Take Our HR Skills Assessment to Get a Custom Learning Plan

New Hire Questionnaire

Whether you’re filling a vacant position or a newly created role, it’s important to help your new employees feel welcome and ready to take on the challenges of their new job. This is where onboarding comes in.

Onboarding helps employees integrate into the company culture, feel supported, and start off strong. If onboarding doesn’t go well, however, you’re much more likely to lose the employee to turnover.

New hire questionnaires can help. In this article, we’ll teach you how to create new hire questionnaires that will improve onboarding and increase retention.

What Is a New Hire Questionnaire?

A new hire questionnaire is an onboarding survey that helps the employer get to know their new employee by asking them questions about work preferences, goals, and their experience in onboarding. Questionnaires vary from organization to organization, and the surveys are easy to create and customize.

Why Surveying New Employees Is Important

New hire surveys express caring and garner valuable information about your new hire. Here are some of the benefits of obtaining information by using new employee questionnaires.

  • Improves retention. If a new hire feels uncomfortable in their new position, they may not integrate as well into the company culture, and are more likely to consider other employment. In fact, companies lose many employees during the onboarding process when they don’t feel socially integrated into the company culture. New hire questionnaires can help employees feel welcome by giving them an opportunity to discuss their initial experience. If there are issues, you can address them sooner rather than later.
  • Improves the onboarding process. New hire onboarding is extremely important for the organization, so you want to be sure you’re doing it right. New hire questionnaires can help you improve  your onboarding process for future new hires.
  • Continues the onboarding process. Even new hire questionnaires that go out weeks after the employee starts gathers valuable information that continues the onboarding process. It helps ensure that your new hire understands any technical aspects of their jobs and knows who to go to should they have questions.

20 Questions to Ask Your New Hires

Although it’s always helpful to have more information, you also don’t want to overwhelm a new hire with constant questions. So, we recommend sending out no more than three questionnaires in their first six months of work. Questionnaires shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to complete.

Questions to Ask on Day 1: Personal Identity

Integrating into the company’s culture is important for employee retention. However, allowing an employee to first share their individual identity first can help them feel less like an outsider. This is called personal-identity socialization. It assures employees that they can be themselves, and that doing so will contribute to the company culture.

Question Examples:

  1. What’s unique about your approach to your work, and how has it contributed to your success?
  2. Please provide two or three examples of achievements you’re most proud of.
  3. When are you at your best, and which aspects of your workplace help you be at your best?
  4. What are your top three strengths?
  5. How do you best learn—by reading, doing, or listening?
  6. Would you be interested in joining any of the following employee groups? (list groups)

Questions to Ask After Week 1: Orientation and Other Basics

An employee’s first week of work will likely be stressful and full of new information that they’re trying to retain. During this time, it’s important to make sure they understand the “who, what, where, and when” of their new position. Make sure to follow up with them on their answers either during a check-in or a short phone call.

Question Examples:

  1. You probably have a lot of questions right now. That’s normal! Do you know who to go to if you have a question about your job responsibilities? If you have questions about who to report to, please add them below.
  2. Have you been able to access things you need for work, such as your email, user account, locker, parking pass, tools, etc…? If not, please let us know which items you still need access to.
  3. Have you completed your onboarding week 1 checklist? If you’re not sure, let us know.
  4. Please rate the onboarding process on a scale from 1-10.
  5. What did you enjoy about the onboarding process?
  6. Were you provided the right information for your first day of work? (When to arrive, what to bring, etc…)
  7. Were you provided complete information during your first onboarding meeting?

Questions to Ask After Month 3: Check in With Your New Hire

The three-month new hire survey should serve as an opportunity to make sure that the employee is integrating socially and able to manage common challenges they may face in their position.

Question Examples:

  1. What challenges have you experienced? Were you able to get the resources you needed to work through this challenge? If not, please explain.
  2. On a scale of 1-10, how supported do you feel by your teammates?
  3. On a scale of 1-10, how confident do you feel about navigating the responsibilities of your new position?
  4. Are you aware of how our performance evaluation process works?
  5. On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied do you feel with your current duties and responsibilities.
  6. What changes can we make to help you be even more successful in your role?
  7. Do you have any short- or long-term goals you’d like to share?

Questionnaire Best Practices to Keep in Mind

1. Don’t Rely on New Employee Questionnaires Only

It’s important to connect with the employee in their first months of work. Although new employee questionnaires are useful, they don’t provide as much of an opportunity to connect as in-person connections, and can feel impersonal to the employee.

We encourage you to check in with the new hire in person after their second week of work. We also encourage reviewing questionnaire answers either in person or over the phone. Your new hire may elaborate more on their answers during in-person check-ins. They may also be more likely to share their true feelings if they don’t have to put it in writing.

2. Use at Least Some Likert Scale Questions

Likert scale questions use a scale to measure the employee’s response. Scales typically range from 4 to 10, and often use even numbers so that employees are discouraged from answering neutrally.

Likert scale questions are used in various types of research, and they’re great for new hire questionnaires. They’re helpful because they provide more information than a simple “yes or no,” and they help the person answering the question consider how they feel about a particular question.

3. Always Follow Up

Even if the new hire’s answers indicate that they’re doing just fine, make sure to follow up with them after they complete their survey. Check-ins should be scheduled within a few weeks of the questionnaire being completed.

Questions You’ve Asked Us About New Hire Questionnaires

How often should you survey new employees?
There is such a thing as survey fatigue, so you want to limit both how often you survey employees and how long each survey is. Generally, you shouldn’t survey an employee more than three times in their first six months. Surveys should be less frequent after six months. And, surveys shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to complete. If you need more information, meet with them.
What survey tool should I use?
There are many software survey tools you can use. The one you choose should be secure, customizable, and able to provide you with reports showing employee answers. It should also be able to provide higher-level data, such as completion rates among employees, answer data, and how much time it took to complete.
Natasha Wiebusch

Natasha Wiebusch

Natasha is a writer and former labor and employment attorney turned HR professional. Her experience as a litigator and HR trainer inspired her to begin writing about anti-discrimination laws in the workplace. As a writer at Eddy HR, she hopes to provide helpful information to both employees and HR professionals who need help navigating the vast world of human resources. When she’s not writing, you might find her cheering on the Green Bay Packers or hiking in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

Want to contribute to our HR Encyclopedia?

Posts You Might Like

What Are the Basic Employee Onboarding Documents?

What Are the Basic Employee Onboarding Documents?

Hiring a new employee is about finding the best person for the right job—but after you’ve picked the perfect hire, a mountain of paperwork stands between you and getting the new employee to work. Productivity comes after you’ve got all the proper new hire documents filled out and in place as part of the onboarding process.

Read More »

Want to join our network of contributing HR professionals?

Scroll to Top

Submit a Question