The ongoing skilled labor shortage tells us that competition for top talent is fierce. Companies who want to retain the driven, resourceful people they’ve added to their talent pool must convey a sense of belonging and success from day one.

Impactful onboarding is, of course, the best way to welcome new hires and instill your business’ culture and knowledge. Most new hires arrive on their first day with nervousness and excitement. If they are met with slow processes and distraction or silence from HR, that bubble can – and will – quickly burst. According to a 2023 Techjury post, businesses that employ the top 20% of most engaged workers see their turnover rate fall by 59%. This includes a whopping 41% decrease in absenteeism. Exceptional onboarding plays a big part in this. 

Leverage the powerful functions of an automation onboarding solution to show new hires that the organization matches their excitement and is eager to set them on a road to success.

automated onboarding
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What is onboarding automation? 

Onboarding automation is the use of a digital platform with automation capabilities designed to simplify onboarding processes. These platforms have features that allow users to streamline just about any onboarding task, save valuable time for all parties, and interlace the actions and approvals of multiple departments into one workflow. (One onboarding employee will have contact with HR, IT, and accounts payable, for instance). 

We’ve compiled a list of five essential ways automation can improve the onboarding experience for your new hires and create conditions for a loyal, enthusiastic tenure at your company.

5 ways to improve the employee onboarding experience with automation

1. Make connections

Reaching out to new hires before their start date is a great way to express your enthusiasm and answer their questions. It’s also an ideal time to distribute contracts, benefits enrollment links, compliance policies, and other helpful information. 

Automated solutions offer one platform on which interrelated departments like HR, payroll, and IT can connect. Once each new hire is processed, automations and templates issue their DocuSign-integrated paperwork via email. Beyond the advantages of simplicity and speed, this reduces the risk of errors in critical data.

2. Engage

An onboarding class may contain 12 new hires working on 10 separate teams. No two are alike, and, as the HR onboarding team lead, you want to engage each of them on an individual level. If you find yourself wondering how to make that happen (or if it is even possible), consider an automated onboarding platform. Why?

  • Checklists – The checklist function included in most HR automation solutions can be customized to create tailor-made agendas for each person. While a general orientation session is important, once you’ve passed along the basics, give them the opportunity to see operations and meet the stakeholders relevant to their work. 
  • Cloud-based computing – New hires are often in the midst of life transitions like moving, which can be complicated. Cloud-based platforms allow them to take part in onboarding from any location with smartphone access. The convenience of signing contracts and watching product tutorials from their phones will surprise many new hires and go a long way in garnering long-term engagement, trust, and goodwill.

3. Communicate

Continual communication is crucial in the onboarding process. A full half of employees polled in 2023 reported that ineffective communication negatively impacts their work experience. Every unanswered email or lack of service ticket response sends a message to new hires who are forming their opinion about your company in real time.

Employee onboarding automation facilitates seamless communication between a business’ separate internal departments and new hires. One onboarding action like a signed contract can trigger customized email templates to IT and payroll alerting them to process the new employee into the system and gather their equipment. 

New hires sometimes need quick clarification rather than detailed explanations. Portals are tools included with many automated solutions that act as information repositories, or self-service centers, for employees and customers with common questions and issues. New hires can find quick solutions, freeing up time for you both. Portals can be customized to contain benefits links, personnel flow charts, surveys, and much more. 

4. Welcome remote workers

Remote employees now make up 58% of the American workforce, in which those workers are 9% more productive than their in-office counterparts. An automated onboarding solution is by far the simplest way for businesses to onboard their new remote hires. Here’s how:

  • Fast setup – Automated forms, email templates, and checklists work together to quickly get work equipment into the hands of new employees, while automatically scheduling setup sessions with IT. 
  • Access from anywhere – The cloud-based platform advantage gives new hires access to all onboarding processes from almost anywhere. From their first orientation meeting to electing their benefits, automated onboarding immediately brings remote workers into the fold.

5. Track onboarding progress 

Successful onboarding looks different for every business. How, then, can success or failure be determined? 

First, set specific goals. Most onboarding programs are designed to welcome and acclimate. Therefore, as onboarding ends, ask questions like: did everyone complete the program? Do they feel prepared to join their team? 

Second, do you have the best tools to measure those goals? Automated onboarding does the heavy lifting here. It provides:

  • Dashboards & reports – Your new hires are eager to start working. Track their progress as they move into their roles at the organization. Dashboards measure data, including onboarding success rates, and display it in a simple layout. Run reports with one button click to discover the latest onboarding completion numbers and employee turnover rates. 
  • Surveys – Data speaks volumes, but so do employees themselves. Most new hires don’t voice concerns right away, however. Frequent surveys give workers a chance to reveal how they’re feeling about the organization, from company culture to onboarding activities.
  • Reminder alerts – Engagement and communication don’t stop with onboarding. After those first few weeks have passed, 1:1 conversations should remain constant. Keep employees connected by setting up automations to schedule regular check-ins with supervisors. Employees who feel heard feel connected.

Onboard for success

Organizations that don’t see the significance of onboarding, or make a minimum effort, risk losing bright, diligent employees before seeing what they can do. HR’s recruiting efforts are wasted, and up to millions in revenue are lost to re-hire costs.

A cloud-based, no-code BPM (business process management system) like Pipefy will transform your HR processes from manual, hand-keyed data entry to an automated suite of self-performing functions. Automated onboarding is a win for you and your new hires. No coding experience is required, and everyone involved can access the onboarding functions from anywhere. Surveys, checklists, templates, and automations handle the data while you spend the valuable time you have with new employees preparing them for success!