HR Processes

How to Create a Standout Onboarding Process

calendar icon 11th August 2021
book icon about 7 min read
How to Create a Standout Onboarding Process

Just a few years back, starting a new job meant spending your first few days sitting at your desk, ticking off a list of things to do. Nowadays, that’s no longer the case. Employers have now recognised the value of a great onboarding process—it makes employees happy, reduces turnover rates, and keeps them productive.

As part of your company’s recruiting team, you should take great care of how you onboard your new hires. After all, their first days on the job will set the tone for the rest of the time that they’re going to work with you. A standout onboarding process can mean the difference between years of loyal commitment and months of half-hearted work.

In this article, we’ve got the best tips and tricks on how to create a meaningful, hassle-free, and standout onboarding process.

Employee Onboarding Checklist: Download and customise this checklist to save time and streamline your employee onboarding process.


1. Use an ATS to Streamline Tasks

A sound applicant tracking system can free up valuable company hours by automating menial and time-consuming tasks.

By using an ATS like SeeMeHired, your HR can devote more time to other meaningful pursuits, such as crafting a personalised onboarding plan for each batch of hires or ensuring that the onboarding procedures are carried out properly.

In other words, your HR team is the heart of the entire operation, so using an ATS to let them focus on more important things will ensure you’ll have a standout onboarding process.


2. Maintain Constant Communication

The period of time between your new hire’s acceptance and their first day on the job is a crucial one — something that many HR teams don’t seem to appreciate enough.

If you suddenly go radio silent right after hiring the ideal candidate, you’re missing an opportunity to prep them and show off some excellent company culture. Instead, they will spend that time nervous and anxious, not knowing what to expect.

Take advantage of this period by being in constant communication. If they have any questions, your HR team can then swoop in to take care of them.

Some of the information you can include in this communication are things to expect, company updates, what they can do to prepare, and even upcoming company events they can look forward to.

By keeping in touch, you can make sure your new hire feels confident and excited even before their first day.


3. Introduce Them to the Team Before The First Day

Speaking of first days, one of the things that a new hire will be most nervous about is their soon-to-be coworkers. If there’s still time before their first day at work, make sure to connect them in advance with all the relevant coworkers to reduce their anxiety.

Typically, a casual lunch would be a great, pressure-free way to introduce them, but in these uncertain times, a virtual meeting can do. You can also connect them digitally through SMS, social media, or LinkedIn.

There are plenty of benefits to this. One, introducing them to the team prior to their first day will reduce their anxiety about making a good impression or navigating the workplace dynamics. As a result, they can hit the ground running from the moment they first clock in.

Two, knowing who to approach for specific work-related matters is very helpful to everyone involved. For the new hire, this will make the onboarding process go more smoothly. For the rest of the employees, this will mean that they won’t have to deal with questions that they’re not equipped to answer.


4. Prepare an Employee Starter Kit

The first days are complex, not just for the new hire but for certain parts of your company, as well. This is because various departments have to work together closely in order to onboard new applicants, such as IT, legal, finance, and others.

You can make this process easier for everyone by including relevant material in the welcome kit created, especially for new hires.

A starter kit can make the onboarding process easier for everyone. After all, it contains everything that the employee needs to know and have for a smoother-sailing first week.

This kit should include valuable and relevant information, such as:

  • A rundown of office perks
  • Relevant company policies
  • Names and background of essential people to know
  • Details about the training process, materials, and schedules
  • Clear directions on their management structure and direct supervisor
  • Precise and detailed instructions of all the paperwork needed by HR
  • A comprehensive dossier of the new employee’s responsibilities and expectations

You can send most of these documents via email, which is helpful if your employee is a remote worker or has a work-from-home setup. If there are any physical objects that need to be shipped, such as a physical ID, remember to do so as soon as possible.


5. Give Them a Welcome Gift

Receiving a welcome gift will make new hires feel like you appreciate their presence in your company. Also, it can reduce their worries and reservations, allowing them to function better during work and training.

If you’re not good with gifts, don’t worry – it doesn’t have to be anything expensive. A small, thoughtful item will already go a long way in making them feel more special.

Safe gift options include a classy coffee tumbler to keep their morning brew hot, or a phone/tablet stand for their work-at-home station. You can even go digital and give them e-vouchers, gift cards, eBooks, audiobooks, or even a paid app or software.


6. Continuously Gather Feedback

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your onboarding process. You won’t get it right the first time, or maybe even the first year, for that matter. You have to build your company’s recruitment operations on a mountain of trial and error, and it’s not going to be quick and easy.

Nevertheless, you can speed things up by asking for feedback from your new hires. To start off, ask them to keep track of their experiences from day one and set a schedule for their reports.

Also, ask them about the good and bad points they observed during their onboarding. What’s their opinion on how employees treated new hires? What can your company improve on when it comes to the recruitment process?

Emphasise the importance of their feedback, then follow through by conducting a systematic assessment of your process based on the data you get from their reports.

Every bit of insight that you can glean from your new hires contributes to making your onboarding process more efficient and streamlined.


7. Try to Pay Your New Hires to Leave

In the early 2010s, American online retail company Zappos made headlines for their sensational onboarding tactic. At the end of the five-week training program, Zappos offered new hires $4,000 to leave the company.

It may seem strange at first glance, but actually, incentivising your newest trainees to leave the company is a brilliant tactic that promotes introspection over roles, values, and company culture.

The logic behind this strategy is that it filters applicants who are only in it for the money. As admitted by Zappos themselves, $4,000 is not a small amount of cash, so it’s certainly enough to get people thinking. Do they really want to work at your company? Will their new job align with their personal goals and dreams? Will they want to stay for a long time?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, they’re free to take the money and leave. In return, you’re now free to look for another employee that actually loves their job and isn’t likely to jump ship as soon as possible – something that Zappos found is well worth the $4,000 expense.


Creating a Standout Onboarding Process

Onboarding is a crucial part of your employees’ overall work experience. Not only will they likely remember those first few weeks for the rest of their careers, but it will also set the tone for how they will view their environment going forward.

Nevertheless, it’s not going to be easy. Crafting a standout onboarding process will involve a great deal of trial and error. But with our tips, we hope you’ll be in a great position to create the best onboarding process for your new hires.