employee onboarding process

How to Ace An Employee Onboarding Process!

Kelly Barcelos on September 27, 2022 in Applicant Tracking System

According to a Gallup study, only 12% of the employees agreed that their companies did an amazing job onboarding. And these were the employees who were three times more likely to say that they had one of the best jobs. No wonder there’s so much room for companies that do not have a proper employee onboarding process!

What is Employee Onboarding Process?

Onboarding is an official process in which the newly hired employee is introduced to the organization’s environment. Getting to know the organization proves vital for the employees to set their feet on the path of productivity and be effective. This involves making them familiar with everything from the office policies and the workplace to the work culture and how the office functions.

The main aim of a good onboarding process should be equipping your employees with the correct techniques and tools to get their journey started as productive team members. Along with making new hires familiar with the process, employee retention is another goal companies achieve through effective onboarding. However, we believe the onboarding process shouldn’t be limited to just new hires.

Big organizations constantly evolve, and the people in your company are also seeking growth and seen switching job roles within the organization. To make them more familiar with their new job role, you can employ cross-boarding, where you guide them with the job role and introduce them to their new team. Surely, they won’t need guidance on understanding the work culture or rules, but this process will still be a helping hand.

To make sure you are implying a successful employee onboarding process, consider the four Cs of onboarding:

  • Compliance: Getting the new hires familiar with your company’s rules, regulations and policies
  • Clarification: Clarifying their job roles, functions, and performance expectations
  • Culture: Educating new employees about the organizational norms followed like the dress code
  • Connection: Helping them build inter and intra-departmental relationships in the company

Why is the Employee Onboarding Process Important?

The onboarding process should never be sidelined, no matter how small or big your organization is. It is necessary to properly onboard your new employees to give them a chance to understand your work culture, connect with the environment, meet their peers and become a valuable part of your company. An effective onboarding program can largely fall in your organization’s favor as the employee will feel more welcomed, valued, and able to do their best!

Here are more reasons why you should focus on providing an excellent onboarding timeline:

  1. Increases Employee Retention

    The onboarding strategy is not a luxury anymore. It is a need for every organization to increase its employee retention rate. In fact, the statistics state that onboarding programs increase retention by 25%! Moreover, employees who underwent a proper onboarding process are 69% more likely to stick in the organization for more than three years.

    The entire hiring process is expensive and, not to forget, extremely tedious. So, when recruiting new talent, you must look at retaining them for a longer period. And employing a strategic onboarding timeline can be your long shot.

  2. Enhances Employee Productivity

    Onboarding new hires make them feel more valued and motivate them to contribute to the organization. Moreover, when your employees can understand your company’s work culture and core values from the beginning, they can share the same goals! And the earlier this happens, the better work quality you can get.

  3. Contributes to a Positive Branding

    An excellent onboarding process contributes to improving your employer branding. A good onboarding experience will make employees leave positive reviews for your organization. And positive feedback is only going to strengthen your organization’s brand image.

  4. Boosts Employee Comfort

    For many individuals, getting out of the comfort of their previous working space and trying to adjust to a new working environment with new people is extremely difficult. Onboarding processes help them get comfortable in a new organization. Moreover, it gives them the confidence to approach their team members more freely.

  5. Creates Transparency

    Although the job description is enough to make employees understand their role, we don’t live in a perfect world. There can still be some rough edges to their understanding of the role. And a well-designed onboarding structure can create full transparency about the responsibilities and duties their job role comes with.

    You are in a position to explain the role to them in more detail, communicate your expectation, and engage in a feedback session. This keeps everyone in agreement and subtracts miscommunication.

  6. Grows Employee Satisfaction

    With the correct guidance and mentoring, your new hires will understand their job better and increase their meaningful contributions to the company. They are more equipped to tackle challenges and bring innovative solutions. Thus, onboarding makes it easier to increase employee satisfaction!

  7. Builds Trust

    Early interaction is important to create stellar first impressions that can foster loyalty and a sense of trust in your new employees. A positive onboarding experience can help by working on open communication to create a channel of trust between you and your employees.

