Are you putting enough thought and effort into your new-hire onboarding practices?

If you don’t think you are, you could start your new candidate’s employment off on the wrong foot, costing you time and money to replace them and find a replacement. To avoid this you need to know how to make a good first impression during the onboarding process, not just clients but candidates too. Impressions are created from the initial advertisement and day of the interview right through to their first day at work and then into employment. Currently it’s a candidates market, with candidates often having a choice or several offers of employment on the table.  So,the way you handle each step of the process is crucial.

Onboarding & Orientation, is it the same thing?

There’s a lot of ambiguity around the meaning and the process of ‘onboarding’. It’s Understood to be either:

  1. filling in forms and paperwork and going through endless formalities prior to your first day, and/or
  2. onboarding and orientation are sometimes seen as the same thing. 
  3. Making you familiar with the work place on your first day on the job eg: lunchroom, fire escape, saying Hi to the CEO (this is induction)

Actually, the process of ‘onboarding’ is completely different from ‘orientation’ or ‘induction’, and YES onboarding is about submitting paperwork, filling in forms and going through formalities so that employment can commence and legislative and compliance rules are met. We often fail to recognise that these ‘less acknowledged’ steps in the recruitment process could help make a good impression on the new employee if managed well, or become a point of friction if  not managed well. Orientation on the other hand is a step that follows onboarding and is arranged by the employer the first day the new employee reports to their new position. Onboarding is usually conducted by the recruiter or hiring manager, or orientation a delegate of the company.

Why does making a good impression matter during onboarding?

In a competitive market, for you to recruit talent you need to move quickly. Efficiency and speed give you the competitive advantage.  If you are waiting for someone to provide evidence of their right to work in the country – sending an email with no follow up or mismanaging documents-it severely delays the process. Not having a proper onboarding process in place can land you in deep water and expose your client/business to risks if there are no defined processes on how to source and store employee documents.If compliance is important to you and it should be these processes need to stand up to scrutiny and auditing.  

Onboarding is important for all types of businesses from small to medium and large enterprises. Given that attracting the right talent with the right credentials these days is so important and costly, this is the time to adopt practices that improve responsiveness, ensure that all the compliance requirements are met, and make this seem absolutely effortless to give off a powerful first impression. 

Top 8 Tips

It does not have to be time consuming if you adopt the right approach to make the onboarding process feel like a  breeze. Let’s discuss some of the best onboarding tips and practices.

Time the onboarding process correctly. Don’t wait for the employees first day to collect paperwork and credentials. Get this done as soon as the person is interviewed or appointed or even prior to interview. Part of this process can be reference, police and working with children checks.

1. Time the onboarding process correctly. Don’t wait for the employees first day to collect paperwork and credentials. Get this done as soon as the person is interviewed or appointed or even prior to interview. Part of this process can be reference, police and working with children checks.

2. Make it seem effortless. Although these housekeeping tasks are monotonous and time consuming you should keep your blinkers on to ensure that the candidates are engaged from the application process right through to their first day on the job. Onboarding is one of the initial points of contact with the new employee so you want to keep them enthusiastic and encouraged throughout their journey.

3. Create a uniform and clear process.  Managing your paperwork from the very beginning. Standardise HR forms. Nail the process down from the time the documents are returned to updating the clients profile online. Create transparent processes. Make sure that how you go about onboarding new employees is consistent so that employees have the same experience as the rest. Have your data integrity checked frequently.

4. Minimise points of interaction. It’s like driving a car, you don’t want to shift too many gears in order to get the car moving. Limit the contact points and let them ease into their new role. Consider onboarding software, automating monotonous takes will truly trim down the time needed to get new employees onboarded and placed on site. This software often collects all the information on one URL link and doesn’t require scanning documents and carrying around paperwork, it even follows up with the employee for you.

5. Change your approach when dealing with forms. Onboarding is not a headache, rather it’s the process in which the forms are requested, collected, filed. Often Uploading is a headache for the employer, recruiter and new employee. Knowing that 6 in 10 Australian managers have had a new employee resign during their probation period due to poor onboarding processes is a red flag (Business Insider Australia So look at ways to cut down the strain that it puts on your HR team and create a strong set of processes that enable the team to seamlessly work and execute tasks.

6. Minimise the risks for missing documents. This is likely to happen when staff go on vacation or leave their role unexpectedly. Make sure that during their handover all candidate forms are in their mailbox and make sure that they are saved in the candidate folder. Have a filing system that is easy to add documents from any location and find any document on demand. Or opt for a fully automated system to eliminate these issues.

7. Explore onboarding software.  With onboarding software the hiring manager orrecruiter creates a profile online. Sends out a single URL link to enable the candidate to upload all their forms and this syncs to their online profile. Using a smart phone or device to photograph ID, tickets, etc. Leaving behind a clean audit trail.  Digitally capturing the essential employee information, populating government-mandated forms, securely storing completed records. There are many benefits of digital onboarding that are worth exploring, here are a few:

  • use web forms and workflows to drive onboarding
  • eliminates mismanagement of documents
  • reduce work for HR employees, 2 days effort from HR down to 2-3 minutes. 
  • able to onboard 1-1000 employees in a matter of minutes.

8. Integrate your ATS CRM software with onboarding software. Invest in HR recruitment systems that drive the job hire process to ensure that candidates are getting the best new employee experience from the time they submit their application right through to their first day on the job. For companies that already have recruitment management software like JobAdder, Job Science, Workforce One, Bullhorn – onboarding software systems can easily integrate into their systems. You can use this to drive the entire onboarding process without getting bogged down in exchanging too many emails and uploading or filing too many forms. It also ensures data integrity and efficiency.

Now that Onboarding is complete, what next?

If you nail the onboarding process you secure the fact that employees have made the right decision to work for your organization and all of their knowledge, experience and expertise that they brought to the table are still just as important now as they were when you were first recruiting them.

The next step is orientation. At this stage you should want to make sure that they understand the culture of the organisation and having them understand how they fit into the team is also exceptionally important.

Digital transformation of the onboarding process is possible with the right product. Onboarded is an industry-leading software solution to speed up the onboarding process for new employees This software is able to integrate into many recruitment management CRM software such as JobAdder, Job Science, Workforce One, Fastrack 360 and many more integration are coming soon. Our 100% Australian-based team sets the standard for consistency and customer support that you can count on.

The simple, digital platform which onboards candidates and employees in minutes with one link and sends the information to your CRM.