What Is The Employee Onboarding Process?
For some, “onboarding” refers to signing the forms that stand in between a candidate’s job offer and their actual job. As staffing professionals, it can be tempting to see onboarding as a series of obstacles standing in the way of our goal — placing that high-fit candidate in their dream job.
But the truth is, the employee onboarding process is a nuanced procedure with major impacts on the candidate experience and your clients’ happiness. After all, an organization is fundamentally made up of its employees, and onboarding is the process of transforming a new hire into an employee.
It’s not a quick and easy process, either; from the moment you send out your offer to months after they’ve started and have become acclimatized to their new role, a candidate is still in the onboarding phase.
Over the course of this process, you’ll have to meet regulatory guidelines, track forms and credentials, check in with your candidate at key milestones (like their first day, first month, and first 90 days), guide them through payroll and benefits administration and generally be their anchor during this transitional period in their lives.
Let’s dive into the employee onboarding process, explore its benefits and challenges and learn about the best way to support it.
Why Focus on the Employee Onboarding Process?
Why should employee onboarding be your major focus, especially when there are so many other HR functions that could stand to be optimized? Why not focus on improving your sourcing methodology, or widening your candidate pool, or any other business process? The answer is because onboarding has ripple effects across your organization, many of which directly improve outcomes for HR and staffing professionals.
Paying attention to how you onboard new employees is the first step to reducing friction in both your own organization and your clients’ organizations. It’s an often-intoned mantra in the HR and staffing worlds: Onboarding is your organizations’ first impression. Botch it, and the effects could linger on for weeks, months — or even the employee’s entire tenure.
When you become intentional about the employee onboarding process, you’ll be less likely to make those procedural hiccups that so often threaten your shot at making an ideal first impression. Nailing the steps in your onboarding process makes it less likely that you’ll encounter high-friction circumstances, such as:
- Delaying time to start because you didn’t catch a discrepancy between two forms
- Forgetting to check-in after the candidate’s first few days, leaving them without crucial information about the company
- Miscommunicating benefits information
- Discovering regulatory changes that places your hiring process out of compliance
- And more
A Better Candidate Experience
It can be tempting to see a new candidate as a human resource instead of a human being. Candidates can sense that, and they know when your priority is getting them at their desk as soon as possible, rather than ensuring they’re fully prepared for their new role.
Investing in your employee onboarding process is the best way to circumvent that impression. Once you begin to break out all of the different components of your process — the forms that need to be filled out, documents to read, certifications to pass, trainings to complete, people to meet and more — you’ll start to empathize with your candidate a bit more.
They’ve got a lot of hoops to jump through, and they’ve got to do so under a lot of pressure. Your candidate is looking to pay rent, buy groceries and live their lives. It’s our job to make onboarding as seamless, simple and straightforward as possible so they can rest easy knowing their job hunt is really at its end. Doing this for our candidates is not possible if we don’t study the employee onboarding process and identify where the gaps are.
Better Business Outcomes
You start to see a few outcomes when your employee onboarding process is functioning well:
- Your candidates will start their new jobs on time
- They’ll feel like you’ve recognized their needs and concerns
- They’ll feel that their new role is a better fit
- They’ll be better prepared to carry out the responsibilities of their work
It’s not hard to see how these could impact your clients’ bottom line and your success as a staffer. In fact, one study found that employees who underwent a structured onboarding process were 69 percent more likely to stay with their company three years down the line.
What’s more, an organized onboarding process also ensures your organization stays in compliance with federal and state regulations — if you should come under audit, you’ll know that you checked all the boxes because these regulatory guidelines will be baked into your process. As a result, you’ll be at less risk for fines and penalties and you’ll minimize the downtime your organization will experience during an audit.
Obstacles to your ideal onboarding experience
The mere act of taking a look at your onboarding process will automatically surface inconsistencies, bottlenecks and opportunities for improvement. But a great onboarding process isn’t built without some effort. You’ll need to be prepared to overcome some of the major challenges that commonly disrupt an otherwise ideal onboarding experience.
Learning to hire remotely
Remote work is a fact of life for many businesses today. Videoconferencing, collaboration tools and cloud-based technologies mean that there aren’t many reasons left to meet in person in order to carry out the tasks that keep the lights on. One major exception, it seems, is hiring.
The reality is, however, that hiring can be done remotely just as easily as an organization’s daily work can. Hiring remotely widens up your candidate pool, allows you to work with geographically distant clients that need someone in their local area and ensures that distance isn’t the reason you pass up on a high-quality candidate. Interviews, assessments, certifications — even the notorious I-9 — can all be done remotely.
- YOUR GUIDE TO DIGITAL EMPLOYEE ONBOARDING IN A REMOTE ENVIRONMENT
- REMOTE I-9S: YOUR BIGGEST BARRIER TO REMOTE HIRING
Cutting out manual processes
More than anything, improving your employee onboarding process means turning your attention to the candidate experience. But that can’t be done if you’re busy overseeing a thousand transactional processes — things like ordering background checks and screens, switching between a dozen different portals and tools, chasing down forms, double-checking to ensure you’re in compliance and more are simple but time-consuming tasks.
What’s more, each of these touchpoints is an opportunity to make errors, potentially bringing you out of compliance and delaying your candidate’s time to start as you endeavor to correct data discrepancies.
Why Onboarding with Xenqu Is Better
When we take a step back and look at the benefits and challenges associated with the employee onboarding process, it becomes clear that we need a software solution dedicated to supporting this process. Not just software that handles payroll and benefits, or that just handles compliance paperwork or focuses narrowly on any individual slice of the entire onboarding process; rather, we need software to support the whole journey so that we can deliver a peerless candidate experience.
We designed the Xenqu onboarding platform to meet this need. With pre-built content that’s in total compliance with federal, state and local regulations, you’ll never have to worry about whether your organization is ready for an audit or not. Our system enables mobile and remote onboarding, including remote I-9s. To the fullest extent possible, Xenqu automates the transactional tasks that prevent you from getting to know your candidates better and placing them in that ideal role that leaves them raving about your staffing expertise. And since no two organizations are alike, we also designed it to be easy to integrate with other systems and tools.
Deliver a frictionless employee onboarding process that wows your candidates and clients alike. Talk to one of our onboarding experts about Xenqu today.
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