50 Onboarding Survey Questions Every HR Manager Should Consider

Posted in Talent & Onboarding

Pop quiz, HR friends: What’s your organization’s rate of new hire turnover within the first 90 days? If you’re wincing right now, you’re not alone. According to the Jobvite 2022 Job Seeker Nation Report, nearly one in three new hires punches their ticket to Exitville before their probation period is up. That’s a seriously painful stat. No wonder Jobvite’s 2023 report shows improving the onboarding process as one of the top 5 priorities for HR leaders.

It’s demoralizing, knowing your meticulously selected talent could be out the door before their desk plant even has a chance to wilt. But before you start stress-binging office snacks, let’s talk solutions. Here’s where the often-overlooked superhero of the HR world can really shine: the onboarding survey.

Why Should You Conduct Onboarding Surveys?

Why the onboarding survey, you ask? Because when it’s done right, an onboarding survey offers a direct line to the thoughts, feelings, and frustrations of your new recruits. It’s your first defense against that dreaded early exit — and offers insights that can turn a good onboarding process into a really great one. 

It also helps you ensure all the effort you’re putting into building a stellar onboarding experience is actually working. Crafting an onboarding process that caters to the wants and needs of a multigenerational workforce while ticking all the compliance boxes is no small undertaking. All at once, you’re trying to enhance employee engagement, integrate new hires into the company culture seamlessly, and ensure they hit the ground running. Oh, and doing it without overwhelming new starters with information or boring them to tears. It’s a delicate balance, and not something you should be doing blind.

A great onboarding survey lets you know what parts of that onboarding strategy are working, and which could use a little tuning-up.  You can get to these insights through a series of carefully crafted onboarding survey questions that span the entirety of the employee lifecycle, from the initial “Hello!” to the “Happy Workiversary!” 

And no, we’re not talking about a one-and-done feedback form. We’re diving deep into the ongoing dialogue that helps employees feel seen, heard, and connected from day one and beyond. 

Ready to turn the tide on your turnover rates and create an onboarding experience that’s as engaging as the season finale of your favorite show? Stick around as we unpack the types of onboarding surveys every HR manager should wield like a pro, complete with real-world examples and practical tips for every stage of the employee journey.

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6 Reasons Onboarding Surveys Rock

A solid onboarding process is the linchpin for long-term employee success and satisfaction. But that’s a long time to wait to be sure your process is working. You need more leading indicators to let you monitor your process and how employees are adapting and fitting in. Let’s delve into why onboarding surveys are the linchpin of a successful onboarding process.

Identify Gaps in the Onboarding Process: HR managers can use onboarding surveys to immediately see what is working and what isn’t within their current practices. These insights shine a light on areas needing a little TLC or a complete overhaul, ensuring no new hire is left to navigate their new role unaided.

Enhance Employee Retention: A positive initial experience can significantly increase an employee’s likelihood to stay and grow within the company. Onboarding surveys give you direct insights into what’s working and what’s not, providing you with the tools to make necessary adjustments that boost or protect retention rates.

Feedback for Continuous Improvement: Times change, and it’s important to keep up. Regular feedback from new hires via onboarding surveys offers a treasure trove of data that can inform your strategies, ensuring that your process remains relevant, engaging, and effective. This continuous loop of feedback and action keeps your onboarding process in tune with the evolving needs of your workforce.

Build a Positive Workplace Culture: The onboarding period is a new hire’s first real taste of your company culture. Surveys can help ensure that this critical time reflects the values and atmosphere you want to cultivate. By demonstrating a commitment to feedback and improvement, you’re setting the stage for a culture of openness, trust, and mutual respect.

Measure Effectiveness of Training Programs: One of the pillars of a solid onboarding process is the training that new employees receive. Through targeted survey questions, you can assess the impact and effectiveness of your training modules, making sure they are not only informative but also engaging and relevant to your new hires’ roles and responsibilities.

Triage Individual Interventions: Sometimes you’ve got a great onboarding process, but an individual employee is struggling to fit in and adapt — or there’s a challenge for a particular manager or team. Onboarding survey’s give you a red flag and alert you to jump in and solve for these challenges in real time — when they might otherwise go undetected and cause big problems down the road.

Types of Onboarding Surveys

Okay, hopefully we’ve given you plenty of reasons to conduct an onboarding survey. But how should you start? 

You’ve got lots of options here. Let’s explore the various types of onboarding surveys you could use. From simple pulse surveys to more extensive queries, each type serves a unique purpose, ensuring you capture the full spectrum of new hire experiences and sentiments. We recommend a mix of these approaches, across the employee lifecycle — and presented in bite-sized ways that don’t feel intimidating, or like a huge lift for your acclimating new hires.

