20 September 2016

Effective employee onboarding: automate now!

Every step of employee onboarding is important, from before they start their job to the completion of their first year in the company. It should be your goal to make a good first impression, because 67% of new hires are more likely to stay with the company for at least 3 years after a great onboarding experience. A well-organized onboarding process will save costs for recruiting, help the HR department do their work more efficiently, and will make the new employees feel comfortable right from the start.


A great way to organize onboarding in your company is to automate it. Why? You see, onboarding is rather typical for most employees, so why do it by hand if you can automate all the steps for a faster and better process.

Let’s take a look at some basic steps of the onboarding process.

  • Scheduling. This includes calling the employee to confirm start date, time, identifying computer needs, adding scheduled meetings to the employee’s calendar, planning the employee’s first assignment and preparing all the relevant documentation.
  • Socialization. The new hire has to get to know the team, his and hers onboarding buddy and the critical people. Also, the HR person has to make sure that the employee is shown around the office and knows where the workstation is.
  • Work Environment. The HR person has to prepare the workstation, arrange for parking, order business cards, provide office keys, contact names and phone lists, transportation information, job description, information about the company, its mission and values.
  • Technology. At this point, the HR person must provide all the equipment (computer, printer, iPad, iPhone) and software, create a user account for the new hire and arrange for access to common folders.
  • Training. The HR person must take care of orientation of the new hire and organize training required for the job.

So where does the problem appear? The key word here is “responsibility”. Usually, the onboarding process does not have an owner, meaning that everyone is responsible for everything, which is the same as no one being responsible for nothing. As a result, new hires struggle with finding their desk or connecting their laptop, do not know what tasks they are supposed to be working on, and have no idea whom to call to clear things out. A new hire who is anxious and uncomfortable will not make a happy employee. Unhappy employees are way less engaged than they could be, all summing up to poor productivity, low results and less benefit for the company.

How to organize the onboarding process in such a way that both the hiring manager and the new hire are satisfied?

Automate it!

This way, you can be sure that nothing is overlooked, because automated workflow guides the HR department and connects the new hire with the team, solving the responsibility problem. On top of it, at any moment you can always check where exactly in the process you and the new hire are.

When automated, some tasks become easier to complete; for example, you can get rid of paper documents and make them available to the new hire online by providing access to your corporate portal. This way he or she can fill out all necessary forms, read the company’s policies and work instructions before even coming to the office on the first day.

To automate, you first need to document your current process, think about each step in detail and describe all the proceedings. A BPM system could be of great benefit here, allowing you to create a process diagram, specify all the responsibilities and set permissions. Of course, there are things that cannot be automated, such as, for example, stationery provision, but you can include them in checklists and task descriptions so that they are not left out of the process.

Imagine that your new hire comes to the office the first day with all the forms already filled out. He or she is shown to their workplace (fully equipped with a computer and stationery) and is then provided with the parking information, the office key, all the necessary names and phone numbers. Then, the new hire is introduced to the colleagues and is shown where the bathroom and the canteen are. After that, he or she receives instructions about training or work assignments, information about when the paycheck is due and how to sign up for benefits.
With all this accomplished, do you think the new hire will appreciate their experience in your company? I am sure of that. And, as I have pointed out earlier, a happy employee is way more engaged in work and is likely to stay in your company for long.

By making the onboarding process automated, you can turn your new hires into productive employees, who are happy to contribute to your business. With onboarding being such an important part of talent management in your company, you have to make sure that the onboarding process is impeccable. A BPM system can do just that: help you automate, execute and control all the steps of the onboarding process, providing great results and improving the efficiency of your HR department.

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Ekaterina Mokrushina
Marketing Specialist