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Learning 11 MIN READ

New Employee Onboarding: 6-Step Process for 2021

How much do you know about the new employee onboarding process?

Whether you already have a standard procedure for welcoming new hires or not, delivering an exceptional onboarding experience is crucial for your staff, and most importantly, your business.

Each employee has something unique to offer, but it’s entirely up to you to help them make the best out of their employment. Before you even decide which candidates are the right ones for your company, you need to plan for every tiny detail that will accompany their stay. This will more likely allow them to give an outstanding performance in return.

In this post, we will go through the steps you need to include in your onboarding process.

We will be giving out the timeline of the hiring process, and a checklist along with some examples to help you get started.

But first, let’s find out what ‘employee onboarding process’ actually means.

What is an Employee Onboarding Process?

The employee onboarding process is the journey that every new employee goes through starting from the recruitment phase until employment, when they are fully settled in their role.

The responsibility of creating a welcoming onboarding experience falls predominantly on the hiring managers or human resources team of a company.

These are the people who are monitoring the process of getting employees hired, and informed about various business operations. They are also the ones that help them become familiar with the company culture, introduce them to the team and make sure they are trained enough, so as to be able to perform well in their new job.

Employee onboarding is always relevant and important for the success of a business.

According to research presented on the Society for Human Resource Management – SHRM website, offering an enjoyable and structured onboarding experience has many benefits. Not only can it lead to long-term employee satisfaction, but it can also increase employee retention, engagement and productivity and give a huge boost to the company profits.

Failing to do so however, may lead to lost time, employee turnover, and huge financial losses.

To make sure you are prepared, let’s go through the onboarding process in more detail and see what you need to do at each step.

Step #1: Making a Good First Impression

The onboarding process starts with the hiring process.

First and foremost, the HR team needs to be able to present to potential employees the right information that will allow them to understand who you are as a company and what it is expected from them within the role you are advertising.

In essence, all recruitment efforts need to describe the core values, goals, culture and the ethos of people working for the company, sending the right message across the public.

You can do this using various communication channels and company resources:

First impressions of a job candidate are formed easily, and one can tell a lot by visiting your site and social media profiles or by getting in touch with you. A single research on your company, can also help a candidate decide whether he wants to apply for the job, and go through the recruitment process.

So make sure you keep your online profile(s) professional and up-to-date at all times and that you are prompt on getting back to people on any inquiry.

Step #2: Meeting the Candidate

Before the candidate applies for the job and you call him in for an interview, you need to make sure that everything is prepared for the initial meeting -the job interview.

The job interview is a critical stage in the recruiting process because it’s going to help both parties – you and the potential employee, get to know each other better, and ultimately decide if you are fit for each other.

Personality compatibility counts the most at first impressions, and your company’s character needs to match with the attitude and personal characteristics the employee is bringing to the table.

To give the candidate a full overview of what’s like to be working at your company, you may do the following:

During the interview, give the candidate your full attention and prepare to answer all of his questions regarding their employment or the company.

Apart from preparing the right questions for the candidate, the most important thing here is being transparent about the role, the working environment and conditions, presenting your company exactly as it is. You want to avoid giving out any false promises or misleading information.

Don’t forget, at the end of the day you are not the only one choosing the employee. The employee is also choosing you.

Step #3: Sending the Job Offer Letter

If you want the candidate to work for your company, the next step is to send him a job offer.

While there are many ways to do this, the best way is to call them on the phone and let them know that you have decided to hire them. After the call, make sure to send them an email or even an in-mail if you are using LinkedIn for hiring purposes like most HR professionals do nowadays.

In your message, show that you are excited to have him joining your company/team. Also, communicate clearly for the last time the key responsibilities, requirements and expectations of the role he applied for, and tell him when you expect to meet again.

You can ask when he is available to work – in case he needs to give a notice to the previous employer, and then both agree on a start date.

Inside the offer letter, you need to include the following information:

A simple offer letter that contains such information could follow the structure of this email template:

Offer Letter template from Workable

If you need some help or inspiration on what to write in the offer letter, check these eight offer letter templates that can work for every circumstance.

Once the candidate signs the job offer letter the onboarding process starts officially.

Step #4: Welcoming the New Hire

On day one, the new employee gets to have his own ‘tour’ in the office, meeting the people he is going to be working with on a daily basis.

Apart from his own department, it is essential to become familiar with the whereabouts of the office, if he didn’t have the chance to do so during the job interview.

Getting the new employee ‘onboard’ and helping him settle in the new environment is a big deal so you need to give much emphasis on his first day. It is a start of a new beginning for him, not everything is familiar to him yet, and he will need as much guidance as you can offer.

Setting clear and achievable goals and competing milestones can slowly help your new employee gain confidence and take initiative whenever needed.

To ensure everything is going well, have your manager check-in regularly with him. Check-ins are essential to make the employee feel at ease and you need them at least until the end of the first week.

Here are some of the few things you need to do on the first day:

A human resources software like CharlieHR can help your new employee become a member of the team easily and get an overview – a list of names of people he is working with. This is particularly helpful in remote working settings.

A screenshot of the calendar inside CharlieHR

With this tool, you can easily produce and send regular employee engagement surveys and gather important feedback from new employees. You can also conduct performance reviews, and generate all the HR reports you need.

There are also time and attendance logging settings for employees to book time off, and onboarding tools that you will find useful.

Apart from CharlieHR, there are tons of other employee onboarding software you can choose from.

Step #5: Offering the Right Training

Whether you need your new employee to carry out a task, learn everything he needs to know about your product/service, or use a specific computer program he is not familiar with, he is going to need lots of training.

