Joining a new job can be exciting for the new hire. A smooth and seamless onboarding process is the best way to impress new joiners. New hires transitioning smoothly into the workplace and imbibing the new work culture is a sign of a streamlined onboarding process. How to bring efficiency into the tedious onboarding process? Using employee onboarding software is a great way to improve the efficiency of employee onboarding. Read on to understand the essentials of employee onboarding, ways to streamline employee onboarding, and the top 10 onboarding software reigning in the market.
Employee Onboarding Process Tools
Employee onboarding is the process through which a new employee is transitioned into the organization. During this transitional period, the new employee is familiarized with the company’s processes, culture, skills required for the job, and values. The onboarding process is usually confused with the orientation process. Both these processes are different, and the variation is based on the scope and timeline. Orientation is a brief one-time process that lasts a few hours to a few days, while onboarding is an ongoing process that lasts at least a month. Both orientation and onboarding focus on familiarizing the candidate with the work and the company’s culture. Onboarding aims at helping a new hire fit into the organization. It would be right to say that orientation is part of the onboarding process.
Research on the True Cost of a Bad Hire by the Brandon Hall Group reveals that a positive onboarding process can increase new hire retention by 82% and improve employee productivity by 70%. Employee retention is one of the key challenges that companies face today. Despite the obvious importance of the onboarding process, it is often neglected and reduced to a simple first-day orientation process. Incomplete or shortened onboarding lowers the employee’s performance and damages their impression of the company. Using onboarding tools helps streamline the onboarding process. Onboarding tools for new employees also relieve the HR team from mundane tasks. Even for online recruitment processes, remote onboarding tools can be used to complete the onboarding process efficiently.
Steps in the Onboarding Process
Employee onboarding begins from the moment an offer is made to the employee until the time the employee becomes a productive member of the organization. The simplest yet most effective employee onboarding tool is a checklist. The various steps in the onboarding process are listed below:
Offer release – Employee onboarding starts immediately after the recruitment phase. Once an employee is hired, a welcome email is sent by the HR manager along with useful links like offer letters, digital onboarding forms, and policy documents. The content of the email must be simple and endearing so that the new joiners gain familiarity with the organization’s culture and know what to expect from the organization.
Offer acceptance – Once the employee accepts the offer, the HR team will set a review call to discuss forms, benefits, policies, and expectations. Constant engagement of new hires will affirm their choice to accept the offer and forge strong relationships with the organization. The right time to sketch the agenda for employee orientation is after offer acceptance.
Waiting Period – In the majority of cases, there would be a waiting period between offer acceptance and the date of joining. It is crucial to keep the employee engaged during this waiting period in order to prevent the prospective employee from entertaining other offers. The HR teams must use the waiting period to build a rapport with the employee by letting them know that they are valued. Sending emails or calling prospective employees to update them about the status of their offer and sharing information about the company keeps them engaged. The HR manager can also use the waiting period to plan the onboarding process.
The first day on the job – The first day in a new job involves relevant paperwork, allocating necessary software and hardware, and arranging meetings between the new employees supervisors, and the team. The HR team must be in touch with the new hire all through the onboarding process to supply information or guidance at every step. Having a checklist of the necessary documents that need to be signed by the new joiner must be completed on priority. Most new hires have mixed emotions about the job and company, they are anxious, happy, excited, and nervous on their first day. Invoking a sense of belonging on the first day is a critical part of the onboarding process.
Team introduction – It is essential for the new employee to coordinate with other team members and members from other teams as part of their work. The HR manager must coordinate with key stakeholders and notify them of the start date of the new hire. The HR staff must enlist the help of the key stakeholders to organize the cubicle of the new employee and organize welcome meetings, and orientation sessions.
Training and orientation – The new joiner must be given an overview of the organization’s culture and insight into the company’s goals. The orientation session introduces the employee to the new team, work processes, and company policies. Role-based goals and objectives for the next 30 to 90 days are set during the orientation process. Job-based training is also provided during the orientation step.
First quarter review – The first quarter review is an important part of the onboarding process. The expectations of the organization and the employee are reviewed during the first quarter to see if they match. The HR managers discuss the new joiner’s experience at the company and check if this matches their expectations. The new joiner’s performance is reviewed by discussing it with other team members. Any concerns from the employee’s perspective or from the organization’s perspective should be identified and addressed by the HR team.
Types of Employee Onboarding Tools
There are several employee onboarding tools that organizations have been using. From simple onboarding checklists to workflow automation tools, the HR teams use these tools to improve the efficiency of the HR process. The main types of tools used in the onboarding process are listed below:
This is the simplest tool that can be used for almost any business process. A checklist simply lists down the tasks in the process. Onboarding checklists are a straightforward way of organizing the onboarding process.
