Employee Onboarding

In the recruiting process, attracting great candidates, managing their experiences, and hiring them are only parts of the process. Once a candidate has been selected, they must go through employee onboarding.

Here is everything you need to know about the employee onboarding process, and how specialized software can make the process a better experience.

What is employee onboarding?


Employee onboarding is the process of officially integrating a new employee into a company. It involves acquainting the new employee with:

  • The company’s culture and policies as well as the employee’s responsibilities in their new position
  • Logging the employee on the company roster, including the employee in the payroll system, and signing the employee up for company benefits

Employee onboarding also requires new hires to fill out a significant amount of paperwork as part of their initial orientation. This can be a cumbersome process, especially if that paperwork must be printed and filled out by hand. Some of those features remain today, but they are often facilitated by software applications that make the process easier.

Some onboarding processes can last as long as 12 months, depending on the company and the role. It is a comprehensive process that introduces and orients the employee to their new position, and it is not considered complete until they are proficient at their job.

In the past, employee onboarding often involved giving the employee a welcome packet, which they would read and then answer questions about, or walking the employee through training sessions throughout their onboarding process. Today, companies can use specialized software to track, record, and manage the employee onboarding process, making it easier and more productive.

Why is employee onboarding important?


Employees need to start on the right foot when they get hired, as their initial experience with a company can impact their job performance moving forward. A strong onboarding experience can ensure the employee becomes productive in their role faster, and it can help them avoid some of the anxiety that often accompanies the new employee experience.

A good onboarding experience also affects employee longevity.

“According to an article by SHRM (the Society for Human Resource Management), 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they have a great onboarding experience.”

“Furthermore, organizations with a standardized onboarding process experience 50% high levels of productivity from new staff members.”

The employee onboarding process


Once the paperwork is completed and the employee is officially a part of the organization, they have their first day of work. Their first day is the beginning of the onboarding process.

On the first day, the new employee will be introduced to their key objectives as well as the expectations that have been placed upon them. They’ll meet their co-workers and get to know the people with whom they’ll be working directly to accomplish their objectives. The first day is also an important step in acclimating the employee to the company’s culture, daily operations, office rules, and other important topics.

During the first week and subsequent months, the employee will be trained further on their role and given responsibilities to fulfill. The hiring team, management team, or the HR department will check in periodically with the employee to determine how well they are progressing. Often, it’s during this time that the new employee will work under a mentor or a direct supervisor responsible for their training.

By the end of the first year, the new employee should reach full productivity in their role. They should be prepared to take on new challenges and develop their skills further. From this point, most companies focus on employee retention efforts and continuing skills development to make their employees more successful in the future.

What is employee onboarding software?


Employee onboarding software is a technology solution that makes integrating new employees into their position within a company smoother and more efficient. Most employee onboarding software is now cloud-based and includes a digital dashboard that enables talent acquisition teams and managers to track and communicate about a new employee’s progress.

Employee onboarding software also includes tools to make the menial tasks of onboarding more streamlined. HR personnel can use the software to automate menial tasks, such as filing tax documents, so they can focus on more important aspects of the onboarding experience, such as the employee’s progress toward productivity and their understanding of the company’s culture.

Overall, employee onboarding software enables the HR team to track the entire onboarding process, from the moment an employee is hired to the point they become proficient in their role, and beyond.

Where does employee onboarding software fit into the recruiting process?


Employee onboarding software almost always comes into the picture toward the end of the recruiting process, after a candidate has been hired by the company. Once an applicant has been accepted, their information can be transferred or imported into the onboarding software so they can begin their onboarding journey.

Most employee onboarding software integrates with other human resource management systems, such as:

  • Payroll
  • Benefits management
  • Performance management tools

With the right solution, companies can even integrate their onboarding software with their recruiting tools, enabling a seamless transition from candidacy to onboarding.

Best-in-class onboarding software includes easy-to-use templates for onboarding, task management tools, and automated messages including risk alerts and triggered emails. For the new employee, the onboarding solution may include dashboards that enable them to interact with the software through a secure portal. This allows them to complete onboarding tasks, so they are tracked and recorded.

Why is employee onboarding software important?


Many organizations struggle with onboarding, and with hiring in general. Companies that hire seasonal employees need to move through the onboarding process quickly and efficiently. Organizations with a high turnover rate, such as the retail industry, need to be able to fill roles quickly and reduce their time to reach productivity as much as possible.

Employee onboarding software helps by automating the burdensome tasks that get in the way of the real work of onboarding, such as filing tax documents. It creates a clear list of tasks that must be completed, so every stakeholder can have a clear understanding of where each new employee is in their process.

More importantly, this type of software provides the HR team and the new employee with a transparent and standardized process for incorporating new employees, which saves time and creates a consistent experience for everyone in the company. With a standardized process, the company can collect data on the onboarding process to spot trends and make incremental improvements. It’s also easier for the new employee, as they can rely on the software to guide them through their experience.

Most onboarding software helps with compliance obligations as well. The best solutions include tools for the automated preparation, signing, and management of government forms. This reduces risks and ensures no documents or important information is lost.

What to look for in employee onboarding software


At a minimum, an employee onboarding solution should include features that enable a company to do the following:

  •     Seamlessly manage hiring paperwork
  •     Ensure documentation compliance, even in compliance-heavy industries
  •     Create automated task workflows for new employees and HR personnel
  •     Track employee progress in the onboarding process
  •     Create a single source of truth for employee information
  •     Generate analytics and reporting on the onboarding process

The best solutions allow for complex integrations into your existing HR software. You should also be able to track the onboarding process across multiple systems, including human capital management and payroll software. This enables the new hire’s records to be moved easily into other systems after they are hired.

iCIMS’ employee onboarding software

iCIMS’ Onboarding expedites the onboarding process through automated onboarding processes, templates, tasks, and electronic forms. Track the entire onboarding process across multiple systems and integrate your onboarding software seamlessly with your other HR solutions.

  • Prepare new hires for the road ahead with onboarding portals that guide them through their journey.
  • You can even include customized messages and videos, making it easy to showcase your unique brand and keep new employees engaged. Even if you operate in a compliance-heavy industry, iCIMS makes compliance easy with virtual paperwork tools.
  • Automate the management of your tax documents to ensure they are error-free and make compliance easy for your new hires through an intuitive guide. The onboarding process should be exciting and engaging. iCIMS takes care of all the heavy lifting, so you can focus on bringing your new employee into the fold.

Learn more about how iCIMS' Talent Cloud can help you attract, engage, hire, and advance the best talent.

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