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Employee Onboarding

Proliant's Guide to Employee Onboarding

Learn more about employee onboarding and the solutions that can help you create a memorable experience for your new team members.

What is Onboarding?

Employee onboarding is the process of hiring and bringing on a new employee. Onboarding is where businesses make a vital first impression that can determine an employee's level of motivation and loyalty. Accepting a job offer marks the exciting kickoff of the onboarding journey. By beginning the paperwork for new hires before their first day, you can streamline the process, saving valuable time and resources. Then, on their first day, an employee can look forward to the seamless setup of their workstation, getting computer access, and enjoying a comprehensive orientation.

If you're interested in learning about the onboarding experience from an employee's perspective, read our blog post, Journey Through Employee Onboarding with Proliant.

Why is it important to have a good onboarding process?

As the crucial first step in welcoming new team members, employee onboarding sets the tone for their entire experience with the company. A negative onboarding experience can create reservations for new hires, potentially leading to premature departures that affect time and resources. A practical onboarding experience is vital to fostering employee commitment and helping them make valuable contributions to their teams quickly.
Additionally, because HR managers may often feel overwhelmed by various responsibilities, a streamlined onboarding process can help alleviate manual burdens.

Benefits of an Effective Employee Onboard Process

Onboarding is more than just providing a branded pen and enrolling employees in the company pension plan. It serves as a warm welcome to new talent, enhances employee retention through continuous support, training, and feedback, and ultimately guarantees a return on your investment in hiring. An effective onboarding process can also:

Increase productivity: An effective onboarding process offers numerous advantages. By enabling individuals to acquire the necessary skills to excel quickly, they can significantly contribute to the company.
Make employees feel comfortable: Changing jobs can be an incredibly stressful experience, and while some individuals may thrive by taking the reins and handling it themselves, others may feel overwhelmed and lost. Schedule regular one-on-one meetings to gauge how new hires are adjusting and provide the necessary support and reassurance they need to feel comfortable and confident in their role.
Help create transparency: A well-crafted onboarding process is essential to address any uncertainties or responsibilities. This process allows for a comprehensive explanation of the role, effective communication of expectations, and the opportunity to receive feedback from recruits.
Build a sense of trust: Creating a warm and welcoming onboarding experience emphasizing open communication and comprehensive training is crucial to making new hires feel valued and embraced by the company.
Reduce workload for other teams: By equipping new employees with the necessary tools, resources, and information to work independently, you can help reduce workloads for colleagues while providing more inter or intra-department support.

Building an Effective Onboarding Process


Crafting an effective onboarding process that fulfills all the requirements and seamlessly aligns with your organization can be an immense undertaking, especially for a dedicated HR team juggling numerous day-to-day responsibilities. The following steps will help you build a tailored onboarding process that addresses the needs of your business and create a positive experience for your current and future employees.

Investing in HR Onboarding Software
Manual onboarding can be time-consuming and tedious. Adopt an onboarding solution that can simplify and consolidate essential steps in one centralized platform. Utilizing this software can lessen your HR personnel's workload and provide new employees with an immersive and optimized experience. With numerous options available, take the time to carefully evaluate and select the onboarding software that best suits the needs of your team.

Determining the Duration of the Onboarding Journey
While the specific requirements may vary for each organization, it is generally recommended that the onboarding process for a new employee lasts for a minimum of six months, ideally extending throughout the first year. Regular check-ins, performance evaluations, and continuous monitoring are equally important. Some experts suggest maintaining touchpoints with new employees regularly for up to a year to ensure seamless integration into the company.

Introducing the Offer
The employee onboarding journey begins immediately after the recruitment phase. Once a candidate is chosen, a dedicated HR manager should send a warm and inviting email with essential documents such as the offer letter, links to complete digital onboarding forms and important policy documents.

Accepting the offer
Once an employee accepts the offer, top-notch organizations will promptly arrange a brief call to discuss the necessary forms, benefits, policies, and expectations. Engaging new hires during this crucial stage reinforces their decision to accept the offer. It builds a strong emotional bond with the organization.

Waiting Period
The waiting period is the time between when an employee accepts their offer and their start date. During this period, it's essential to acknowledge that they may also consider offers from other potential employers. Reach out to the new hire throughout the waiting period to help build a strong connection. Ask if they have questions, send a welcome gift box, or send information about the company.

Streamlining the Pre-Boarding Process
Use the time before an employee starts to tackle essential administrative tasks. Create a comprehensive checklist of items that need to be completed to give to your new hire to help them manage their time and complete responsibilities.

Furthermore, email your new employee with day-one instructions during the pre-boarding phase. The email should provide a clear picture of what to expect without overwhelming the individual. This preemptive communication will allow new employees to address any queries or concerns alongside the necessary tasks and paperwork.
Additionally, inform the existing team about the upcoming addition before their arrival. Current employees will also experience an adjustment period, so offering them information about their new team member's role and onboarding process can prove invaluable.

Surviving Day One
No matter how prepared a candidate may be, they will likely experience excitement and nerves on their first day of work. Focus on making them feel more at ease and helping them adjust to their new surroundings. 

Ideally, most of the administrative tasks for the new employee will have been completed during the pre-boarding phase, allowing their first day to be a delightful and stress-free occasion. Nothing is worse than starting a new job and being bombarded with tedious PowerPoint presentations or overwhelming tax forms.

Consider putting together and giving your new employees a welcome packet. The packet can include the employee handbook, benefit details, policies, procedures, and expectations regarding technology. Additionally, it can consist of their orientation schedule and a checklist to help them anticipate what lies ahead in the coming weeks.

