The time between an offer and start date can be anxiety-filled for candidates – the best way to avoid a slow start is to keep them engaged during this gap.

Taking the time to get your new starter really enthused about your company, department and team will benefit both parties. Designing an online onboarding process is an effective way of doing this.

What is online onboarding?

Instead of spending the first few days filling out forms with your new starter, why not get them to do all this before they start? Online onboarding allows you to communicate with your new hire, via an online hub, without having to take time (yours and theirs) out of their crucial first day. This isn’t restricted to before employment commences, it might also continue well into their first month at your company. There’s no need to make it role specific, keeping the information general (HR matters, health and safety etc.) means you only need to create one resource for every person that joins. However, a more in-depth process, aimed at each new starter’s role will eliminate any confusion over their responsibilities.

The benefits

  • Avoids lengthy meetings and paper handouts.
  • Brings new hires up to speed quickly on the history of the organisation, the company’s vision and its values.
  • Can be delivered in bite-size, digestible chunks.
  • Will prepare the new starter to start their role straight away.
  • Potential drawbacks.

You might feel it’s important that all communications take place face-to-face or over the phone, but online onboarding can involve personal touches if that’s more in line with your organisation’s culture.

You might also be worried about the cost of designing an online onboarding process. This will differ from organisation to organisation, but many employers now feel that the initial cost of creation is more than made up for in productivity.

The results

Your employees are your best brand ambassadors, so making their first encounter of your business a positive impression is vital.

It is quite common for candidates to feel as though they have lost touch with their new employer during the gap between when they received the offer and their official start date. Onboarding processes that begin before the start date help to ease the new employee into the business, so they’re more confident and have an immediate impact when they do start.

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