Onboarding: what it is, how to do it and why it is important

Onboarding: what it is, how to do it and why it is important

The selection process is over: you have found the person you were looking for and you are ready to let them join the team! At this point, the next step is to start the onboarding process. But what does “corporate onboarding” mean? And how do you arrange the integration of new employees in the company? We discuss it in this article.


Onboarding: definition and meaning

In the world of human resources, we are well-acquainted with the reasons that drive companies to start a search and selection process, with the stages of the candidate journey and how a person is hired. What is still a bit confusing is the moment that marks the beginning of the employee journey.

Onboarding is the term we use to refer to the  post-hiring process that involves the integration of the new employee in the company.

onboarding process

In this phase, which in a sense ends the recruiting process, the new hire prepares to join the team and (at an organisational and corporate culture level) to learn about the internal dynamics and to acquire the skills and information necessary for successful integration.

In recent times, with the increase in smart working and hybrid forms of work becoming more common, there has also been talk of digital onboarding, which refers to the development of a remote employee onboarding plan. Without sacrificing the human component and interactions between people, this solution provides new hires with the necessary tools, and makes them available also in digital form, so they prepare to get on board.

Onboarding, induction and training

The boundaries of integration into the company are not always easy to spot. It is often used interchangeably with “induction” and “training” in the company but it is actually a complex and structured process aimed at the formal inclusion of the new employee in the company and encompasses multiple stages.

Among these, the induction process welcomes new hires above all from a human point of view – it is also referred to as corporate induction – and provides for introducing and presenting the team, people, the company and how the company operates. Training, on the other hand, includes senior team figures coaching new hires, the development of personal and job-related skills, etc.

Why is corporate onboarding important?

The strategic objective of an onboarding programme is to provide new employees with all the tools to be fully operational, productive and integrated with the company structure and culture, to ensure inclusion in the team and good performance over time.

Onboarding is a crucially important phase for an organisation because it is connected to the themes of retention (ability to retain talented employees in the company), employee loyalty, employee engagement (involvement) and performance at work.

The above are some of the reasons that explain why the onboarding phase is very delicate and crucial for the employee’s future life in the company. According to some analyses, almost 34% of new hires leave their jobs within the first month. So let’s see how to structure a really effective company integration plan.

How to onboard a new employee

Before deciding how to structure the onboarding process, it is good to ask yourself a few questions to understand which direction to move in. For example:

  • When should the onboarding process begin?
  • How long will it last?
  • What impression of the company do you want the new hire to have after the first day of work?
  • What principles of corporate culture do you want to share with new employees?
  • What role will colleagues play in the onboarding process?
  • Which criteria will be used to measure the effectiveness of the project?

Questions of this sort work as guidelines to plan the strategy and fine tune the actions and procedure of corporate onboarding to be adopted.

Steps and actions of the new hire onboarding process

Onboarding includes both administrative activities and other activities, such as welcoming the new person into the company and sharing internal policies. It is important to remember that all colleagues are involved and responsible for the entry of newcomers, not just HR. There will be meetings with the team and their manager, training, printed support material, e-learning and videos and more.

Practical activities to be organised at this stage include:

  • Meeting and welcome by new colleagues;
  • Practical, organisational and bureaucratic information;
  • Office tours;
  • Creation of the activity agenda for the first days;
  • Training on company procedures and policies;
  • Technological training on platforms and tools;
  • Training on aspects related to the role;
  • Meeeting with managers and the company tutor;
  • Preparing the workstation;
  • Login badges and credentials;
  • Setting goals for the first 90 days;
  • Planning moments for discussion.

Integration between ATS and HR software for onboarding

The projects and procedures for welcoming and training a new employee can be greatly simplified by using specific HR software for onboarding. These software programmes can be used, for example, to define training plans to improve the skills of newly hired employees, also through interactive and collaborative methods.

The integration of recruiting software and HR software for onboarding is crucial. It is always a good idea to check that the ATS used to manage the search and selection process integrates easily with third-party systems: this connection allows the automatic transfer of the data of candidates (and future employees) to the platform for the management of onboarding and for the management of human resources (HRMS). 

Discover Inrecruiting and the many third-party solutions and software available for integration into our marketplace.