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What is an Onboarding System and How Does it Work?

May 29, 2018
9 min read
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Performance Management, Supercharged


How Do Onboarding Systems Work?

The benefits of an organized new employee onboarding process aren’t a secret. Statistic after statistic proves the value of onboarding:

It’s not the obvious benefits of onboarding that hold organizations back from implementing programs that work. It’s the necessary time, money, and manpower that keep leaders and their new hires from a highly engaging first few weeks on the job. That’s where onboarding systems come in.

What is Onboarding Software?

Onboarding software is technology that helps employers facilitate a smooth transition for new hires. Often, employee onboarding software features a digital dashboard that allows talent acquisition teams to easily communicate with one another and track the progress of each hire as they move through the employee onboarding process. This includes I-9 verification, compliance insight and tools, and integrations for payroll and benefits administration. Some software even acts as a connection between the organization’s applicant tracking system and performance management system to provide a seamless transition in the new hire’s employment history.

Is employee onboarding software really worth the investment?

Implementing an onboarding system like this helps managers and leadership address the needs and concerns of their new hires without placing too much administrative burden on HR or managers. It also standardizes the process, which means your new hire introductions are consistent and appropriate for the role. Finally, it assists with compliance, ensuring you don’t lose or misfile important new hire information.

For example, an entry-level candidate will receive a full introduction to the company and KPIs, while a tenured, internal hire can focus more on the additional or newly added responsibilities. Meanwhile, the onboarding team won’t have to create a new program to match the candidate, they’ll simply follow the guidelines already established.

Do You Need an Onboarding System?

There is a tool or software for just about every process your department has in place. The sheer amount of options can cause leaders to wonder just what is actually necessary for their company. In general, companies should have an onboarding system or tool if:

  1. Bringing a new hire on board causes the HR team to spend most of their time sending, tracking, checking, and filing paperwork instead of welcoming and working with the new employee.
  2. You work in a compliance-heavy industry.
  3. You’re experiencing onboarding hiccups (for example, forgetting to send a background check or missing the I-9 deadline).
  4. You have high turnover early on in an employee’s tenure.

This list isn’t exhaustive, but it is a great indication of some common issues faced by companies that will benefit from an onboarding system. If your organization is facing exponential growth, it might be time to start exploring your options before these issues begin.

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Why Adopt Onboarding Software?

The first few weeks on a job are critical for both the success of a new employee and the relationship an employer forms with them. In fact, a third of employees surveyed stated they knew whether they would stay or leave a company after the first week on the job. Creating and maintaining an awesome onboarding experience that satisfies the new hire’s need for training and also keeps productivity levels at their peak is a challenge many organizations struggle with.

Employee onboarding should equip new hires with everything they need to be successful and satisfied within the company. That’s everything from establishing logistical employment standards to explaining unspoken internal collaboration rules. This can be a tall order and mean a lot of planning for organizations.

Adopting an employee onboarding system reduces the risk of missing out on crucial steps in the process because it standardizes the program for each new hire while allowing customization for specific job titles and employment levels. What works for an executive hire will be completely different than that of an intern, but both will likely need new hire paperwork and an introduction to the company's mission, values, and culture.

An employee onboarding system does this by providing these features:

  • Managing New Hire Paperwork: When bringing on a new hire, it can feel like the paperwork never ends. With an onboarding system, employers can house all documents in one place as well as carry information from form to form, reducing time spent keying in redundant information as well as errors.
  • Employment Documentation Compliance: Employment compliance is complicated, but an onboarding system can help ensure your organization is using the latest forms while providing thorough explanations and guidance to the employees who are filling them out. From state tax forms to e-verified automation, a new hire onboarding system can help your team stay compliant while saving time.
  • Background Checks: Background checks are important for keeping your organization and new hires safe and protected, so it is essential that they are handled appropriately. With an onboarding system, background checks can be sent with one click, and your team will receive automatic updates once the new hire has authorized the check, and again when the results are in. No more chasing down authorizations or internal bottlenecks.
  • Automatic Workflows: Using the best onboarding software will allow your organization to set up multiple automated workflows so that you can set something up once, then never worry about it again. Most software allows the organization to define a process for each role or department, including setting deadlines and reminders for the new hire and internal team with specific directions for each step. Once one step is completed, the responsible individual will be notified and given the next step to be completed in the process.
  • Access to Employee Information: This includes everything from benefits enrollment to employee handbooks. Because the system is a tool for both the employee and employer, both have access to critical employment information through it.
  • Progress Reporting: Do you know where your new hire is in the onboarding process? Do you know who will be training them on the intranet tomorrow? With an onboarding system, each step the new hire has completed is clearly displayed and easily followed by leadership. This functionality can also help audit the performance of the onboarding team, helping to improve the onboarding process as a whole.

