products and customer experiences, don't forget your most valuable assets— your employees.

Employees respect a company that allows them to speak and take their opinions seriously. Employee surveys will be your strongest weapon in improving the employee experience and critical processes like hiring and onboarding.

Dhruv Mehta is a Digital Marketing Professional who works as a brand consultant and provides solutions in the digital era. In his free time, he loves to write about Marketing, SaaS, and Social Media. Follow him on Twitter or connect with him via LinkedIn. For any related queries, contact editor@vantagecircle.com.

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