Steps to Create a Strong Employee Onboarding Process

Want to build an excellent onboarding process but do not understand where to begin and what steps to follow? Here is our recommended onboarding checklist you can follow to get you started:

Step #1: Making the Offer

Everything starts right from the beginning when the employee is first recruited. Once selected, the company should hand them the offer letter, policy papers, and onboarding documents. The approach should be clear, transparent and straightforward to create trust between the new hire and your organization so that they can become comfortable working.

  • Checklist for Releasing the Offer:
  • Curate a clear job description
  • Make phone calls to form a better clarity
  • Detailed information about the job
  • Clear salary negotiations
  • Timely follow-ups

Step #2: Accepting the Offer

Once the candidate is presented with the offer letter, the next step will include acceptance of that letter. Your company can strengthen their onboarding process by proactively engaging with your new hires through a meeting to review policies, benefits, culture, etc. Your active engagement leads to stronger relationships and improved employee retention.

  • Checklist for Preparing One Week Before a New Employee
  • Create paperwork for policies and forms
  • Make an employee agreement and handbook
  • Have a non-disclosure agreement made if their work contains dealing with sensitive information

Step #3: The Waiting Period

There are times when there’s a waiting period between when an employee accepts the offer and when they join. But you are not provided with a surety that the employee will join the company. Hence, building a relationship with the employee becomes crucial, so they are excited to join your organization.

Step #4: Joining Day

Every employee is excited, nervous, and happy to grow and work in a new environment. Hiring managers must ensure that their new hires feel welcomed and given appropriate tools to warm up in the organization.

Checklist Post Joining:

  • Account setup
  • Welcome email
  • Introduction with the teams
  • Formal onboarding meeting
  • Assigning laptop/desktop
  • Office phone

Step #5: Informing the Department

Everyone in the department that the new joiner will be a part of should be aware of their joining. This includes the manager, your HR team, and subordinates to make the employee feel welcomed.

Step #6: Conducting Orientation and Training

Conduct orientation to brief them about your company information, vision, and goals. Training can ease them into the company and give them an understanding of how everything functions. You can even form goals for your new employees and help them achieve in the next 30 or 60 days.

Step #7: Focusing on Relationship with the Manager and Expectations

The onboarding process also includes building a positive relationship within the workplace. And this focuses on mainly forming a connection between the new employee and the manager with the help of frequent meetings and training sessions.

You can begin by analyzing their working styles. For example, conducting an exercise where both manager and the newly recruited employee discuss how they work avoids further frustration and tension between the two.

Step #8: The First Review

Some companies give quarterly reviews to their employees. Generally, the first quarter review is essential for new employees to analyze their performance, provide feedback, and ensure that the company matches their expectations. This step needs to be considered an integral part.

Checklist for Review Session:

  • Discuss employee experience to check whether you have matched their expectations
  • Offer them feedback based on their performance
  • Make sure the employee does not have any issues
  • Discuss their career pathway and progress
  • Actively listen to their feedback regarding the onboarding
  • Analyze whether they need extra training

How an ATS Helps in Onboarding New Employees?

Your recruitment process is only successful when you have an even stronger onboarding process. The success of the onboarding you do helps your new employee become a valuable addition to the organization. However, some companies still underestimate the importance of onboarding and do not invest time and effort in making this process effective.

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can come in handy to help you improve your onboarding strategy. It can make your process more efficient and effective since onboarding directly impacts factors like employee turnover, engagement, and productivity.

Here’s how having an ATS can solve your major worries by implementing a great onboarding timeline:

  • Streamline your paperwork
  • Avoid errors
  • Immediate training
  • Improved candidate experience
  • Faster onboarding
  • Get deep insights
  • Saves time and effort of the hiring managers

Learn More!

13 Effective Onboarding Strategies

Here are 13 tips that can help you create an effective onboarding strategy:

  1. Plan Ahead

    Certain things are time-sensitive, and employee onboarding is one of them. To be useful in the process, the organization or its HR department needs to make sure that the planning and designing of the onboarding schedule have been completed before the newly hired best talent reports to avoid a haphazard situation.

  2. Create a Formal Onboarding Program

    Every organization has different management goals and hence has a different strategy for dealing with its employees. Once the hiring has been executed, the process of onboarding should be written down in steps and an appropriate sequence of events. The four things to consider in onboarding are Compliance, Culture, Clarification and Connection.