1. Score-Based Surveys

What They Are: Score-based surveys are your compass in the vast sea of employee feedback, providing quantifiable insights into the onboarding experience. These surveys ask new hires to rate aspects of their onboarding on a numerical scale, turning subjective feelings into objective data.

When to Use Them: Perfect for getting a quick read on specific areas of your onboarding process. They’re the go-to tool for gauging initial impressions and satisfaction levels, offering a snapshot of the effectiveness of your onboarding initiatives.


  • On a scale of 1-5, how would you rate the clarity of your role and responsibilities presented during onboarding?
  • How effective did you find the company culture orientation? Rate from 1 (not effective) to 5 (very effective). 
  • Rate the ease of access to necessary tools and resources during your onboarding on a scale of 1-5. 
  • Considering your entire onboarding experience, how likely are you to recommend our company as a great place to work? (1 = Not likely, 5 = Highly likely) 
  • How would you rate the ease of connecting with your teammates, so far, on a scale of 1-5?

2. Open-Ended Surveys:

What They Are: Open-ended surveys invite new hires to share their onboarding experiences in their own words, offering a narrative beyond the numbers. These surveys provide depth, uncovering the why behind the scores and revealing personal insights and suggestions.

When to Use Them: Open-ended onboarding surveys are ideal for delving deeper into specific aspects of your onboarding process or when you’re seeking candid feedback and ideas for improvement. They take a little longer to reply to, but can — in moderation — complement score-based surveys, adding color to the black-and-white figures.


  • What aspect of the onboarding process was most helpful for you, and why?
  • Describe any challenges you faced during onboarding and how you think they could be addressed.
  • What additional support or resources would have made your onboarding experience more effective?
  • What aspects of onboarding have made you feel like you belong and are part of the team?

3. Multiple-Choice Surveys:

What They Are: These surveys present new hires with a set of predefined answers to choose from, simplifying the feedback process while still capturing valuable insights.

When to Use Them: Multiple-choice onboarding surveys are great for when you have specific hypotheses about the onboarding experience and want to validate them efficiently. They’re quick to complete and analyze, making them a practical choice for busy HR teams and employees.


  • Which of the following best describes your understanding of the company’s goals and values after onboarding?
    • Very clear
    • Somewhat clear
    • Not at all clear
  • During onboarding, which method of learning did you find most effective?
    • Classroom training
    • E-learning modules
    • One-on-one mentoring
    • Other: ________________

4. Binary Surveys:

What They Are: Binary surveys boil down feedback to a simple yes or no. They are fantastic to provide in an SMS or other simple format that does not require a lot of time to complete. 

When to Use Them: Use them when you need clear-cut answers on specific onboarding elements. They’re the quickfire questions of the survey world, perfect for gauging immediate reactions or confirming compliance with onboarding protocols.


  • Did you feel welcomed by your team on your first day? Yes/No
  • Were all your IT access and tools set up and ready by the start of your first day? Yes/No
  • Have you completed all required onboarding documentation? Yes/No
  • Have you made a friend on the team? Yes/No

5. Hybrid Surveys:

What They Are: Hybrid surveys mix and match question types, combining the strengths of score-based, open-ended, multiple-choice, and binary questions. This approach provides a comprehensive view of the onboarding experience, capturing both depth and breadth of feedback. For example, you could start with a score-based question to rate the overall onboarding experience and follow with open-ended questions for detailed feedback on specific experiences. Use multiple-choice questions to gather opinions on preferred learning methods, and include binary questions for yes/no insights on key onboarding milestones.

When to Use Them: These are the Swiss Army knife of surveys — versatile and comprehensive. Use hybrid surveys when you want a holistic understanding of the onboarding experience, from general satisfaction levels to detailed insights and everything in between.


  • On a scale of 1-5, how would you rate your onboarding experience? Followed by, “Please explain your rating.”
  • Did you find the onboarding materials helpful? Yes/No, followed by, “What would you add or change?”
  • Which training sessions did you find most beneficial? (List of sessions), followed by an open-ended question asking for further details or suggestions.

By leveraging the right mix of onboarding survey questions, HR managers can navigate the complex seas of employee integration with confidence.  

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50 Onboarding Survey Questions for Every Stage of the Employee Lifecycle

Understanding that onboarding is not just a single event but a continuous journey is key to cultivating a thriving workplace culture. Far beyond the initial orientation, onboarding extends across the employee lifecycle, shaping their experience, engagement, and satisfaction with the organization. It’s crucial, then, to engage with employees through targeted questions at each stage of their journey to ensure they feel supported, understood, and integral to the company’s mission.

We’ve included most of these surveys in a short answer format, but they can be adapted to all of the survey question styles above!

Phase 1: Initial Impressions (First Week)

The first week is a whirlwind of new faces, information, and perhaps even a new work environment. It’s a critical time to ensure new hires feel welcomed, comfortable, and clear about their role and expectations.