Onboarding Software Sustainability

One major attractive factor about an onboarding system is that it’s green — going digital cuts down on paper costs and, more importantly, paper waste. Using software eliminates the need for excess paper documentation and creates an easily accessible, eco-friendly platform for your business to operate from.

Already have an #onboarding software you love? Great! If not, here’s why you should be seriously considering using it:

Let’s break it down fiscally, step by step:

  1. The average US office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper each year.
  2. When compared on a nationwide scale with all the workers in the US, that’s 4 million tons of copy paper used each year.
  3. Annually, US companies spend $120 million on printed documents.
  4. The costs of using paper in the office can run 13 to 31 times the cost of purchasing paper in the first place.
  5. 70% of the total waste in offices is made up of paper and 45% of printed paper ends up in the trash by the end of the day.

Not only are businesses around the globe spending excess money on paper, but they’re also wasting it. On the ClearCompany SaaS platform, all of your records, training logs, and important documents are housed in one secure digital space. Think of it this way: you’re saving physical workspace by eliminating the need for extra documentation while saving the environment by cutting down on the amount of paper your firm will use. Plus, incorporating eco-friendly practices in your onboarding process is a great CSR selling point to advertise your employer brand and attract more like-minded talent.

Do You Need Onboarding Software? A Checklist

The key takeaway with onboarding software is that it saves you time, money, and other resources. Imagine no longer wasting paper and data space required for bookkeeping, or hiring additional personnel simply to manage new hire paperwork. Follow this checklist to see if an Onboarding system is the missing link your company needs to streamline your onboarding process:

  • Do I prefer my employees to complete onboarding tasks electronically?
  • Do I have a lot of onboarding paperwork to sift through and organize?
  • Do I need help managing I-9, W-4, and state tax documents? Do I need a more secure platform to store them?
  • Do my employees work in job-specific areas that make communication difficult? (machines, desks, etc)
  • Do I need to touch base with my new hires frequently?
  • Do I have issues managing onboarding scheduling?
  • Do my candidates/employees use smartphones?
  • Would my candidates/employees respond positively to a mobile-friendly platform?
  • Do I spend excessive time inserting candidate information into company logs and databases?
  • Do I need assistance conducting background checks and double-checking verifications?
  • Am I looking to automate tasks, reminders, and deadlines and assign them to new hire training benchmarks?
  • Do I need to simplify the employee benefits enrollment process?
  • Do I go through a lot of paper in my various onboarding record-keeping tasks? In onboarding packets?
  • Should I integrate my performance management solutions like goal-setting strategies and performance feedback with my onboarding process?
  • Are real-time reports on how my new hires are performing something I need?
  • Do I need an employee portal where new hires can be introduced to the team quickly and efficiently?

ClearCompany’s Employee Onboarding Software organizes all your documents into one easily-accessible platform so you don’t have to search through drives and file cabinets to locate onboarding and training documents. Organizations with a standard onboarding process experience 54% greater new hire productivity overall, and onboarding software collects it all in one place.

Another aspect of an onboarding system that makes it essential is its flexibility. ClearCompany offers mobile capabilities on our onboarding software, making it easy to manage the onboarding process on the go. It gives onboarding managers the ability to connect with new hires and manage from a distance while granting the new hires an intuitive user interface with which they can easily complete and submit their onboarding tasks.

For example, say your new hire, Liz, is working through multiple onboarding packets, tasks, and training. She can navigate ClearCompany’s Onboarding system to find her goals, assignments, and various onboarding packets all from the same space. The process requires minimal effort on your part, and you save time not having to continuously make sure all tasks have been completed.

These features, while critical, are not standard in every onboarding system or platform. Finding the right one for your organization requires research and an understanding of how your company would like to onboard talent. ClearCompany’s Employee Onboarding Software has perfected every feature above and even more. If you’re interested in seeing how our tool can help improve your program, schedule a one-on-one demo with us today.


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