Specialized tools –
Specialized onboarding tools are created for the sole purpose of streamlining the employee onboarding process. These tools streamline, automate, and accelerate the onboarding process. Employee onboarding Tool is a specialized tool that can be used by organizations to provide a great onboarding experience for the new joiner.
Free tools –
There are several free tools that can be used to organize and streamline the onboarding process. The HR management tools are free and offer more flexibility and a variety of options when compared to simple checklists.
Integrated tools –
Integrated tools are all-in-one tools that offer solutions for the whole HR management process. A single integrated tool can be used for several HR processes like onboarding, payroll, benefits, and time management.
Using employee onboarding chatbots is a very effective tool to simplify the onboarding process. Chatbots are conversational tools that can guide the new employee throughout the onboarding process. The biggest advantage of using chatbots is that they are available 24/7 to the new joiner to clarify any queries that arise during the onboarding process.
Benefits of a Streamlined Onboarding Process
Having a streamlined employee onboarding process provides several benefits to the organization. Here are the main advantages of a properly set employee onboarding process.
Acclimatize the employee in the briefest possible period – When a new employee joins the company apart from teaching them where to park their vehicles or where the best lunch spots are, they need to know exactly what is expected of them. They also need to know whom to approach for their queries, and where to find support from their peers and management team. A clear employee onboarding process allows new employees to understand their roles from day one.
Decreases the time it takes for an employee to become productive – The more clear and streamlined the onboarding process, the quicker will the employee be able to settle down and begin being productive. A confusing and disorganized onboarding process results in the new hire wasting time in getting to know the who, what, and how of the organization. Well-organized onboarding and clear onboarding materials provide all the answers to the new joiner about their work and organization.
Improves employee engagement – Active engagement of employees ensures that they feel valued by the company. Highly engaged employees are more productive, and profitable, and deliver superior quality work. Engagement in this context means that the management team is showing that they value the employee, and recognize their talent and commitment to the company. The onboarding is the first look an employee has at the organization’s structure, work culture, politics, and support with the company.
Improves employee retention – ⅓ of the employee turnover happens during the first 90 days of an employee joining the organization, which means that the onboarding process needs to be effective. Poorly organized onboarding processes and organizations that leave their employees to fend for themselves pave the way for employee attrition. Moreover, the costs associated with bad hires are very high. In order to improve employee retention rates, it is important to have a streamlined onboarding process. Better employee retention saves thousands of dollars for the company.
Promotes a better company culture – A well-organized onboarding process sets the tone from day one for better employee relations. It helps build a strong work culture and makes the employees feel valued, supported, and appreciated. A well-laid-out onboarding process makes new employees feel welcomed, and existing employees see that the workforce is valued. Unique company values are communicated clearly to new hires.
Going paperless – Automating the onboarding process eliminates the paperwork involved in onboarding. Paperless onboarding brings down human intervention in the onboarding process. The software empowers employees to submit and sign documents digitally. Employee onboarding tools free the HR team from the responsibility of managing paper documents.
Given the benefits of having a well-set onboarding process, the next step is to identify the best way to streamline this process. From the above discussions, it is clear that some of the steps in the onboarding process are labour-intensive and repetitive. Any process that has repetitive and labour-intensive steps is prime for workflow automation. Using workflow automation software, the onboarding workflow can be streamlined and rendered more effective and efficient. Cflow is a workflow automation software that can automate key business workflows within minutes. The easy-to-use visual form builder makes it super easy to build workflows. Workflow automation not only improves the efficiency of workflows but also increases productivity. Including onboarding software solutions in HR, workflows are a great way to ensure optimal performance.
Best Onboarding Practices
To make the onboarding process smooth and effective there are certain best practices that HR teams can follow. Each organization has its own business practices and procedures, they can choose the best practices that are relevant to its organization.
Document onboarding processes –
HR managers cannot reinvent the wheel each time a new hire joins the organization. Documenting existing onboarding processes and all their supporting resources and checklists, and making the information available to all HR professionals is the best way to streamline employee onboarding.
Access to the company’s knowledge base –
The new employees are likely to have a lot of questions about the new job. Most of these questions are simple and repetitive. They would like to know about the leave policy, dress code at work, performance evaluation parameters, etc. Instead of making the employee ask different people for the required information, all the documents that help the candidate understand the company’s procedures and policies need to be made accessible to the new joiners. The new joiners must be given access to knowledge base software and empowered to find answers on their own. A comprehensive knowledge database that covers all the important company policies and procedures is a must-have in the employee onboarding process.