  1. What was your favorite part of your first day?
  2. Was the orientation session informative and engaging?
  3. Do you feel clear about your job responsibilities and expectations?
  4. What are your goals for your first year at our company?
  5. Did you feel welcomed in your first week at the company?
  6. How comfortable do you feel asking questions or seeking help?
  7. Have you been provided with all necessary tools and resources?
  8. Is there anything about the company culture you’re still unsure about?
  9. What’s one thing that’s stood out to you so far?
  10. How do you think we can better support new hires in their first week?

Phase 2: Early Integration (First Month)

By the first month, new hires are getting a feel for their role, the team dynamics, employee connections, and how they fit within the organization. This is a pivotal time to address any concerns and reinforce their sense of belonging. You can also track whether things like belonging or confidence are growing over time by tracking questions like “How would you rate your relationship with your team?” or “How confident are you in your mastery of work?”

  1. How well do you understand your role and its impact on the company’s goals?
  2. Have you encountered any challenges in integrating into your team this month?
  3. Are the tools and resources provided meeting your needs?
  4. How would you describe the company culture based on your experience so far?
  5. Have you had a chance to set personal and professional goals with your manager?
  6. What training or learning opportunities have been most beneficial?
  7. How effective are communication channels within your team?
  8. Have you formed meaningful connections with your colleagues?
  9. Is there anything that’s not been as expected?
  10. How can we make your integration smoother?

Phase 3: Settling In (First Quarter)

As new hires settle into their roles, it’s important to gauge their comfort level, understand their employee experience, and identify any gaps in training or resources.

  1. How confident do you feel in your role?
  2. Are there any areas where you feel additional training could be beneficial?
  3. How do you feel about the feedback you’ve received on your work?
  4. Have you been able to balance work and personal time effectively?
  5. How connected do you feel to your team and the company?
  6. What’s been your biggest achievement so far?
  7. Are there any processes or systems that you find challenging?
  8. Have you identified opportunities for growth within your role or the company?
  9. Is there anything you would change about the onboarding process based on your experience?
  10. What support do you need going forward?

Phase 4: Sixth Month – Long-Term Perspective

Half a year in, it’s time to look back at what’s been achieved and forward to future aspirations. This checkpoint is about long-term engagement and also career development.

  1. How well do you feel your contributions are recognized and valued?
  2. Do you see a clear path for your career development within the company?
  3. How would you describe your relationship with your manager?
  4. Are there any company values you find particularly resonant?
  5. Have you made meaningful connections and formed friendships with colleagues?
  6. Have you encountered any barriers to your well-being, success, or growth?
  7. How can we better support your skills development?
  8. What aspects of the company culture do you most appreciate?
  9. How comfortable do you feel providing feedback to your team and superiors?
  10. What’s your biggest takeaway from your first six months?

Phase 5: End of Sixth Month – Mid-Term Review

This phase is crucial for recalibrating goals and expectations, ensuring that both the employee and organization are aligned for future success.

  1. Reflecting on the goals you set during onboarding, where do you stand?
  2. Are there any new skills you wish to acquire or areas you’d like to explore?
  3. How do you feel about the progress you’ve made so far?
  4. What challenges have you overcome, and what support was most helpful?
  5. How can we assist in your continued growth and development?

Phase 6: First Anniversary – One Year Review

Celebrating the first year is significant. It’s an opportunity to affirm the employee’s contributions, discuss career progression, and strengthen their commitment to the organization. In addition to revisiting some of the questions asked earlier you could ask:

  1. What accomplishments are you most proud of this past year?
  2. How have your goals evolved, and how can we support them?
  3. What feedback do you have for the company regarding culture, support, and development?
  4. Are there any areas you’re looking forward to contributing to or leading?
  5. How do you envision your future with the company?

Boost Engagement with the Right Onboarding Questions

By asking the right onboarding survey questions at each stage of the employee lifecycle, organizations can foster a supportive environment that nurtures long-term engagement and satisfaction. Continuous feedback is the cornerstone of a dynamic, responsive onboarding process that evolves with your workforce and the ever-changing business landscape.

Remember, the key to successful onboarding isn’t only about the first day or week; it’s about creating an enduring connection that supports your employees’ growth from day one to year one and beyond. Let these questions guide your strategy, and ensure your onboarding process is as effective and engaging as possible.

Ready to dive deeper into optimizing your onboarding strategy for lasting employee engagement? Don’t miss our webinar, “Future-Proof Your Workforce: A Roadmap to Success with Assessments, Analytics, and Next-Level Onboarding“.  It’s your golden ticket to mastering the art and science of onboarding surveys, ensuring your new hires are not just surviving but thriving.

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