How to Build an Effective Employee Onboarding Process

Carly Chalmers

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), more than 20% of workers leave their employer within the first 45 days. Having a high turnover of staff is both expensive and time-consuming. This is why building a strong onboarding process is crucial to welcome and retain new employees. A bad experience may lead to them walking out the door before giving their new job a real chance.

Employee onboarding means more than just introducing your new staff member to the company. It’s a long process that requires planning and strategic thinking. In this article, we’re going to give you an overview of what an effective onboarding process looks like. You’ll also find a checklist below that you can use to tick all the important boxes.

What is onboarding?

Once you’ve made the decision to hire someone new, the next step is an effective hiring process. This process is typically taken care of by training or human resources departments. Employee onboarding is about having a standardized procedure to integrate a new team member in an efficient, reliable way. By carefully planning these steps, you’re giving new employees the information and tools they need to feel confident in their workplace. Planning ahead also helps your new hire get familiar with your brand and their new role while making sure you’re covering all the legal grounds.

There’s no exact science when it comes to best practices for onboarding. The process will look different for each employer, but typically involves these steps:

  • A welcome packet of company information introducing your brand
  • A copy of the employee contract
  • Onboarding paperwork for labor compliance
  • Important policy and cultural information
  • An employee handbook for ease of reference in the coming weeks
  • Critical job training resources
  • A tour of the office or facility
  • Team introductions

Essentially, you’ll want to include everything they need to get up to speed on their role and the business while making sure you meet the legal requirements.

A simple way to make sure you stay compliant

The process of hiring is complicated and detailed. Without effective onboarding steps put in place, things can easily get missed – even crucial information necessary to stay legally compliant. More than just helping your new employee, standardized onboarding means keeping all legally required information in one place.

What type of information you need depends on your business and the industry. As a bare minimum, you’ll need to collect bank details and tax documents. But certain industries require additional proof of qualifications (for doctors, lawyers, bartenders, etc.) Some states also need verification of your new employee’s right to work via E-Verify. Many hiring platforms, such as HigherMe, offer integration with E-Verify to simplify that step even more.

There’s a bunch of paperwork you’ll need to prepare and give to your new employee as well, such as:

  • Job contract
  • Length of employment
  • Benefits and compensation
  • Termination conditions
  • Work schedule

Many companies perform a background check before the new hire can start work. If you use a hiring platform, background checks are often integrated.

Streamlined onboarding makes for a good first impression

Having a proper employee onboarding process gives your new staff member a good first impression of your company. It shows that you're organized, that you care about your staff, and that you’re on top of things. This makes sure they feel welcome from day one which can play a big role in improving staff retention rates.

Reducing the turnover of staff is a win-win, saving your business money and helping your team become more integrated. In the long run, it also means that you’re giving them the foundation to do their job adequately.

Reduce the risk of human error, keep everyone on the same page

To err is human and we can’t ever remove it entirely. However, we can keep it to a minimum by using a standardized process. Building a streamlined onboarding process means you can stay organized without having to keep everything in your head. You won’t have to rely on someone else to find the right paperwork and send it through to the new employee. Everything is done automatically and kept in one place.

With the system being digital, you won’t need to worry about papers being filed properly or finding them when you need to. Plus, you can easily pick up where the other person left off if someone goes on vacation or leaves their job. With a formal process in place, a lot of the question marks and confusion go away.

Quality onboarding software makes for the most streamlined process possible

Having quality onboarding software means you can handle the whole hiring process in one simple, intuitive platform. It gives you all the tools to effectively onboard new employees, whatever business you have. Just customize the software to fit your particular needs.

To help set up your company’s digital onboarding process, you’ll get a dedicated specialist from HigherMe’s Customer Success team who will walk you through setting up your onboarding documents, electronic signatures, and background checks.

Send digital copies of documents to your new employee for them to fill out online. Quicker and easier for everyone involved. To keep track of the progress, dashboards will notify you where each employee is in the process. This helps you get an overview and find out if you’re missing anything important.