How to Onboard Employees Faster [And Why You Should Do It]

by | May 11, 2021 | Knowledge Management, Productivity, Project Management

Most workers today often look for something more than just a job. So, it’s no surprise why they opt for freelancing and job-hopping and take short-term contracts until they found a good fit.

According to Gallup, only 12% of employees said that their company did a good employee onboarding. About 43% of human resource managers agreed that an inefficient onboarding process resulted in a waste of time and money.

In 2020, Amazon hired over 100,000 new associates. Employers expedite the application to the hiring process to avoid any further delays in meeting their customer needs. In return, employee onboarding was reduced.

A poor onboarding experience results in a lose-lose scenario for the employers and employees. It is as bad as no onboarding at all. Keep in mind that onboarding is one of the critical experiences during a new employee integration into a company.

Employee Onboarding Overview 


Employee onboarding refers to the purposeful and systematic process of transforming auspicious candidates into top-performing employees.

Organizations provide the new employees with information, tools, and relationships necessary to make them confident and comfortable performing outstanding work through a thorough onboarding plan.

Common Difficulties in the Onboarding Process 


Employee onboarding often plays second fiddle to the hiring process, making it challenging and problematic.

If you aim an efficient and successful employee onboarding, it is essential to get familiar with common difficulties experienced during the process. These include:

Lack of Compelling Business Case 

Being surrounded by senior management members who think onboarding is just all about completing new hire paperwork the first day makes it difficult for you to convince your boss that it is beneficial for the entire organization. That is why a compelling business case is critical when introducing onboarding.

Poor Stakeholder Participation 

In some cases, not all departments jointly own the onboarding process with the human resource department. The failure to conduct stakeholder training on how to provide an excellent experience to new employees during onboarding is the root cause of this issue.

No Documented Onboarding Checklist 

Lots of circumstances affect some details that can be missed out during the onboarding. However, you might have no documented onboarding checklist. This can result in missing out on essential information such as malfunctioning employee’s key card, late arrival of training equipment, forgotten benefits enrollment, etc.

No Ongoing Metrics 

When you have ongoing metrics, nothing can keep others accountable, and you have no idea if there are real improvements made. Since there is no benchmark, you cannot determine whether the process is fulfilling, flailing, or failing.

Not Enough Preparation Time 

Most companies do not devote sufficient time to the onboarding process. When there is an absence of preparation, chances are activities are left lagged, and new hires can get disengaged and bored.

Other common problems during employee onboarding include:

Efficient Employee Onboarding Strategies 


A successful employee onboarding process demands well-deliberated and documented steps. You can take advantage of the steps below on how to onboard employees faster and stress-free.

1. Plan Out A Clear Onboarding Timeline 

You will find it hard to get the new hires up to speed if you are clueless about bringing them in, showing how things are done, and getting their paperwork organized. By having a clear onboarding timeline, you can have valuable ideas on how to onboard employees as quickly as possible.

You can develop a plan for the first 90 days, including job responsibilities, expectations, ad resources. You can also include necessary training, how performance is being evaluated, and support and knowledge management required by the employee’s required 30th, 60th, and 90th days.

2. Create Onboarding Templates and Automate Some Paperwork

While giving the new hires a standard checkpoint and key goals outline, you also need to leave a room to customize the process for each of them. Then, give them flexibility in shaping their learning process. That is why onboard template creation is critical since they help you introduce your organization’s core tenets to the new employees while having a room to customize the process.

Additionally, you can consider automating some paperwork. Onboarding automation is the solution for higher quality and more consistent onboarding, resulting in increased retention rates in staffing and HR. It connects more than one team and more than one system. You can consider the paperwork automation ideas below:

  • Start the document processing sooner
  • Enter the employee data automatically
  • Engage more effectively with the new hires 
  • Send automated web forms 
  • Order provision systems and tech assets 
  • Schedule meetings with the new hires automatically
  • Automate the benefits enrollment 
  • Send new employees with a survey after completing the first day, 30, 60, and 90 days

3. Offer Access to Training Materials 

Training materials are critical to onboard employees faster. You can include various types of media to the materials for a more engaging training experience. For instance, you can consider making videos using a video editing app as an effective format to deliver visual instructions. About 83% of employees prefer watching video formats to learn something new.

Besides videos, slide-based courses, quizzes, and interactive modules are other training materials.

4. Schedule Online Meeting with the Superior and the Team

Having an online meeting with the superior and team makes the new hires feel appreciated and welcomed. Instead of making the first day feel over-planned, that online meeting makes it personal. 

For instance, the online meeting can involve a 30-minute welcome the first thing in the morning, and a 30-minute for a debrief at the end of the day. Keep that meeting dedicated to small talks instead of work details.

