Author: Geraldine Critchley

Digitization of onboarding processes

How can new employees working from home be trained, and how can the transition from traditional to digital onboarding be made?

After applying for a job and being hired, new employees in a company usually go through an onboarding process. Structured onboarding processes make it easier for new employees to enter the company and guarantee effective induction. However, most onboarding concepts require the physical presence of employees. Nowadays, companies have started to digitize and perform onboarding from different locations. In this way, you also make your recruitment more flexible.

Future trends in the labor market

Not only since the Covid-19 pandemic has "New Work" become an increasingly important trend in the world of work. Many companies are rethinking the concepts of their individual but also open-plan offices. Remote work and home office are becoming the new standard. Some companies are getting rid of their locations. This has many advantages for workers, who are now much more flexible in shaping their work situation and choosing their place of work. Companies save immense costs by reducing office space and electricity consumption. But that's not all: when recruiting employees, the location no longer plays a significant role, which makes the search for personnel much more accessible and, above all, increases the number of applicants.


Of course, companies must stay awake to the digitalization of their work structures. This applies to the onboarding of new employees as well. Digital onboarding promises further advantages: You can train a new employee more quickly and effectively. At the same time, you reduce the personnel resources for onboarding through digital structures.

The importance of an efficient onboarding process

The period known as onboarding, during which a new employee gets to know the structures and systems of a company and is introduced to the work processes, is essential for successful cooperation. As an employer, you can communicate your company philosophy to your employees. At the same time, it also means integrating the new employees into the existing work processes as quickly and efficiently as possible. It is hard to imagine everyday work without this process, as good onboarding can increase the motivation and productivity of new employees. This also impacts loyalty towards the employer and reduces the number of resignations during the probationary period.


Requirements for the onboarding process of companies

Onboarding, especially the design and creation of a guide for the onboarding process, is the responsibility of the HR department or an individual recruiter. The following applies: a pleasant candidate experience begins during the application process. The time before the first day of work is equally important. This includes, among other things, contacts with the administration and the preparation and signing of the contract. To give the applicants and, ultimately, the new employees a positive impression of the new company right from the start, clear structures, speed, and, in the best case, digital processes are essential. The following requirements apply to digital onboarding:

Digitize company portrait

It would be best to digitize your company portrait to give your employees an understanding of the company philosophy without them having to come to the office. How and when was the company founded, who are the employees, what is the business model? It would be best if you clarify these and other questions.

A digital solution for internal training

Onboarding also includes process mapping and digital solutions for training so that new employees can learn about the company structures and processes and the requirements for each employee remotely.

Social platform for internal exchange

Creating internal social platforms is worthwhile so that employees also have quick digital access to the company, colleagues, and events that may be taking place. This promotes communication and employee satisfaction.

Digital Administration

A system for necessary forms and certificates, such as registering for social security, submitting sick leave, or questions about salaries, speeds up and simplifies the onboarding process immensely.


What does digital onboarding mean?


In reality, onboarding processes are due to the exchange with the administration. This has a direct impact on employee satisfaction. The administration sends out personnel questionnaires, and the employee has to scan or copy numerous documents and send them back. These are necessary processes for onboarding, but unfortunately, they are very time-consuming and often cost nerves in this manual way. Waiting for the employment contract to be signed is even more tiring for employees. Then they must send it back until they finally receive a signed, legally valid copy. For companies, this poses the risk of competitors poaching candidates at the last minute. Digital onboarding structures simplify and shorten such processes immensely. This saves time, nerves, and also costs.

Digitise administrative components of onboarding

Specific software programs and systems allow you to identify employees quickly and easily digitally. In addition, future employees can enter the required documents and information online. This way, you promote a positive employment experience and avoid losing capable candidates to the competition.

Create and sign employment contracts digitally.

Save time and money by digitizing the signing of employment contracts during onboarding. These contracts are often standardized to be conveniently saved as templates and easily edited. As the employer and your new employee, you can sign legally binding contracts from home in seconds. This allows you to make often laborious and time-consuming onboarding processes particularly simple and fast.


Advantages of a digital onboarding process


Simpler and faster

Digital onboarding offers a clear time advantage. Application processes and the conclusion of contracts can be handled more quickly digitally. This goes down well with potential candidates. In addition, the on boarders can access centrally provided documents and training material.

Less personnel expenditure

Digital onboarding can drastically reduce staff time by making guides and training materials available electronically and centrally for everyone. Further training and tutorials, for example, can be recorded and used repeatedly. This saves enormous human resources.

Decreasing costs

Doing away with offline media, such as printed folders and presentations, helps to save costs. In addition, the lower personnel costs associated with digital onboarding also reduce cost pressure.


Phases of the onboarding process

Whether digital or offline, the onboarding process ideally consists of three phases:


1. Preboarding


Necessary: onboarding begins long before the first day of work. The search for candidates and the interview are also part of it because, in this preboarding phase, you lay the foundation for long-term cooperation. The digital presence and the application processes - whether by post or via your own internal application portal - directly influence the company image that potential new employees form. In addition, new employees should receive the induction plan at this stage to familiarize themselves with what they will be facing and what is expected of them before their first day at work. This provides security and increases employee satisfaction.

2. Orientation


During the classic orientation on the first day of work, new employees get to know their new colleagues and are shown around the office premises. Rounds of introductions can continue during this tour or even over lunch. In a digital onboarding process, a new employee's orientation can also be facilitated with virtual tours and meetings.

3. Integration


Once the initial orientation is complete, integration into the company follows over the first weeks and months. This period coincides with the probationary period. The focus is on technical familiarisation, although social components should be addressed. Further education and training can be beneficial in this phase.


Functions of an onboarding software

If onboarding in your company is institutionalized and standardized to such an extent that the processes are almost always the same, it is worth automating. Onboarding software can support you. The process must remain simple and transparent despite all the functions. Otherwise, you will lose your employees halfway through. Ideally, onboarding software should have the following functions:

Process mapping in the company

Critical work processes in the company, which serve for orientation and familiarization, should be depicted by the software in an appealing and comprehensible way.

Mentoring and workshops

Successful onboarding usually also integrates the possibility to network and learn from other employees. Some software programs offer intelligent solutions for employee matching.

Organization of events

In all phases of onboarding, social contacts are of great importance. The software should also allow you to organize internal events or workshops.

The more functions are available, the more creative and individual you can make the onboarding process. However, it is still essential to keep new employees manageable simultaneously.


Success factors of digital onboarding processes


If all you provide new employees within the digital onboarding process is brittle digitalized documents and videos, onboarding will certainly not be too successful. It is essential to build and maintain contacts. A digital and social intranet can therefore become a guarantee for success. Other offers, such as exchange opportunities, process documentation, and possibly e-learning, round off the onboarding successfully.

However, it is also true that the new employees will lose interest if it is too complex, too opaque, or too bloated.

Share this post

printer Copied! copy email facebook linkedin twitter