How Onboarding Software Transforms the Traditional Onboarding Process

Key points about the onboarding process and how software can help:

  • An onboarding process introduces new hires to your company and helps set them up for success. 
  • With traditional new employee onboarding, a new hire’s first day is filled with paperwork and other administrative tasks.
  • Onboarding software helps to improve your employee onboarding by automating these processes, giving you and your new hires more time to focus on engagement.

People who have a negative new hire onboarding experience are twice as likely to look for a different job opportunity in the immediate future. On the other hand, organizations with strong onboarding processes improve new hire retention by 82%.

Clearly, a new employee onboarding program is critical to retaining new hires. Too often, though, the onboarding experience consists of paperwork and other administrative tasks. Automation can improve your onboarding and help you get the necessary paperwork out of the way before your new hire’s start date. That way, you can spend their first day focusing on what really matters: employee engagement.

What Traditional Onboarding Looks Like

Onboarding helps new hires adjust to your company and learn the skills they’ll need to be successful. During their first few days, new hires need to:

  • Meet their team members and learn their names
  • Sign company policies and acknowledge handbooks
  • Complete forms like the I-9 and W-4
  • Add their contact and direct deposit information
  • Enroll in benefits
  • Train for specific role responsibilities 
  • Understand workflows, processes, and technology
  • And much more

Traditional onboarding relies on paper documents throughout this process. However, a paper-based onboarding process can overwhelm new hires and make it difficult for them to interact with their team. If their first day is dedicated to completing forms, their onboarding experience can feel impersonal and isolating—the exact opposite of what it should be.

How Onboarding Software Transforms the Traditional Employee Onboarding Process

Of course, paperwork is a necessary part of the onboarding process and staying compliant. But that doesn’t mean your onboarding needs to be paper-based.

Onboarding software can replace your paper-based processes with digital forms and automated workflows. Automated onboarding frees up your HR department while creating a more engaging experience for your new hires. Onboarding software can also help you:

Get a head start

According to a study by the Aberdeen Group, 83% of the highest-performing organizations begin the employee onboarding process before the new hire’s first day. With onboarding software, you don’t have to wait for a new hire’s start date to ask them to complete forms and fill out their information. Instead, they can sign the necessary documents with compliant digital signatures. 

They can start engaging with your company before their first day, too. With access to their team, videos, and other resources, they can jump right into team-building, training, and connecting with your company.

Create standard and customizable workflows

The employee onboarding process often depends on who you hire. Some processes will stay the same regardless of role, but others will change drastically. With paper processes, it can be easy to miss a step or share the wrong information with someone. 

Software lets you standardize the onboarding process so nothing is left out. You can also customize onboarding workflows for different roles and departments. Then, when you hire a new employee, all you have to do is assign them to the correct workflow. The automated workflow will pull them through each step and notifications will alert them to any outstanding tasks.

Manage paperwork

Hiring a new employee means completing new hire paperwork such as:

  • Form I-9
  • Form W-4
  • New hire reporting
  • Employment agreements
  • Company handbook agreements
  • And more

Onboarding software digitizes these documents, making them more convenient to acknowledge and complete. Software can even populate existing information in certain fields to reduce duplicate data entry. Once everything is complete, you can easily store all of the digital files in one secure location.

Conduct background checks

Background checks help you reduce risks and keep your organization safe. When you use onboarding software, background checks don’t need to be a separate step in the onboarding process. You can order background checks, drug tests, and other screening services directly within the software.

Engage new hires

Onboarding software helps with the management aspect of the onboarding process. But it also provides something else: employee engagement. Onboarding software gives new hires the chance to take an active role in their onboarding experience. With employee self-service, they can go at their own pace and:

  • Review and enroll in benefits plans
  • Add contact and personal information
  • Enter their direct deposit information
  • Sign and acknowledge documents
  • Watch training videos
  • And more

Showcase company culture

30% of organizations have an onboarding program that includes forms and training, but little to no information on company culture. However, company culture is what sets you apart from your competitors and, in many cases, makes your organization a great place to work.

Onboarding gives you the chance to showcase your company culture and give new hires a warm welcome. When new hires feel like part of the team, they’ll be more likely to ask questions, form strong friendships, and stay with your company for a while. With onboarding software, new hires can:

  • Virtually meet their team
  • Connect with employees in other departments
  • Learn more about your company’s mission, vision, and values
  • Explore their benefits and perks
  • And more

Track new hire progress

It can be difficult to keep track of each part of the onboarding process, especially if you bring on multiple new hires at once. Software makes it easier to manage the entire process and track each new hire’s progress. By seeing exactly where someone is in the onboarding process, you can efficiently clear bottlenecks and troubleshoot any problems.

Stay compliant

Because so much paperwork is involved in an onboarding program, staying compliant can be tricky. With onboarding software, though, you don’t have to worry about keeping up with changing legislation. Onboarding software provides the most up-to-date forms for you and your new hires to use. Tools like E-Verify and electronic signatures help you stay compliant when completing digital documents, too.

Improve sustainability

The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper each year. Gartner research also estimates that as much as 3% of a company’s revenue is spent on paper, printing, and filing costs. When you transition from paper-based onboarding to automated software, you minimize your paper waste and the related costs.

How SentricHR Can Automate Your Onboarding

Adjusting or automating any business process can be challenging at first. You and your team may have to learn new technology and take on new or unfamiliar tasks. But in most cases, automating your processes is worth the initial hurdles. 

Onboarding is no exception. While there’s nothing wrong with a traditional, paper-based onboarding process, software can streamline your processes and create a more engaging experience for new hires. SentricHR’s all-in-one HRIS simplifies your onboarding process with automated workflows, compliant e-signatures, and everything you need to set your new hires up for success. 

To learn more about our onboarding software, schedule a demo with one of our product experts today!


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