Check-in with new hires proactively –
The first few weeks are the most important both for the new joiner and employer. It is a great opportunity to see if the company is a good fit for the employee and vice-versa. In addition to monitoring new employees’ performance, the HR teams also have to make sure employees’ expectations are met.
Optimizing the onboarding process –
Adopting technological advancements in the employee onboarding process by using employee onboarding tools is the best way to optimize the onboarding process. Automating the employee onboarding process using workflow automation tools like Cflow optimizes the onboarding process. New hire employee onboarding tools eliminate redundant and repetitive steps in the process and make it more efficient. The HR team gets more time to focus on strategic activities rather than mundane admin activities.
Choose a mentor for each new hire –
New employees will be having many questions as they get used to the new role and organization. To gather information on the new role they need to ask questions to several people. Instead, if the HR team allocates a mentor to the new hire it becomes easy to get adjusted to the new role.
Customize the onboarding process –
The pace of the onboarding process must be adjusted according to the skills and competencies of the newcomer. In some cases, it is not appropriate to pile too many responsibilities on the new employee. Treating a new employee as an expert may put undue pressure on him. The onboarding process, therefore, needs to be customized according to the skill level of the candidate.
Do not cut short the onboarding process –
The onboarding process could extend up to a year in some organizations. Despite that, several organizations cut short the onboarding process to a few months, not waiting for the new joiner to completely settle in the role. This is a very common mistake that HR teams commit across organizations. Cutting short the process has several repercussions within the organization. Continuing the onboarding process until the employee completely settles down is beneficial for the organization and the new employee as well.
Introduce the new hire to the entire organization –
Restricting the introduction of the new employee to the team alone is not a good idea. If the candidate is introduced to the team alone, the HR team would need to put in additional effort to facilitate interaction with the rest of the organization. If you do not go beyond the team during the introduction, you will severely limit the new employee’s understanding of the methods within the organization. Introducing the candidate to the entire organization gives them a sense of belonging and helps them look at the bigger picture.
Onboard everyone –
Onboarding is usually thought of as the process of getting the new hire up to speed. In reality, onboarding a new employee impacts everyone on the person’s team. The entire team must be involved in the onboarding process, which makes sure everyone is in the loop during the onboarding process. Involving the entire team also makes them feel valued.
Must-Have Features of Employee Onboarding Tools
Onboarding tools software helps streamline the employee onboarding workflow. Choosing the right software for the onboarding process determines the success of implementation. Here are some must-have features of onboarding tools for new employees.
Ease of use – The tool must be easy to use. The HR team must be able to use the tool without much training. The user interface should be easy to follow by everyone on the HR team.
Customization – The software must be customizable as per the requirements of the organization. The automated workflow must accommodate the tasks specific to the onboarding workflow in the organization. The software must be able to accommodate organizational changes that come with growth.
Data security – The employee data must be handled with utmost confidentiality and security. Data errors or data leaks can prove costly for the organization. The employee onboarding software must ensure the safety and security of employee data.
Pricing – The software must be worth the investment. The software must be feature-rich and make the onboarding workflow quick and efficient. The more efficient the employee onboarding, the more productive the employee is.
Seamless integration – The onboarding software must be seamlessly integrated with third-party solutions like ERP, payroll systems, and other systems.
Mobility – The onboarding software must be mobile-friendly so that it can be used from anywhere at any time. Here are such empowered HR tools to work from wherever they are.
End-to-end approval workflows – The automation software must enable end-to-end approval workflows. All the repetitive tasks must be effectively automated by the software.
Top 5 Employee Onboarding Tools
The top 5 employee onboarding tools as per G2- Business Software Reviews are listed below.
This is rated easiest to use workflow management software. This software helps HR personnel to manage daily tasks like payroll, benefits, talent, and workforce management.
Bamboo HR –
This employee onboarding software is rated as the 5th easiest to use Onboarding software. This is a cloud-based system that is intuitive, and affordable for growing companies to streamline their onboarding process.
This software is ranked 8th as the easiest-to-use workforce management software. Paycom equips HR with everything they need from hire to retirement, to manage the entire onboarding software.
UKG Pro –
This is a powerful, global human capital management (HCM) solution that helps HR to manage payroll, service delivery, onboarding, and compensation.
ADP Workforce Now –
This is the only all-in-one cloud-HR solution that adapts to the way you work. This tool helps you manage your workforce and make data-driven decisions.
With the average employee life cycle shortening by the minute, a streamlined employee onboarding program is more essential than ever. A well-organized employee onboarding process turns new hires into valuable team members with a memorable onboarding experience. Employee onboarding tools can be used by HR to accelerate the onboarding process and deliver a superior onboarding experience to the newly joined employee. A workflow automation software like Cflow enables HR to manage employee onboarding efficiently.
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