Paper Trails

What is employee onboarding?

In the world of business, from the smallest startups to largest brands, one thing remains constant: employee onboarding. Smaller companies may keep it simple with a two-step process, while larger ones navigate through a more intricate multi-step journey. Regardless of the scale, one thing is clear: the success and engagement of your workforce depend on this process.

In this article, we’ll explore employee onboarding, its key concepts, methods, and best practices. But before we dive in, let’s start by understanding what employee onboarding is all about.

What is employee onboarding?

Employee onboarding is the process a company follows when an applicant is hired by an organization. In fact, this process helps integrate a new hire into an organization. Since the Internal Revenue Services requires certain paperwork for each new hire, every business follows some sort of onboarding process. Steps in an onboarding process can include:

  • New hire paperwork (application, W4, i9, etc)
  • Benefits enrollment
  • Handbook and policy overview
  • Company orientation
  • Employee trainings
  • Team building exercises
  • Weekly, monthly, or quarterly follow-ups

Why is onboarding important?

It is important to spend the time to plan out your onboarding process. This is the time when you can provide your employees the foundation they need for long term success at your company. Getting a new hire acclimated to your business’ culture and their new coworkers will help them feel comfortable in the workplace. Additionally, providing the proper company orientation and training gives your employees the foundation to achieve success. Finally, repeated follow-ups by managers over the first few months of employment strengthens employee productivity and boosts morale. A strong onboarding process is the initial step to maintaining and retaining happy employees.

Things to consider when creating an onboarding process

Create an accurate job description

An incorrect or unorganized job description can cause confusion for new hires. Employees need to know what they duties are from the get go. They are more likely to leave their position if the tasks differed from what they expected based on the job description.

Schedule interviews quickly and be organized during the interview

This is the very first step of your employee onboarding process. Do your research on the interviewee and have detailed questions based on their experience when conducting the interview.  Listen to what the applicant is saying in the interview and make sure you give them time to ask you questions.  You want the applicant to know that their thoughts and opinions will be heard when they are hired by your company.

Have a plan for day one

Preparation and organization on day one is key to making the employee feel comfortable. Set them up with the proper workspace, provide them with company equipment, and introduce them to their coworkers. An unorganized first day can result in low employee morale and confidence in a business. Your employee’s want to be provided with the necessary tools and trainings to become a long term productive worker for your business.


A critical consideration for any company’s onboarding process is automation. An automated paperless process can have many benefits to an organization. Automation can reduce wasted time, track and store necessary paperwork to maintain compliance, and increase employee engagement. Subsequently, reducing the administrative burden of your HR staff will foster a more productive workforce.

Employee onboarding conclusion

In the ever-evolving landscape of business, the significance of a well-structured employee onboarding process cannot be overstated. As we’ve have uncovered above, employee onboarding is a process that extends far beyond mere paperwork and orientation. It’s a strategy that fosters a sense of belonging, provides clarity, and equips employees with the tools they need to thrive.

Remember, whether you’re a small startup or a corporate giant, investing time and effort into refining your onboarding process is an investment in your company’s future. It’s the foundation upon which strong, enduring employer-employee relationships are built.