On-boarding: seeking your insight on best and worst things placed candidates do during the On-boarding process

Hey all - I am seeking your insights on the process of "on-boarding" new hires. Your responses may appear in a new post on my website www.thegreensuits.com

What are the top five things that new hires should be mindful of during their on-boarding at a new company? Or what are the five most common mistakes that new hires make during their onboarding process?

Either way, I look forward to your insight. With your response, please provide me your name, title, company, and company URL. And please respond to me by close-of-business Friday, March 16.

Warmest Regards,

Dan Smolen

The Green Suits, LLC


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It can be really frustrating for me and our Hiring Managers when we go thru all that work preparing the orientation and training to ensure a new hire knows everything about their job and company policy and then a day later they act like they've never heard it.  Top things for new hires during their first day/week - be actively engaged, ask questions if something is not clear, show excitement and enthusiasm for the new role and new company (don't show up complaining about how tired you are or look like you just woke up 15 minutes ago), bring a notepad and pen to take notes, and pay close attention to your orientation (I know there is a lot to take in, so TAKE NOTES and then review them each day till it can be remembered). 

Gees Megan, that has to be really frustrating!  I hope these are more entry level new hires and not people with 5+ years experience!


Dan, are you going to also ask what are the top 5 (or 200) things a company should do when on-boarding a new hire? I have plenty of suggestions from placed candidates that walked into nightmares. Glad they called me and I quickly talked to the companies. The experiences made me write a "book" that I give to every new client and again to on-going clients telling them how to make a new hire welcome their first day and first week. So many companies are clueless!

How about a hew hire walking in and no one knows he's coming? The HR and the folks that hired him are off site at a conference for the week....

How about a new hire that had no desk, cubicle or anywhere to sit for two weeks - plus no computer, phone or anything to be able to do his job. Every time he asked about it he was told 'don't worry, it's on order'. Luckily he found the men's room. One day after the two weeks the President of the company (who he interviewed with) walked by - as he is sitting in a hallway reading company product manuals - and says "Is this what you were hired to do?" The new hire had had enough and told the president exactly why he was in the hall and had been for two weeks doing nothing because the company wasn't prepared for him to sit anywhere and didn't even have a computer he could use to do his job sitting on the floor. He started working in the President's office that minute and is now an EVP with the company - but he was close to walking out the door at the stupidity of it all.

From what I have experienced, it is not candidates that need advice on on-boarding to make a good impression - many companies are totally unprepared and uneducated on how to on-board or welcome a new hire. But I also have a little pep talk with my placements regarding the first couple of weeks - if not months - in their new position.


One of the biggest mistakes I see new hires do during the on boarding process involves those who will work in the field and are brought into corporate offices for on boarding/orientation. Being away from home, staying in a hotel, they make the mistake of going out for drinks with other new hires. The stories of new hires doing something stupid in these situations are legend. Resist the temptation to go out for a drink or two or ten with other new hires. Go back to your room, call home and go to bed and don't put lobster and prime rib on the room service tab just because the company is paying for room and meals during the out of town trip for on boarding.

Sometimes the impressions made by a new hire during on boarding is more important than the interview that got them hired and can make or break a career path with that employer. Use it as a time to meet and establish a favorable impression with as many people as possible not a vacation before you actually go to work.

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