What is Employee Onboarding?
Chances are you’ve been through the onboarding process before. You advertise the job, interview promising applicants, and make the job offer. Now comes the hard part: onboarding the new hire. Employee onboarding is different for every company. Everyone has a different process for helping the employee adjust to the company culture, the job and what is to be expected of him or her in the role. Essentially, employee onboarding is the process through which new employees learn the skills and knowledge necessary for them to succeed in a position at your company. No matter how different or unique your process is, there’s one thing they all have in common: documentation.
Each new hire comes with a checklist of actions to take before it is made official. First, you need to check references, send the offer letter, and then comes the litany of new hire paperwork. Each one of these things is just as important as the next. The documentation of the new hire can be just as imperative as actually teaching your new employee the tricks of the trade and how to succeed in his or her new job.
1. Check References
The question of whether or not you should check an applicant’s references is always up for debate. But not checking references could come back to bite you. More on that here.) Checking an applicant’s references can be more helpful in the onboarding process than hurtful. Through the references, you will learn more about an employee’s work ethic than you will on paper or during a one-on-one interview. What better way to learn about the employee you are considering for hire than to talk with previous employers or close associations!
When you require a reference portion on your job application, the applicant knows it’s very likely you will contact the references to learn more about him or her. While the references an applicant includes on an application may give glowing accounts of the employee, that isn’t always the case. Most importantly, by filling out the references portion of your application, an applicant gives the employer permission to contact one or all of the references included. You, the employer, might as well take advantage of that opportunity and learn more about a candidate you are considering for hire before making the job offer. ApplicantPro allows you to check references via email. More on that here.
2. Send the Offer Letter
The second step of the onboarding process is making the final decision: who to hire. Once you’ve checked references, screened the applicant and interviewed him or her (at least once), you decide who will be the best fit for the company and extend the job offer to the applicant.
An offer letter can be pretty standard—a simple letter that is standard for all of your hires. Many employers use a template letter that requires little to fill out, besides the name of the applicant, your name or the hiring manager’s name, and agreed upon compensation and other benefits. Printing the letter and sending it out through the postal service or email is easy enough to do.
3. Keep Track of All New Hire Paperwork
One of the biggest challenges that comes from new hire paperwork is getting it to and back from the employee. This can be particularly challenging when there are offsite employees. Do you mail the paperwork? Will they get it? Once they include all of their personal information (and that of their family) do they mail it back? Will you receive it from them and in a timely manner? What happens if it isn’t received? Will you be liable? There is also the issue of accuracy. Will the new hire complete all of the necessary forms? These and others are the problem with onboarding with paper documents. There are several systems on the market that allow for paperless onboarding. The company we partner with for onboarding, allows you to send a link over email where the new hire will enter their own email and password. From there, the employee will complete their paperwork by simply answering a series of questions and then populating the fields on each form. This helps with employee frustration (due to redundancy) and cuts back on errors by asking each question only one time. Once completed, the employee reviews and signs each form, online and submit each one for HR review. Notifications can be set up and once received, can be reviewed and completed from the HR side. For example, with the form I9 once documents are reviewed, your portion can be completed and signed off on from the online portal as well. Overall, online onboard helps your company ‘go green’ and can save you a headache. No more filing cabinets or paper copies floating around. Many systems allow for open enrollment to be done through them as well. If you switch insurance providers and need forms completed by each and every employee, the forms can be uploaded into the system and completed by each employee. At a glance know who has completed and who has not. Send reminder emails directly from the system. This can help streamline the process for you.
The applicant tracking system, like ApplicantPro, allows you to do all of this and more by integrating employee onboarding into your hiring process. With a single click, you can send out an offer letter, contact an applicant’s references, and request onboarding paperwork from a new employee as well as keep a record of it for legal purposes.
Don’t stress about making sure the proper documentation is made for when you hire a new employee. Employee onboarding is meant to be as smooth as possible to assimilate your new employee into the workplace—that includes onboarding documents.
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