Training might take time and may last from a day, to three days, a week or even months.

Letting your employee know what you expect from him to learn something new – and at which given timeframe, and explaining to him every step of the training process, marks the start of a successful onboarding.

At this point, you will need to consider what type of training you will be offering to your employee. For example:

Would it be all full-on digital or both online and offline?

Would you need your employee to complete an online course?

Or would training rotate between offline PowerPoint presentations, formal classes, and online workshops? And if so, how will you assess and evaluate the process?

There are various training methods that you can try out to keep your new employee engaged at all times and monitor progress. Having an open approach to online training and learning would be the most sensible thing to do given the current unpredictable situation, caused by the global pandemic.

At the same time, you will need to consider whether you need an employee training software to help make the process easier and more efficient.

Here are some training platforms you can use to streamline the process:

This list is just a small indication of how many training platforms are out there.

Choosing the best for your company needs (company size and number of employees), ease and affordability, is the best course of action. Be aware that some tools may work better for companies that are in a specific industry e.g. sales.

To make sure that your chosen tool is the best for you, you will first need to try it out.

If you want to give our training platform a go, you can get your 30-day trial with LearnWorlds today for free!

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Step #6: Rewarding Your Employee

Last but not least, for every completed task and accomplished goals, make your best to reward your new hire. Effective onboarding starts and ends on good intention, and the best way to show this is by going the extra mile.

Yes, you will monitor the progress of your employee throughout the way, but you don’t have to be a strict tyran or a micromanager to get the desirable results.

Instead, you can create fun competitions, organize team-building activities and make the training and work as enjoyable as possible.

For example, upon completion of training, you can also offer prizes, give praises and recognitions like ‘The Best Employee of the Month’. It doesn’t have to be anything too expensive or lavish. A small badge, a diploma or a certificate, even hanging their picture on the wall is enough to give them the boost and the incentive to continue giving their top performance.

Rewards can make the onboarding experience more personal and can make the new hire feel unique, valued and appreciated – an integral part of the team.

Finally, investing in a mentoring or coaching program can help your employee set up clear career goals and align these with the role they have in your company.

This should motivate them to stay around a little bit longer and hopefully make it past the first month, three-month, or six-month probation period, and help you achieve your long-term business goals.

Employee Onboarding Checklist

An employee onboarding checklist doesn’t offer a fixed or one-way solution, because first and foremost, you will need to decide what works best for your company.

To help you out though, we have compiled a checklist with the most basic steps to follow:

PRE-ONBOARDING PHASE

ONBOARDING PROGRAM

FIRST DAY:

FIRST WEEK:

FIRST TO SIX MONTH:

And, you are all set with onboarding your new team members!

Now Over to You

Keep in mind that part of a successful employee onboarding plan -and also essential for employee retention- is to offer new hires -including remote employees, existing team members, and stakeholders, a comprehensive training program. Having a satisfying work environment is essential to maximizing new hire onboarding and employee performance and it doesn’t stop at a warm welcome email and in ensuring that new hire paperwork is handled efficiently.

Building a well-structured training program for onboarding new employees is fundamental. It allows every new employee to learn, engage effectively with others and use the tools available at their disposal.

A powerful and flexible LMS like LearnWorlds will help your organization to effortlessly build and automate new employee orientation training programs, from their first day to first year and throughout their tenure.

Get started with LearnWorlds and claim your free 30-day trial today!

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What should be included in employee onboarding?

During the employee onboarding process, you should provide the new employee with all the essential information they need to know about your company. Describe the company culture of your organization, discuss your mission, vision and goals, and carry out regular onboarding meetings and training sessions.

Q2. How long is the onboarding process?

Most HR professionals say that the onboarding process lasts up to 90 or 100 days. However, a CareerBuilder survey revealed that the majority of hiring managers have an onboarding process that lasts up to 1 month or less.

Q3. Is onboarding the same as training?

Onboarding is not the same thing as training, but both are essential to welcoming new employees and helping them succeed within your company. While training goes over the technicalities or the tasks of the job, onboarding is all about integrating them into the company – meeting other employees and the management, adjusting to the new environment and learning more about the company culture.

Q4. Is there a difference between employee onboarding and employee orientation?

Yes, there is a difference between employee onboarding and orientation. Onboarding is a series of events – including orientation, that helps new employees learn how they can be efficient in their day-to-day job, whereas orientation is a one-time event that aims to welcome them to your company.

Q5. Why is employee onboarding so important?

Employee onboarding is important because it helps to welcome new employees to your company effectively and allows them to understand their role better. It also increases employee productivity, engagement and performance that leads to greater financial benefits for your business.

Q6. Is employee onboarding part of HR?

‘Onboarding’ is a human resources term that is used by professionals in the hiring industry to describe the process of introducing a new hire into an organization. It is a big part of HR procedures that helps employees understand what is required from them in their new role and offers them the required training to succeed.

Q7. What are onboarding forms?

Onboarding forms may include the job offer letter, all the hiring paperwork, and any other company policy documents that are essential for the hiring process like the job application, resume or CV.

Q8. Do I have to educate employees after the onboarding period?

After the onboarding period ends, you may need to offer additional training to your employees if you want them to become more knowledgeable or skilled in their jobs. This depends hugely on the goals of your business and how much you are willing to invest in your current employees.

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Content Creator at

Kyriaki is a Content Creator for the LearnWorlds team writing about marketing and e-learning, helping course creators on their journey to create, market, and sell their online courses. Equipped with a degree in Career Guidance, she has a strong background in education management and career success. In her free time, she gets crafty and musical.