  3. Define the Process by Category

    Each and every employee has a different task to do and a different responsibility to share with the organization, and the employee category should define employee onboarding. Hourly workers or part-timers can have sufficient onboarding in lesser time, but an executive employee may take days in getting fully onboarded with the organization.

  4. Design an Onboarding Template

    To achieve the four necessary Cs of onboarding, a well-designed format is needed to incorporate into the system. The organization management team needs to decide whether one on one personal interaction serves best or through other means.

  5. Schedule Introductions

    Schedule the new employee’s meeting with a senior employee to help them with onboarding. The senior person can give an overview of the office and introduce them to everyone. They can give them an idea of how the company works to help them understand their role. Introductions are effective in easing the person into a new environment.

  6. Explain the Company Culture

    Anyone wandering aimlessly is going to end up in the wrong company. Don’t let the new employee be that aimless person lost in the sea of gossip and inside jokes. Allow them to be a part of the company culture. Let them participate in office events and become a part of your traditions.

  7. Teach the Company’s Goals and Principles

    The newly hired employee should be told about his roles and responsibilities, but along with that, it is necessary to tell him about the responsibilities of every member of the organization. In this way, they can build up a sense of responsibility and develop team spirit. The organization’s goals and missions need to be explained in detail to the employee during the onboarding process.

  8. Create an Onboarding Checklist

    HR managers should prepare a checklist for the process to ensure that no point remains uncovered or no segment of the organization remains unfamiliar to the newly hired.

  9. Keep Engaging with the Employee

    It is essential to keep engaging with the new employee in the first few weeks. This allows you to build a great bond with them and ensure the new hire is comfortable in the workspace.

  10. Assign a Mentor

    When new hires are just starting out, providing them with a mentor ensures a smooth transition through this anxiety-inducing process. When a new employee has a go-to resource, they have a productive start and continue to perform.

  11. Take Regular Feedback Sessions

    Feedback is an essential part of the onboarding process. It creates an understanding of what is missing, what part of training is going great and what needs to be improved. So, check up on your new hire every 30, 60 or 90 days.

  12. Evaluate the Onboarding Process

    Once the process has been completed, it is necessary to assess the results and bring about any alterations or up gradations that it may require.

    The onboarding process does not have to be chaotic. With a smart applicant tracking system, it can become simpler and more effective all at once. Sign up for a free trial to understand just how much it can help you, right from the employee’s first day.


  1. What are the 5C’s or 6C’s of onboarding?

    Originally, there were 4 Cs of onboarding (covered in the article) which got updated to 5 Cs comprising of compliance, clarification, confidence, connection, and culture. In 2022, organizations follow the 6 Cs comprising:

    • Compliance
    • Clarification
    • Confidence
    • Connection
    • Culture
    • Checkback
  2. How long should your onboarding process last?

    Several studies have shown that any onboarding process lasting less than a month negatively affects your retention rate. This is because one or less than a month is never enough for anyone to settle in a new working space, adjust to new technologies, receive enough training, and make decisions.

  3. What are the examples of employee onboarding?

    Here are some of the best employee onboarding examples:

    • Employee onboarding at Ogilvy and Mather

      New employees at Ogilvy and Mather are given a welcome kit that contains a welcome letter, cards, brochures and the office plan. Moreover, it holds a book from David Ogilvy that’s not available in the stores.

    • Employee onboarding at Netflix

      At Netflix, the existing employees are prepared in advance. So, when the new hire arrives, the employees engage with them.

    • Employee onboarding at PepsiCo

      The new hires at PepsiCo are invited to try the company’s major products on their first day at work! Moreover, they also give them a fitness tracker.

  4. Are onboarding and orientation the same?

    While they are confused with being the same, they are different. Orientation is a part of onboarding. Onboarding is a long and comprehensive process that involves management and may last up to 12 months.

Kelly Barcelos

Kelly Barcelos is a progressive digital marketing manager specializing in HR and is responsible for leading Jobsoid’s content and social media team. When Kelly is not building campaigns, she is busy creating content and preparing PR topics. She started with Jobsoid as a social media strategist and eventually took over the entire digital marketing team with her innovative approach and technical expertise.