Three essential ingredients for onboarding new employees in 2023

Are you onboarding new employees in the same old disorganized hit-and-miss way? And are you continuing to be disappointed by their premature departure? The fact of the matter is that you can’t expect different results from doing the same things. So, perhaps it’s high time for a fresh approach to onboarding new employees.

After all, you put enough time, effort and money in to attracting and nurturing great talent across the candidate journey. Why run the risk of blowing such a crucial opportunity to make an amazing next first impression on new hires, after working hard to keep them engaged during the recruitment process?  

But surprisingly, many businesses are still onboarding new employees in a random, unplanned, sink-or-swim way, and simply hoping for the best outcome. Adam Uzialko, Editor at Business New Daily, recently backed up this theory, confirming that – 

  • “36% of organizations do not have a structured onboarding process in place.”
  • “76% of HR managers believe onboarding is under-utilized.”
  • “57% of those surveyed stated that lack of manager bandwidth was a barrier to proper onboarding.”

Today’s digital onboarding solutions remove obstacles like lack of structure, steer and time, making the entire life cycle of onboarding new employees more effortless and enjoyable for both sides.

And here are three key areas in which failproof onboarding solutions can transform your onboarding processes – or lack of therein! – from slapdash to seamless –

  • Automation
  • Integration
  • Engagement

Checklists and Automated Communications

It’s useful to approach the process of onboarding new employees in the same systematic way as your recruitment process. In the case of recruitment, it means keeping your candidates automatically informed at every touchpoint, with efficient communications that demonstrate your employer branding. With onboarding, it’s a similar ethos, but it’s geared to equip the new hires you’ve just recruited to begin at full speed.

Potent onboarding software takes the guesswork out of onboarding new employees, by steering you through every touchpoint and enabling you to deploy the relevant communications to the relevant people – internally and externally – at the right time. In addition, it alerts and helps you to close any gaps in the process, for example, an automated reminder notification can flag up a referee who doesn’t provide a reference in a timely manner.

What’s more, you can set up as many checklists as you need, on a company wide basis and / or a role specific basic. It’s a powerful reassurance, mitigating any unpreparedness that’s demotivating for new hires and reflects poorly on the business. For example –

  • Pre-Start Company Information – There are dual benefits to sharing your employee handbook, company benefits scheme, and glossary of key contacts in advance. It saves time to get the formalities out of the way before a new hire starts. Plus, it also inspires an earlier sense of belonging.
  • Fully Loaded and Road-Tested Equipment – There’s nothing worse than not having the relevant equipment set up and ready to go when you’re onboarding new employees. So, make sure that a new hire’s laptop is ready and waiting on Day One, with relevant email, internet, databases, apps and software loaded and in perfect working order. Being able to create internal checklists makes it a no brainer, including IT and any other related teams, so that everybody knows what’s expected of them and when.

Alignment and Integration

Onboarding new employees manually and / or in an unstructured way can be massively arduous. Adam Uzialko underlined this, saying, “More than 40% of the HR managers surveyed who don’t capture onboarding information electronically spend three hours or more per employee manually collecting and processing the data, while 16% spend five or more hours.”

That’s an insane amount of time wasted on routine but stressful paperwork, and it still leaves too much leeway for –

  • Key information falling through the cracks
  • Creating a messy impression
  • Sowing the first seeds of new hire disengagement

But not with the new breed of leading-edge digital solutions. It makes smooth sailing of onboarding new employeesand slices through the traditional paperwork mountain with ease. And there’s more! Time-saving is coupled with previously unavailable efficiency levels, because all new starter paperwork is stored in a single integrated system that automatically aligns with other systems, such as your HCM or HRIS.

Just think about all the paperwork that needs to go backwards and forwards between you and every new hire alone, (without counting anything external)! The contracts. The bank and payroll details. The tax documents. The emergency contacts. Now, imagine the difference in speed and efficiency when you’ve got market leading features at your fingertips, such as –

  • E-Signatures – Enabling new hires to sign and return contracts instantaneously, removing the need for outdated printing, scanning and snail mail
  • New Hire Auto-Uploading – Providing new hires with a login in to your system to automatically upload all statutory paperwork, which is received and stored in one single and secure place

And the icing on the cake? The HR recruitment team, line manager and other authorised personnel can see at glance where every new hire is up to until all onboarding requisites are completed.

People First Approach to Onboarding New Employees

Onboarding new employees requires even more of a human touch in a post-pandemic landscape, where people have different priorities, are increasingly more values-based, and hybrid and remote working models are the norm.

So, it’s well worth reframing your onboarding processes to give new hires the warmest welcome to your organization, and to meet their high expectations. This might include –

  • Onboarding Calendar – Pre-plan an onboarding calendar in conjunction with the line manager who will be responsible for your new hire. Do you need to schedule time in with other departments? With HR? How about any meetings they’re already scheduled to attending after they’ve started? Could you also include some shadowing or buddying time with a trusted team member who represents your values, and can share ‘off the record’ information about what it’s really like to work for the organization? In a nutshell, pre-start access to their onboarding calendar is a great way to engage new hires and make them feel like they’re already part of something exciting before they’ve even started.
  • Welcome Email and Behind the Scenes Heads Up – Pre-schedule a few welcome emails to be automatically sent out to your new hire ahead of their start date. This doesn’t have to be anything over the top or cringeworthy. A friendly, “Hey! This time next week will be your first day with us. We hope you’re looking forward to it as much as we are,” is perfectly fine. And, how about giving them a sneaky peak behind the curtain? Provide them with a heads up about things like public transport, parking, dress down days, lunch outlets, welcome kits, watercoolers and Friday drinks. It shows them you’re prepared and that you care.

At HireRoad, our powerhouse onboarding software is purpose designed by HR experts to transform how you’re onboarding new employees. It helps you exceed your objectives by automating and streamlining your processes, facilitating early engagement, and catapulting every new hire’s journey to productivity.  

If even one of these three key ingredients for onboarding success has caught your eye, do get in touch today. We’d love to have the opportunity to show you firsthand what our onboading solutions can add to your HR mix.