Welcoming new starters is too important to leave to chance. Here’s how specialist HR software can help

Onboarding – the process of welcoming a new member of staff into an organisation – is a crucial, but sometimes overlooked, part of the employee experience: one that you, as an employer, only have one opportunity to get right. Fail to do so and your employer-employee relationship will likely get off on the wrong foot, perhaps irrevocably so; workers are 69% more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experience a great onboarding process.

While it’s possible to deliver a fantastic onboarding process without going digital, specialist technology such as CIPHR Onboarding will enable you, your HR team, and your line managers to deliver a brilliant – and brilliantly consistent – experience for every new hire.

Here are five ways that specialist onboarding software can get employer-employee relationships off to the best possible start.

 

1. New starters can meet the team before they arrive

Opt for a system with multimedia capabilities, and you’ll be able to share information about the organisation, senior leaders and starters’ immediate team via pictures, words and videos. Sharing this information – include organisational charts – gives recruits the opportunity to learn more about who they’ll be working with and the team culture before they arrive, so they feel right at home from day one.

You can also share handy information about the office and surrounding area – whether that’s where to park, the best places to get lunch, or a floorplan showing where meeting rooms and toilets are located.

 

2. Technology provides a secure way to collect vital data

A new employee’s first week can often be taken up with endless admin, when they’d rather be getting stuck into their new role. Specialist onboarding software enables you to ask people to complete HR forms – such as submitting bank details, emergency contact information, qualifications and skills – before they arrive. If you choose a programme that integrates with your HR software, this data will be automatically to new employees’ HR records, saving you the hassle of entering data twice.

 

“We really wanted to empower employees from day one. We wanted them to feel like they were already part of the company and not a new starter. Our onboarding hub gave employees an induction to their benefits and an insight into our company culture. CIPHR has really helped employees to start their journey with us.”

Zoopla Property Group

 

3. Invite people to complete pre-training

Training requirements can also be time-consuming for new starters – and for their managers, who want them to get on with the new job. So linking your onboarding portal with your elearning platform makes total sense: new hires can complete pre-training before their arrival, meaning they’re able to get to work more quickly.

You might also want to make organisational policies available in your portal, so people can read and accept them before their first day.

 

4. All departments will be ready for their arrival

When a new starter is added to your onboarding portal, automated updates can be sent to prompt the relevant functions (including IT, finance and facilities) to carry out relevant tasks, such as setting up computer equipment, and preparing access cards – so new employees won’t be left hanging around on their first day while accounts are arranged.

 

5. New starters’ welcome experience will be consistent and tailored

Great onboarding portals enable you to not only make sure that every new recruit’s experience is the same – that they go through the same welcome process, always have their equipment, and are asked to read the same company policies – but also that their induction programme is tailored to their role, team and even location. Take, for example, information about the building and local areas: there’s no point telling your London hires about the best places to get lunch near your Manchester office (unless they are likely to be regular visitors). Specialist software enables you to pre-define the information that’s relevant to each role, location and even sub-brand, and share that with the appropriate people before their first day.

This article was first published in November 2016. It was updated in April 2019 for freshness, clarity and accuracy.

Want to discover more about CIPHR Onboarding? Watch our webinar: why brilliant onboarding matters – and how CIPHR can help