What is employee onboarding?

An employee onboarding process helps businesses welcome employees to their new employer in a streamlined, stress-free way.

It focuses on different stages throughout the employee lifecycle – from the very first interaction to settling a new starter into their role.

What does an onboarding process look like?

There are several tasks that HR teams follow during the hiring process. This includes before and after a new starter joins an organisation. Some of these include:

  • Setting up internal meetings
  • Scheduling first-day arrival address and timings
  • Form requests: passport details, car registration, medical history
  • Contacting and confirming references
  • IT equipment set up
  • Payroll authorisation
  • Setting clear goals/training

Why is onboarding important?

There are different scenarios that can hinder first impressions. For example, if a new starter turns up on their first day having received the wrong address from the company, this could delay the onboarding process. It also creates a poor first impression.

It’s important to think about how the employee would feel and the impact on long-term employee engagement. A good onboarding process should leave the new starter feeling enthusiastic about their new role.

If you can tick any of the following off the list, you’re already on the right track towards a positive onboarding process:

1. The prospective employee is invested in the brand culture

First impressions are formed when an employee makes an initial interaction with your business. As soon as prospective employees click on your careers page or via social channels, they start to build up an impression of what it’s like to work at your company.

CIPD says, “All organisations have a company brand and it helps to compete for the best talent.” This helps to explain why a poor brand culture may drive away the best talent.

Before job seekers even apply for the job, they will look at the company brand culture across social channels and website.

Prospective employees will typically look out for: tone of voice, engagement with existing employees, information about work-style preferences, and benefits.

They are hoping to find an organisation that they can feel comfortable in. If it’s not obvious across company channels, this can lead to missed out opportunities and potential hires going elsewhere.

2. The new employee is engaged from the get-go

Once an interviewee has accepted a job offer, it’s important to have a clear plan in place to ensure they are ready for their first day.

Having a clear structure of what the initial induction will look like eases the transition into their new role. Creating an easy-to-follow onboarding plan will help with this. Think about including an introduction to team members, the wider business, and planning key training delivered by the appropriate people.

These initial steps go a long way if a business wants to focus on building effective employee engagement and retention.

3. Sense of security over present and future goals

In a recent study, 56% of new starters in the UK had no welcome or team bonding activities.

Without a clear understanding of what their initial onboarding process looks like, employees may be left feeling anxious or overwhelmed. It’s also important to continue the momentum over the coming months to keep new hires engaged.

1:1 meetings are recommended to ensure clear communication and room to express any concerns and/or feedback. This could include potential training to boost their skillset or set up defined goals to help transition into their new role.

How can HR professionals make sure they have the best onboarding process?

Implementing digital technology is now becoming an expectation for any business; this includes a cloud-based HR and onboarding system.

Using a digital tool for onboarding will help to manage all of the tasks highlighted above – online. This means the onboarding process can be streamlined from the beginning and accessible from home or in the office.

To ensure new starters are engaged from the get-go, here are three ways automated onboarding software can help:

1. Personalised onboarding webpage

A personalised onboarding webpage acts as a hub that informs the employee all about their new employer. This covers everything from an introduction to team members, access to company videos, and a checklist of completed or unfinished tasks.

Whatsmore, businesses can customise their page to reflect their bespoke branding; bringing together consistency across all channels. When a new starter views this it’s likely to give the same positive connotations they had when researching the company.

2. Workflows and approvals

An automated workflow allows businesses to set up scheduled tasks within a specific timeframe. Stakeholders and prerequisites can also be added to the workflow to ensure full visibility across teams.

A workflow performs particularly well when onboarding an employee who requires mandatory training. Training could include general health and safety procedures or training specific to their role e.g. a finance manager learning how to use expense management software.

ELMO’s course library can be used as an additional module to give employees access to multiple training courses.

3. Access to digital forms

With digitalised forms, businesses can configure and set up forms that meet their business requirements. Existing documents can be uploaded straight into the onboarding software; reducing the workload of creating new forms.

This encourages employees to send back important documents quickly and accurately and helps businesses to switch to a paperless process.

Sending forms to new starters digitally gives them access to view all documents within a centralised hub.

How can ELMO onboarding software help?

ELMO onboarding makes sure your new and existing employees feel comfortable and excited about their career paths.

From initial interaction across different channels to setting up employee training, it ensures a positive journey for the employee.

Learn more about how ELMO can help your organisation.
Learn more about how ELMO can help your organisation.