In this article we are going answer the question ‘what is onboarding?’, explore the benefits, and look at 5 onboarding best practices to ensure a smooth transition for new hires.

What Is Employee Onboarding Quote

What does onboarding mean?

Onboarding is the way in which a company facilitates a smooth transition for new hires into the business, usually with the following activities: 

  • Orientation sessions 
  • Training on job responsibilities 
  • Outlining company policies
  • Completion of relevant paperwork
  • Introduction to team members 
Graphic Showing Time Saving Recruitment Management

The Benefits of Effective Employee Onboarding

A successful employee onboarding program gives the new employee a positive experience right from the start, so it’s crucial that businesses get this right. New starters who undergo a successful induction process are: 

  • More likely to feel comfortable in their new role 
  • Able to create strong relationships with colleagues early on 
  • Empowered to ask questions and seek assistance without worry of backlash 
  • Supported in their professional development 

Benefits of effective onboarding include: 

  • High engagement and morale 
  • Reduced employee turnover 
  • Stronger employer brand and candidate experience 
  • Improved talent retention 
  • Faster time to efficiency 
Happy Employees

Top 5 Onboarding Best Practices 

Now we have covered what it is and the importance of a robust onboarding process, let’s look at five onboarding best practices your company should be utilising.

1. Clear Communication: 

As a business, when inducting new employees you should provide clear communication from day one. This includes setting expectations, providing a comprehensive overview of the company and role, and continuing to maintain open communication channels.

Encouraging these types of conversations throughout the onboarding process fosters trust and transparency, allowing new employees to seek assistance or clarification whenever needed meaning they will likely have a smoother integration into the company. 

2. Structured Training: 

Offering role-specific training can help get a new employee up to speed with their job, equipping them with the tools they need for effective performance. Including easy access to necessary resources as part of the onboarding process will also facilitate a smoother transition for new employees.

A well-structured training program not only accelerates the onboarding process but also instils confidence in new employees and lets them know from day one that their development is nurtured and prioritised within the organisation.  

3. Social Integration:

Social interaction is a huge part of any role, and this is particularly true when there is a new team member. By facilitating introductions with colleagues, organising team-building activities and encouraging participation in company events, you can ensure your employee settles into the team well. 

For those working remotely, these kinds of interactions are particularly important. Ensuring new hires are welcomed into the team will help them feel valued, which positively impacts their job satisfaction and retention.

4. Feedback and Support:

Providing regular feedback and offering guidance and support where needed will help to create a culture of open communication. When you schedule regular check-in meetings to discuss progress, answer any questions they may have, and provide constructive feedback on their performance, a foundation for continuous improvement is established.

By offering guidance and support, companies can help new hires feel comfortable to speak up and face obstacles head-on, ensuring they reach their full potential within the organisation. 

5. Utilise Technology:

Technology can play a huge role in onboarding new employees, offering efficiency, accessibility, and convenience for both employers and new hires. HR recruitment software, also known as Applicant Tracking Software can offer businesses the following onboarding features: 

  • Automated communications 
  • Centralised document storage 
  • Easy integration 

By leveraging technology when welcoming a new starter, companies can optimise their processes, improve efficiency, and enhance the overall employee experience.  

Streamlining your processes

With smaller teams and often no dedicated HR departments, small businesses often struggle to allocate sufficient resources to provide suitable onboarding for new hires. However, streamlining the process can help set you up for success.

Consider the following points to get your new starter onboarded quickly and efficiently:

  • Provide equipment and access 

Ensure that your new starter has everything they need set up and ready to go for their first day, including IT devices and access to company apps, along with the necessary login details. 

  • Plan their first week 

Structuring the first week well with team introductions, training and the sharing of company materials will help to get your new starter settled into their new role. 

  • Cost-effective solutions  

Consider using readily available resources that can be accessed for free online, or more effective yet affordable software solutions.

Actionable steps for inducting new employees

  • Prepare for their start date with pre-onboarding processes such as sending a welcome pack before their first day. 
  • Offer a warm welcome with an office tour, plenty of friendly faces and assigning a buddy where possible. 
  • Create a structured training program to align the new employee with the company culture, goals, and details on how their role will play a part. 
  • Encourage your new starter to socialise with the team by having face-to-face meetings, team building exercises and even after-work activities if possible 

Utilising Technology to Enhance Onboarding

There are many ways that technology can help small businesses to improve their induction initiatives.  Below are seven examples of how technology can assist in onboarding new employees: 

  • Applicant tracking systems (ATS): Automate initial tasks like gathering information and sending documents without the need for additional admin spend.  
  • Onboarding software: A centralised platform will keep everything in one place and help the employee access the relevant material with ease. 
  • Learning Management System (LMS): Deliver and manage online training materials to ensure that your new hire is getting the right training required. 
  • Internal Communication Platforms: Connect new hires with colleagues and the company culture, supporting a positive employee experience from their very first day.
  • Employee Engagement Platforms: Encourage engagement and connection through gamification and recognition software tools which will help build strong working relationships. 
  • HR Systems: Fully integrated systems centralise employee data from day one. This ensures efficiency and accuracy from the first payroll and benefits set up, to tracking performance throughout the employee lifecycle. 
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) Chatbots: Provide 24/7 access to information and answer FAQs with the use of AI. This will save you time handling typical queries a new employee might have, whilst ensuring that they don’t go unanswered.
Graphic Showing 6 Benefits Of Using ATS

Are you ready to review your onboarding process?

Your employee onboarding process is a crucial part of the success of your company. It influences how a new hire will perform at your company by providing them with a great first impression and a foundation for supportive working relationships going forward. Using effective software can help set up onboarding best practices and ensure new hires have access to the tools they need to do their job effectively.

Our Applicant Tracking System can help to streamline and simplify the initial steps needed to successfully onboard your employees. PeopleHR is designed to help small and medium sized businesses meaning that we focus on providing customisable solutions to suit your specific onboarding requirements.

Get in touch today to find out more about our HR solutions or to try out a free trial.  

Get started now
Person Trying HRIS Software Free Trial Out
Sheldon Walker
By Sheldon Walker New Business Sales Representative

Sheldon is a New Business Sales professional with Access PeopleHR. He is dedicated to helping SMBs thrive in today's competitive landscape. With over 5 years of experience in SAAS and HR software products, he has provided numerous clients with the tools to make their life easier. Sheldon's passions lie in helping clients achieve their goals and giving them the freedom to do more.