5. Personalize Your Approach to Different Employees 

You need to acknowledge from the start that each employee brings a unique set of talents, knowledge, and skills that can contribute to the organization’s overall success. Ensure to make an effort to prove to them that they made the right decision in choosing your organization and taking those positions instead of making them prove their worth.

Personalizing your onboarding approach to different employees helps them settle into your organization more efficiently. Below are examples of how you can personalize your approach:

  • Greet the new hires with a personalized name badge, a corporate office map, an orientation agenda, a brief welcome meeting, and a beverage to get their day started.
  • Walk them over to the workstations and show them where the break areas and bathrooms are.
  • Provide the new employees with clean workstations that include a comfortable chair, new office supplies, a computer with installed credentials and software, and a working phone set up with an extension.

6. Invest In A Good Knowledge Base 

By investing in a good knowledge base, you can make various HR operations more efficient. It maintains data confidentiality while easing work pressure. In return, employees can enhance their productivity level and improve their internal coordination.

It is critical to invest in internal knowledge management software since the HR manager is responsible for 80% of the organization’s assets. It also promotes centralized data management, hassle-free recruitment and hiring process, safe cloud data sharing, efficient training organization, and stress-free organizational policy communications.

7. Set Goals

If the new hires and the manager are on the same page from day one when it comes to the expectations and goals, the new employees are likely to become productive and dependable much sooner.

Setting clear goals from the start can speed up the time it takes the new hires to adjust to the positions and their roles. As you break down the goals into manageable and specific pieces, new hires can easily prepare for the weeks and months ahead.

8. Commit to Them Until Employees Can Stand On Their Feet 

While the new employees have learned everyone’s names, determine how to use the equipment and tools in the workstations and break room, and mastered their daily tasks, you still need to commit to them until they can stand on their feet.

Beware that new hires could run into snags, including feelings of isolation, personality conflicts, lack of direction, or unclear expectations. So, you have to continue the onboarding process for up to six months to set them up for long-term engagement.

9. Be Friendly and Have Fun 

In some instances, onboarding brings intimidation to the new hires. So, ensure that they will feel comfortable and welcomed. Show them friendliness so that they would not have that awkward feeling during the first days.

Plus, make some fun activities to make the onboarding engaging and not boring. You can treat new employees to a lunch dedicated to them and host a scavenger hunt, ice breaker games, or spot quizzes for new employee trivia.

Why You Should Implement An Efficient Onboarding Process 


A poor onboarding process can make new hires walk out the door before you get a chance to recoup the recruitment costs. After all, it has a direct impact on your long-term success. For such reasons, you have to ensure you are implementing an efficient onboarding process.

If you are not yet convinced, below are some reasons why efficient onboarding process implementation makes sense:

Creates A Good Reputation 

New hires commonly wonder how it is like to work around in a particular company. Employee onboarding is an excellent opportunity for you to answer that question. It creates a good reputation by demonstrating your organization’s unique characteristics, missions, and values.

Improves Employee Retention 

Turnover is costly. In fact, the total cost associated with employee replacement is anywhere from 100-300% of each employee’s salary. Besides paying recruiters or taking out ads, other employees have to pick up the slack. As a result, the organization’s resources, time, and energy are being wasted and drained.

If you implement an efficient onboarding process, you can retain a large number of new hires. That is because the onboarding experience increases the likelihood that new hires to stay over the first 90 days and turn them into long-term employees.

Lessens HR Costs 

Hiring new workers is expensive. In 2020, the average cost per hire was $ 4000. Once you spend time, energy, and resources on the recruitment process only for them to quit later, the costs can skyrocket. With an efficient onboarding process, you can increase the retention rates, resulting to reduced hiring costs.

Increases Productivity 

It takes new hires up to a year to start contributing to your company at the same level as experienced veterans, depending on the job’s nature and complexity. Boosting the new employee’s efficiency is one of the primary targets of the onboarding process.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, effective employee onboarding programs can increase employee’s productivity levels by as much as 11%. Since the onboarding process involves arming new employees with complete information, support, and equipment, they can contribute to your organization as quickly as possible.

Improves Talent Acquisition 

Your new hires are expected to let their peers know about the onboarding experience in your company, be it positive or negative. After all, words spread quickly, and the first impression lasts.

If you give your new employee a positive onboarding experience, it can improve your company culture and reputation. When positive words about your company get around, attracting new and best talents in the industry is not a problem.

Cultivates Leadership, Mentorship, and Teamwork

As from helping new employees feel comfortable to the workplace, onboarding can cultivate leadership, mentorship, and teamwork by building connections among new and old employees on a personal level. Plus, it motivates the employees to go after the roles inside the company instead of looking for a new job.


Through the efficient employee onboarding process, you have an excellent opportunity to engage the new employees early on while reducing their time to productivity and proficiency. Since they have a clear idea of how it feels working in your company and other expectations, you can set them up for success. Plus, it increases the retention rates while improving your reputation.

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