Optimise Your Employee Onboarding In 9 Steps


Recruitment and retention


Onboarding’s a journey that both a new employee and an employer take to reach their individual goals. The employee’s goal is to learn about their role, the company and their future colleagues. The employer’s goal is to prepare and induct the employee, making sure that they’ve everything they need. This ensures they’re well prepared, fit the company culture and become a productive member of staff. Getting the process right is vital for both parties.

Below are nine easy steps that will improve your onboarding process. In turn your employer brand and engagement of your new employee will also benefit.

1) The process shouldn’t need instructions

As with any product, the best tools are those that don’t need instructions or a tutorial first. Well designed onboarding portals will be intuitive and easy to use, to the extent that the user won’t need any help utilising it.

From the start of the process, the communication should start. Informing those involved of progress and expectations is key, this communication should always be clear and concise, steer clear of long winded, text heavy emails or alerts.

2) Allow the new employee to do the work for you

One advantage of an onboarding system, such as CIPHR Onboarding, is that it captures employee data for you, as the user completes the different stages of the process. This replaces the traditional manual processes that HR would have completed once the employee started.
It’s important to make this process work for you (the employer) as well as the person being onboarded. THink carefully about the information you would like, and need, to collect from the employee prior to their start date.
A good onboarding portal improves data accuracy and reduces the administrative burden.

Encourage feedback on the good and bad points of the onboarding process and take action where required. Your onboarding efforts should be constantly evolving to accommodate the requirements of your future employees.

3) Educate through use

One of the goals of onboarding new employees is to inform them of what you expect of them, as well as what they can expect from the business. The interview process should have filtered those applicants that weren’t suitable for the role. Skills, experience and cultural fit will have been assessed, but there will be a learning curve for new employees.

The portal can be used to introduce them to any learning or research that would benefit them. It can also be used to allow them to view their new colleagues and take a virtual tour of the offices using video and imagery. By educating new starters before their start date, you can optimise your time during the induction period. New employees will feel more confident during their first few days if they’ve had time to familiarise themselves with their surroundings before hand.

4) Impress the employee

Taking time to design an engaging and informative process is important, the more impressed the new employee is with their onboarding, the more likely they are to become a brand advocate. The more they learn before their start date the better too.

5) Keep It Simple Stupid

The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated; therefore simplicity should be a key goal in design and unnecessary complexity should be avoided*.
Use fewer words, cleaner design and make use of white space, the portal should not overwhelm those using it.

6) Consistency is key

The onboarding process, from start to finish, should be consistent. Branding, messaging and the general way in which the process works should remain constant and up to date. When progressing through the process, familiarity will improve engagement and usability.

7) Be flexible

Flexibility should be built into any onboarding system. Everyone that uses the system has their own ways of working, preferences and requirements. Ensuring that the process is effective, regardless of how the user is accessing the system is just one example of what you should consider.

It’s also important that the portal be designed with future changes and enhancements in mind. There’s no point creating an onboarding portal that can’t be changed in any way without completely rebuilding it.

8) Get rid of distraction

Only include those elements that compliment and enhance the onboarding process. It may be that you’ve a wonderful 50 slide presentation that every employee needs to see, this is probably best left out of the initial process and included in the post start date schedule. GIFS, pointless imagery and any additions that don’t offer any value or advantage to the process should also be omitted.

9) Familiarity works

Use tried and tested forms of design and communication, don’t try and reinvent the wheel as this will complicate  the onboarding process. It may be that countless other sites use the same principles, that aren’t new and exciting, but there’s a reason that they’re so popular, they work.
Familiarity means that when a new employee starts to use your onboarding portal, things feel natural and ‘right’, instead of unfamiliar and confusing.

From a more generic web design view, below are some pointers to use when designing your onboarding portal:

  • Clearly answers “Who I am,” “What I do,” and/or “What can you (the visitor) do here.”
  • Resonates with the target audience
  • Compelling value-proposition
  • Usability and mobility
  • Calls-to-action (CTAs)
  • Great overall design

From Hubspot.com

If you would like to discuss CIPHR Onboarding or eRecruitment systems, please call us on 01628 814242.

*From Wikipedia