Automating the employee onboarding process

How digitizing a new hire’s welcome can bring significant bottom-line payoffs


Manual onboarding processes — whether digital or analog — create friction that costs companies money with every new hire. According to Langate studies, when important employee onboarding processes are automated, however, this streamlines the entire process leading to competitive advantages like:

  • Reducing onboarding inconsistencies
  • Reducing employee turnover
  • Resulting in a better experience for employers and employees alike

Unified access through apps and portals

With automated employee onboarding, it becomes much simpler to ensure that each and every employee experiences onboarding in the same way. Company web portals, onboarding apps, and other new hire materials can be consolidated.

Digital processes save time and money

Research from the SHRM indicates that intentionally structuring the onboarding process and automating all possible components can not only cut down on confusion during the process, it can also save HR professionals and new hires time — when all the necessary new hire forms for example are housed in a central, automated repository, that frees everyone involved in the process to focus on job-related information. Rather than handling NDA paperwork or tracking down a missing signature, automated employee onboarding processes help eliminate the piece-meal, ad-hoc activities that can so often come up during onboarding activities.

Why automate employee onboarding?

When diffuse onboarding tasks are consolidated under one, or a handful, of automated onboarding processes, HR professionals have more time and flexibility to focus on employees themselves, ensuring a more personal approach to onboarding. Especially when employee onboarding involves a number of individuals in roles other than HR, onboarding can take longer and involve more manual steps. With an automated system, the onboarding process saves each stakeholder along the process time which they can then better devote to their primary roles, and making new employees feel welcome or working on their overall engagement.

Employees that didn’t have a thoughtful onboarding experience were nearly 3 times as likely to leave a job within 6 to 18 months.

Less stress for HR teams

By automating employee onboarding systems and processes, HR teams can focus more on individual new hires and focus on their primary job activities. Relying on automation frees professionals from having to worry about signatures and sign offs, instead they can help foster the onboarding environment, making sure new hires are comfortable with the onboarding process and help ensure a better fit for both the employee and the organization in the long term.

Higher employee retention

Each new hire costs an organization an average of $4,000, according to Deloitte, so it makes sense to spend that money wisely and to do everything possible to reduce the number of times that money has to be spent. Multiply that figure across teams and entire organizations, and you quickly have large sums of budget sunk into turnover when new hires aren’t properly onboarded. Employees that didn’t have a thoughtful onboarding experience were nearly 3 times as likely to leave a job within 6 to 18 months.

$4,000

How much each new hire costs an organization on average

By contrast, employees who experienced intentional, structured onboarding processes — like those that can be provided through automated employee onboarding — were nearly 70% more likely to stay with a company three years or longer, according to research done for a case study by Corning Glass Works.

Better, more consistent employee experience

Not only is the onboarding process critical to employee retention, it also sets the stage for more engaged, fulfilled employees. Automated onboarding processes help ensure all employees have relatively the same onboarding experience, creating shared bonding opportunities while reducing the overall time it takes for employees to become properly familiar with the job and the environment.

When onboarding tasks are centralized, employees can generally move through them more efficiently — getting toward being productive team members more quickly and with more enthusiasm.

Onboarding Automation

How to automate employee onboarding processes

To begin the process of automating employee onboarding, it’s important to outline exactly what processes and materials onboarding requires. Outlining what works and, crucially, what doesn’t work, with the existing process will also yield important insights into how an automated process can improve the experience for everyone. Once the ideal onboarding process is outlined and documented, the areas where automation can improve the process can be identified and implemented:

Automatic employment document delivery

Hiring typically comes with a lot of paperwork. Automating this step creates some of the most measurable efficiencies in employee onboarding. Not only do new hires have direct access to all the necessary documents, automation creates a measurable, traceable method to ensure deliverability and sign off occurs on all necessary forms and agreements.

Automate benefits enrollment

When employees and HR professionals don’t have to worry about whether or not their benefits are applied for correctly, they can spend more of their time and energy on job-specific tasks and functions. Automating benefits enrollment not only creates added peace of mind, it also makes it simpler to document and record benefits administration and enrollment.

Enter new employee data into HR apps automatically

Another part of onboarding automation that can save time and money is the translation of onboarding materials into a central repository. When data is automatically entered, for example, HR professionals can focus on providing more benefit to employees and less time manually entering new hire information or double checking name spellings and signatures.

Provide app accounts & logins automatically

With automated onboarding, employees can automatically access all the necessary applications and technologies they will need to do their job effectively. Not only do they have direct access to login and accounts, this access can be tracked and managed for maximum efficiency if issues arise, like new passwords needing to be issued or level access being denied.

Process HR paperwork sooner, and faster

When paperwork exists within an automated framework, it can be processed more efficiently and accurately. This creates more time for employees to learn their job related tasks, and adds peace of mind that key onboarding processes, like benefits enrollment, happen as quickly as possible.