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Could onboarding and exit surveys be the key to ‘winning the talent war’?

In today’s world, where the work environment is continually changing, it makes quality candidates hard to find, and just as equally hard to retain. According to recent data from the Office of National Statistics, the number of job vacancies available in the UK rose to a new record of 1,300,000 between March to May 2022, revealing just how high the competition is for talented employees. A talent war is among us!

Flexible working conditions, feeling valued, and a clear path for progression are just a handful of the key expectations people now want from employers. And where organisations have failed to listen, it’s ultimately led to an increase in current staff seeking out new roles, or potential candidates looking elsewhere.

Underestimating the importance of company culture insights from both new and existing employees can therefore come at a huge cost to your organisation. To do this, you should be actively seeking to understand how your workforce is evolving to create a positive employee experience. That’s where onboarding and exit surveys come in.

What are onboarding and exit surveys?

Onboarding surveys enable HR departments to gain feedback during the induction period for new employees, whereas exit surveys gather feedback from employees who are exiting the business.

Why issue onboarding surveys?

According to research, 33% of new hires quit their role within the first six months. This is costly to any business when you consider the time that goes into onboarding new starters and recruitment fees. It really is a make-or-break situation – so it’s a good idea to listen into where you can make improvements in their ‘new starter’ period.

An onboarding process that’s badly run, or not properly planned, can alienate and/or make your new hires feel unwelcome. This can lead to the employee feeling like they’ve made a mistake after getting the impression that your organisation is badly managed, becoming just another number to the above statistic. So, it’s good to put measures in place to understand where the issues lie, and then act on it.

By measuring the experience of your new starters with an onboarding survey, you can understand how well your onboarding process is working, get ahead of any potential issues, and action any improvements that should be made, to reduce employee churn during the first six months. This not only saves your organisation time and money, but also minimises any disruption to the workflow which could impact customers. A strong onboarding process will also strengthen your ability to gain quality future talent, as new hires may recommend your organisation as a great place to work.

Onboarding surveys can also offer interesting insights on the recruitment process. They help you understand which channels are the most ‘effective’, and where you can improve to streamline the process for future hires.

Onboarding surveys would look to gain feedback on:

  • The recruitment process
  • How settled employees feel within their team
  • Whether or not employees have the appropriate resources to do their job
  • If employees are clear on the expectations and responsibilities of their role
  • Whether employees are considering leaving
  • If employees would recommend your organisation as a great place to work

Why issue exit surveys?

Exit surveys will provide valuable insights around the key employee engagement drivers at your organisation. The surveys can then be used to improve your recruitment and retention strategies. This will then help to reduce costly turnover, as well as increasing staff engagement and productivity. Therefore, understanding what motivated one person to leave and acting accordingly could be the key to making sure that someone else stays.

Exit surveys would look to gain feedback on:

  • Whether or not your employees would recommend your organisation as a great place to work
  • Why employees decided to leave your organisation
  • What the organisation could have done differently
  • What improvements could be made
  • Whether your employees felt valued

How can you issue these types of surveys?

Onboarding and exit surveys are available to implement for your organisation on our ‘WorkBuzz Premium’ plan. You can quickly and easily issue customised onboarding and exit surveys – alongside your pulse and annual surveys – to new starters and those exiting the business, and gain the valuable insights mentioned above.


Staff turnover is an unavoidable part of running a business. However, with tools like onboarding and exit surveys, you can begin to recognise why it is your employees are leaving. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to creating your onboarding and exit surveys though. Tailor your surveys to your individual industry, as well as your unique challenges and processes.

Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you create effective onboarding and exit surveys tailored to your organisation. Ready to get a demo of our platform? Fill out the form below and we will be in contact with you shortly.

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