On their first day, give the employee a tour of their work area, provide them with the necessary equipment and access codes, and take the time to get to know them personally. Introduce them to their team and manager, assist them in setting up their desk or work area, and ask if they have any questions. You can foster a collaborative and supportive work environment by actively facilitating the new employee's integration into our existing team.

Transitioning into the First Week & Month
During the initial week, it is vital for you to effectively convey the job descriptions, expectations, performance targets, tracked metrics, and the overall work culture to your new team member. This will give them a clear understanding and boost their confidence in their role, alleviating confusion or stress.
Their job expectations must be clearly defined, well-documented, and easily understood. Employees should feel comfortable seeking clarification and asking questions about their responsibilities. Goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound), and employees should be informed about how and when their performance will be evaluated. Work culture should not only be explained but also demonstrated through the actions and behaviors of their colleagues.
Recognizing that many employees require essential training to jumpstart their journey, most organizations strategically schedule training programs to expedite onboarding. By conducting a skills assessment, employers can gauge the knowledge and abilities of new hires, paving the way for a personalized and role-specific training plan that perfectly aligns with their skill set.
Orientation sessions offer new hires a comprehensive understanding of the organization's values and insight into the company's objectives. During this period, provide vital information about the different teams, their processes, and the company's policies, enabling new hires to align themselves with the company's vision and mission. It also presents the perfect opportunity to establish role-specific goals and objectives for the upcoming 30/60/90 days.

Ongoing Check-Ins
Establishing a consistent meeting schedule with your new employee and following through on that commitment is crucial to onboarding. Every onboarding program should incorporate ongoing feedback and support for new employees.
Use regularly scheduled one-on-one meetings with new hires to discuss their progress and address any questions or concerns. This will offer valuable insights into their performance and indicate their future potential. Sustained support and feedback throughout the first year can also increase employee retention and job satisfaction. Employees who feel that their supervisors genuinely care about their well-being and are invested in their professional growth are more likely to be productive and remain loyal to the company.

Finishing the First Quarter
The primary goal of the first quarter is to assess and align the expectations of the organization and the new employee. This phase should be brimming with engaging conversations about the new hire's progress and ongoing commitment to integrate seamlessly into the organization's fabric.
Not every onboarding plan is going to be flawless. Take note of what has worked well and what hasn't, and then adapt your approach accordingly. Some HR departments may find that their plan should be tailored based on the individual's personality. In contrast, others may discover that a standardized process yields the best results. Both strategies are valid. Ultimately, do what works best for your organization and embrace changes that benefit everyone involved.

Onboarding process automation


Establishing a robust employee onboarding process is crucial to avoid any last-minute confusion and ensure compliance. As companies grow and manual onboarding becomes challenging to manage effectively, many organizations turn to automated systems for tracking applicants, facilitating communication, and streamlining the onboarding process more efficiently and accurately.
Implementing such automation enhances the relationship between management and new employees. When a manager is burdened with manually onboarding numerous new hires, they may become overwhelmed by administrative tasks, making it difficult to respond promptly to inquiries, gather information, and process paperwork.
This backlog in the hiring process leads to delays and a lack of timely communication with new hires. Consequently, many individuals may feel neglected or overlooked before settling into their workspace, causing them to lose interest in the role altogether. By utilizing an applicant tracking system, hiring managers can allocate their time more effectively, engaging in personalized one-on-one conversations with incoming employees and ensuring a seamless onboarding and orientation experience.
Discover how an efficient employee onboarding software can revolutionize your onboarding process:

  • Unveil a clearly outlined onboarding template that streamlines the entire process.
  • Bid farewell to the chaos caused by paperwork and embrace a more organized approach.
  • Witness a shorter employee onboarding lifecycle, saving time and resources.
  • Eliminate manual intervention and human errors, ensuring a seamless onboarding experience.
  • Lighten the workload of your HR team, allowing them to focus on more strategic tasks.
  • Deliver a consistent experience to every new hire, fostering a sense of belonging.
  • Inject transparency into the process flow, keeping everyone informed and aligned.
  • Create unforgettable onboarding experiences that leave a lasting impression on your employees.

Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is onboarding?
Onboarding goes beyond a simple introduction; it's the intricate process of seamlessly integrating new employees into an organization or company. This comprehensive journey starts with tackling legal and tax paperwork. It continues with consistent progress check-ins throughout the entire onboarding period.

What are the 5 Cs of Employee Onboarding?
Here is a typical employee onboarding process where each of the 5 Cs of Employee Onboarding is evident throughout:

  • Make an offer. Be sure you provide plenty of information about what makes your company unique: company culture and events, benefits package, company mission statement, and growth opportunities. (Culture and Clarification)
  • Receive and document offer acceptance. (Compliance)
  • The manager should send a welcome letter or video message to help new hires feel connected immediately. (Connection)
  • Introduce your new hire to company policies and provide instructions for completing essential paperwork. Send all supplies needed to remote employees or have them ready in-office. (Compliance and Clarification)
  • Meet with the new employee on their first day. Roll out the welcome wagon with a gift basket and office tour. Appoint a guide or mentor and introduce them to their teammates. Make sure the employee receives and reads the employee handbook. (Culture, Clarification, Compliance)
  • Introduce the new employee to HR and other departments. (Culture and Connection)
  • Conduct orientation and training. Ensure your new employee understands how to communicate with HR and that expectations around their job performance are clearly stated. Utilize an LMS for a smooth training experience. (Clarification and Compliance)
  • Continue to nurture and support new hires during the "honeymoon phase." Reaffirm expectations and chat regularly to ensure new hires are comfortable in their new roles. (Check Back)

What is the ideal duration for onboarding?
The duration of onboarding differs from one organization to another. Still, the most extensive programs typically span the entire first year of employment.