How to Develop a Strong Onboarding Process

Posted by Ashley Jones

The tried and true saying, time is money, couldn’t be more fitting when it comes to a company’s hiring efforts. From your initial talent search to onboarding new employees, having a streamlined and effective process benefits your bottom line.

According to statistics* from UrbanBound, “companies lose an average of 25% of all new employees within the first year.” However, “organizations with a standard onboarding process experience 54% greater new hire productivity, along with 50% greater new hire retention.”

While hiring methods have adapted in recent years to favor an improved candidate experience, the onboarding process that follows has remained relatively unchanged. It’s time employers re-evaluate onboarding practices to promote increased employee performance and longevity in employee retention.

Bridging the Gap

From the hiring process to the onboarding phase, it’s important that candidates remain engaged. While accepting an offer is typically an exciting time for a candidate, anticipation and anxiety can follow—especially if there fails to be interactions between signing and a new hire’s start date. This is where recruiters, HR, and hiring managers can work together to bridge the gap between a great candidate experience and a successful employee experience.

In many hiring circumstances, a recruiter serves as the first point of contact with a candidate and develops a valuable relationship. But once they’ve closed the hire, the job is often considered accomplished. However, there is an opportunity to further support the process by ensuring a smooth onboarding experience. By helping HR to manage the transition, recruiters can ensure that the expectations they set during the initial hiring process are fulfilled.

In order for the candidate to experience the brand they’ve come to know and expect throughout their initial interactions, consider using the following insights to sustain a smooth transition.

Develop a Strong Process

Though many companies offer some kind of orientation, most can significantly improve their process for greater consistency and efficiency. We’ve all seen new hires arrive day one to a workspace that isn’t ready or spending multiple days sifting through unorganized paperwork. When does the real work begin?

With time of the essence, a structured onboarding process can help you ensure each new employee receives the tools they need to succeed. By standardizing a simple and repeatable process, make onboarding across departments sleek and successful.

This is particularly important to ensure successful onboarding for employees that have been hired to sit at a customer site. Cleared professionals hired to fulfill government contracts may not step foot inside your corporate office or get the chance to engage with other members of the organization. It will benefit your employee relationship to have their recruiter or hiring manager check-in during their initial months on the job to sustain employee satisfaction and engagement. Having a simple and consistent process in place will greatly help you maintain your efforts.

Standardize Your Strategy with Technology

Luckily, a market for onboarding platforms has recently surged giving you many options to support your onboarding endeavors.

  • This technology can pair with your ATS and other HRIS software, requiring minimal data entry.
  • These platforms allow you to implement a structured and consistent process for preboarding, onboarding, and even employee departures.
  • These resources decrease needs for collecting paperwork and the time new employees spend before profitable productivity can begin.
  • Once a new hire has signed on, this technology can assist you in setting expectations for how the process will move forward, supporting a clear and satisfying transition.

Preboard for Productivity

In order to get new hires up to speed as quickly as possible, begin onboarding as soon as a job offer is accepted. Onboarding technology can greatly assist your efforts by streamlining this process.

  • Minimize lost productivity by getting paperwork out of the way upfront through an automated platform.
  • The new employee can begin progress on a wide array of activities spanning training, direct deposit setup, and learning about their role.
  • Preboarding serves as a great opportunity to set the tone of the employee-employer relationship, while also communicating necessary tasks through an online schedule.
  • Digital platforms allow you to easily track the progress of new hires to ensure organized and continuous communication.

Engage and Retain

In order for new hires to be successful, they first need to acclimate to your company and their role in it. This often requires multiple touch points during their initial 30 days of employment, and through their first year.

  • During onboarding it’s important that employees understand and adjust to their new position. But it’s also crucial that they engage in the company culture and learn about the mission and goals of the organization.
  • While a recruiter or hiring manager likely introduced them to the company’s culture during the hiring process, this information needs to continue to be shared during the early phases of employment—and throughout their entire time with the organization ideally.
  • Many onboarding platforms offer new hires the options to read testimonials from other employees, learn about their teammates and manager, and take training courses. These resources foster the flow of information, increased communication, and better engagement. All of which improve performance, satisfaction, and overall retention.

With an ever-increasing rise in technology, you will find many options to automate your onboarding process. Through a little search engine exploration you will come across providers such as Appical, Talmundo, Personably, and many more. Find the platform that best integrates with the needs of your organization to help you onboard new hires—with the added bonus of shrinking the costs of lost productivity and turnover.

Onboarding Basics

Whether you decide to support your onboarding efforts with a digital platform or not, implement a standard process that you can continually put to use. While technology can assist your efforts, consistency is the real key. Organizations that apply a simple and repeatable onboarding process experience 50% greater new hire retention. So don’t let the hard work that went into the hiring process go to waste. Once an offer has been accepted, be sure to:

  1. Set your new hire’s expectations upfront to ensure a smooth transition from candidate to employee.
  2. Frame a timeline for completing onboarding tasks, from paperwork to any necessary training. Anything that can be started or completed before day one will help you minimize lost productivity on the job.
  3. Communicate with your new hire between signing and their start date to keep them engaged.
  4. Make sure your new employee’s work area is set up and ready to go the first day they arrive.
  5. Share the mission and goals of the organization and engage the new employee in the company culture.
  6. Have the recruiter or hiring manager check in with the new employee during their first few months of employment to promote job satisfaction and the employee relationship.
  7. Make the process simple and repeatable to ensure consistency among each new employee’s onboarding experience throughout the organization.

Onboarding is an extension of the recruiting process, so continue to strive for an engaging experience that translates to job satisfaction and successful long-term hires. Implementing a streamlined and effective onboarding process will benefit your employer brand, employee relationships, productivity, retention—and ultimately your bottom line.

*Source: The Onboarding New Hire Statistics You Need to Know, UrbanBound


  • Ashley Jones

    Ashley Jones is ClearedJobs.Net's blog Editor and a cleared job search expert, dedicated to helping security-cleared job seekers and employers navigate job search and recruitment challenges. With in-depth experience assisting cleared job seekers and transitioning military personnel at in-person and virtual Cleared Job Fairs and military base hiring events, Ashley has a deep understanding of the unique needs of the cleared community. She is also the Editor of ClearedJobs.Net's job search podcast, Security Cleared Jobs: Who's Hiring & How.

This entry was posted on Monday, July 15, 2019 9:37 pm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of updates to this conversation