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How HR Managers Can Streamline the Onboarding Process

9 minute read

Twenty-nine percent of workers have, at some point, left a job within the first 90 days, mostly because the day to-day-role was not what they expected.

What do you think about these statistics from a 2019 Job Seeker Nation survey? That’s a lot. Such incidents cost a lot of time, effort, and money — money that goes down the drain and create bad feelings on both sides. 

As an HR manager, minimizing turnover rates is a vital professional goal that needs a more holistic approach and an optimized onboarding process. Let’s discuss some ways to streamline the onboarding process and give new hires the feeling that they have landed in a great place to work, reducing the risk of costly mismatches.

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Onboarding starts with pre-boarding

Springing a whole new work culture abruptly on your new hires is not appealing for them or your company. This is where preboarding comes in, and it is a crucial step that influences the whole of the onboarding process. Ideally, you want your new employees to ease into your company's culture effortlessly and get an idea of how things work. Pre-boarding might seem like a daunting process, but for contemporary employees, who are mobile-first by nature, it is actually quite simple to implement.

Internal communications apps help new hires bond with their colleagues, prepare them for their first day and take in the work culture before the onboarding actually starts. Not only will this lessen any anxiety or stress related to the new job and work environment, but it could also decrease turnover since it provides an insight into what working at your company will be like. Good first impressions are vital, so head over to Why Pre-Boarding Matters & How to Get It Right to perfect your pre-boarding process.

Switch to digital HR if you haven't already

Making sure your HR department is keeping up with the times is crucial. We are in an era of digitization, and similarly, we should start catering to our employees in the same virtual way. Embracing this technological change is essential, and it will only enhance and improve various HR processes, such as onboarding. Presently, many companies and organizations invest in technology that combines with existing HR tools to effortlessly measure and improve the onboarding experience for all potential employees.

Likewise, investing in an employee app can play a significant role in onboarding. A modern employee app helps you streamline communications through a centralized information hub that connects, informs, and engages your workforce. Your new hires will no longer struggle in search of scattered information and material.

A mobile-friendly solution gives access to reading materials, essential updates, company policies, safety regulations, and online training around the clock, making their onboarding experience convenient and smooth, regardless of where they are.

Automate the onboarding process

Long gone are the days of manually filing paperwork and processing information. Fortunately for HR departments, they now have the choice of automating their two most important processes: onboarding and recruiting. Not only does this improve and streamline the recruitment process, such as job postings and responses, but it also enhances the onboarding experience and new-hire status visibility across departments.

You can automate your onboarding program by processing documents sooner. For example, you can send your new hires an introductory file containing all the forms and documents, such as the employee manual, contracts, and company policies that they need to review before they start their job. Additionally, modern database platforms integrate with all HR tools and bring payroll and accounting in one place within seconds, saving your HR representatives the task of manually filing the data mentioned above — and that isn't even half of it.

Automating the recruitment and onboarding processes allows for an organized and connected experience, making the process swift and convenient for new hires. Not to mention, your HR representatives will probably be relieved that they no longer have to waste time on mundane tasks such as preparing documents, filing forms, and repeating the same tedious introductions for every new hire.

Give your new colleagues a great experience

It is time to let go of the traditional onboarding methods and adopt a new stance on welcoming your new colleagues. Rather than making your new hires sit through dull hour-long videos, lectures, presentations, and endless forms, make your onboarding experience more lively by incorporating factors such as motivational edutainment. Given the current circumstances due to COVID-19, it is essential to ensure the team spirit doesn't wither and die.

This involves adding entertaining, recreational activities such as trivia, skits, getting-to-know-each-other games, and most importantly, onboarding virtual tours. Many organizations include virtual tours in their onboarding process that provide information about the company and answer any FAQs. These act as fun ways to introduce your new hires to their future colleagues, instead of formal introductions.

Furthermore, through employee apps, you could set up a virtual happy hour where new hires and colleagues could get to know each other, removing any anxiety and awkwardness that your new employees may have regarding their new workplace. Employee apps such as Speakap also offer a fresh and innovative experience where new hires can find every type of information they are looking for through one platform. In such employee apps, the onboarding process and communication is customized to fit their needs, portraying a sense of high employee value. Ultimately, your onboarding program will make new hires will feel prioritized and comfortable.

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Set company-wide standards

As mentioned previously, good first impressions are crucial. You want your company's values and policies to match your practical work environment. Onboarding is the perfect opportunity to portray your company's authenticity to your new hires. Make sure your onboarding experience relays your company's standards accurately.

Be honest and candid about certain company policies regarding remote work policies, holiday policies, etc., during the onboarding process. Additionally, if your company offers a work culture where social interaction between colleagues is deemed 'essential', communicate it. For example, your employees should be informed during the onboarding process of any activities, such as company picnics or sports days, and how their participation is vital.

Other than the obvious benefits of lower turnover rates, having consistent onboarding programs and procedures also spreads your employer brand message. And, if your onboarding process is appealing enough, this can lead to higher levels of successful employee advocacy — "word of mouth" gone digital. After all, recommendations from friends and family are the most influential forms of advertising.

Communicate your company culture

The HR department acts as the initial link between the new hires and the remaining workforce, and thus, they must relay and communicate company culture. But why is communicating your company culture such a significant step in the onboarding process?

Demonstrating your company culture has a direct and influential impact on employee adaptability and work attitude. Ideally, your onboarding program should be the first and principal step for communicating and cultivating company culture. By integrating company culture and core values, onboarding procedures become more successful and consistent. This leads to increased organizational adaptability and employee engagement levels, lower turnover rates, and sustainable business growth.

Measure, analyze, and improve

In the modern world, with highly competitive recruitment schemes and retention levels, you can't afford to have an "average" onboarding program. Sure, you may have already taken measures to help improve your onboarding experience for new hires, but how can you tell if it is actually working without quantifiable data?

Many employee apps offer built-in features for HR managers to check: employee adoption rates, engagement levels, and how well the new hires are adapting to their new app. Utilize the readily available data to enhance the onboarding experience. Fortunately, employee apps such as Speakap boast very high adoption rates due to an extremely user-friendly onboarding experience. This, in turn, leads to higher engagement rates and a general sense of employee satisfaction.

Another way to ensure you are achieving your quality goals is to survey new hires who have passed through the onboarding program in the previous year. Ask your employees what their onboarding experience was like, how it could have been improved, and any other suggestions. Use the insights to determine what is working and what can be improved. Additionally, you may also consider benchmarking competitor's onboarding programs to remain constantly aware of any new trends.


The impact of an effective and ideal onboarding program has countless benefits for your company's growth. With a successful onboarding procedure, you can efficiently tackle problems in employee engagement, retention, and profitability. Additionally, by digitizing your HR department, you introduce more convenient and feasible ways of conducting tasks and responsibilities for your HR representatives. With an increasing number of remote and dispersed workforces, your best bet is an employee app that acts as the central communications hub, allowing you to give your new hires the full onboarding experience, no matter where they are.

Want to learn more about the emerging trends for HR leaders in 2021? Download your very own free infographic copy here!

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