Top 10 Best Practices for Onboarding

Paperwork is only a drag when you are left in the dark. New hires may not understand what forms they need to fill out. In addition, a busy HR Manager or Hiring Manager’s instruction may only be: “Complete these.” Here are the top 10 ways onboarding software can help your new hires comply with onboarding:

  1. The new hire’s name appears on screen indicating this is the correct set of paperwork
  2. A clear checklist of forms always remains present in the left-hand navigation
  3. The number of documents to be completed is clearly stated
  4. Each form is clearly labeled and named
  5. As each electronic form appears on screen, its content is clear (e.g., Form W-4)
  6. The wizard system walks new hire through each field to complete
  7. A “save and exit” feature empowers new hires to return to the documents at any time
  8. The information is submitted on a secure, encrypted site, and the documents are stored in a document vault
  9. As each form is completed, a highly visible check mark appears
  10. A “print” features enables new hires to save and print copies for their own records

Need more reasons? Learn about The Risks of a Manual Hiring Process.

Set Expectations with Onboarding

Business systems and processes do matter. A structured way of doing business subconsciously communicates a tone for efficiency and productivity.

The opposite is also true. If your company is flying by the seat of its pants, sending out multiple emails with form attachments to complete, or sticking new hires in an empty conference room with mounds of paperwork –– those negative experiences set the bar low.

Onboarding software helps provide new hires with information about their new company, as well as clarifies what is expected of them.

For example, the checklist for Form I-9, IRS Form W-4, state withholding tax forms, and voluntary self-identification form to the new hire that he/she has accepted a position with a company that has all of its ducks in a row.

Your Employee Handbook and Company Policy Manual explains what new hires can expect from your company and establishes the rules of conduct within an organization.

A Welcome Letter and Welcome Video gives them the feeling of being welcomed even before they have arrived on the job.

Be sure to comply with applicable wage and hours laws where employees are permitted to complete this process outside of working hours.

To learn more about onboarding, please read, Add Consistency with Onboarding.

4 Steps for Fueling Talent Growth When You’re Facing Labor Shortages

Many companies have faced labor shortages. Yet, even in competitive markets, it’s possible to recruit stellar candidates. Here’s a closer look at four strategies that companies can use to find top talent in tight markets.

Whether they need developers to code in an in-demand computer language, or sales professionals who understand the nuances of doing business in a niche space, many businesses struggle at some time with a labor shortage. Yet these critical positions play a vital role in moving your business forward. There are several strategies companies can take to fuel talent growth when highly qualified candidates are scarce. Here is a closer look at tactics your company can employ when you’re having a hard time recruiting the best hires.


Create a Culture of Talent Development
Filling critical positions doesn’t just begin with the recruiting process. Instead, it requires cultivating a culture of talent development that impacts every level of the organization from hiring to succession planning. A culture of talent development can help address labor shortages in three ways. First, incoming candidates are drawn to your company as a result of the available training and advancement opportunities. Second, existing talent can be cultivated for critical jobs through training, coaching, and stretch assignments. Finally, satisfied workers are more likely to make high-quality referrals from their own professional networks. Organizations that make it easy for talent to flourish may be better able to recruit top performers.


Optimize the Recruiting Process and Candidate Experience
In high demand fields, making a great first impression with candidates is essential. One of the best ways to do this is to focus on offering a streamlined recruiting process that prioritizes the candidate experience. How easy is it for prospective candidates to learn more about your company and available jobs? Can they apply online with ease, even if they’re on a mobile device? Do your communications systems, interview timetables, and candidate feedback loops support a great candidate experience? Eliminate possible barriers to getting qualified candidates to apply, and structure a great experience. Candidates often determine whether to accept an offer or not based on their interactions with your company during the recruiting process.


Leverage an Applicant Tracking System
Using one of the latest applicant tracking systems can help improve both technological execution and internal processes. An applicant tracking system helps companies in numerous ways. It’s easier to post jobs and to widely promote them through job boards, email newsletters, and social media platforms. Screening questions help you automatically filter out unqualified applicants and enable your recruiting team to immediately contact strong candidates to start the process. Centralized candidate data management keeps all internal stakeholders informed, and allows your company to be proactive when communicating with potential employees.


Tap Into New Sources of Talent
If your company is struggling to find qualified candidates that you’re interested in hiring, it’s time to look at how you’re sourcing your applicants. For example, if college recruiting plays an important role in the process, perhaps it’s time to expand the colleges where you recruit and focus on additional schools. If posting jobs alone isn’t working, consider leveraging social media or strategically networking with industry organizations to get opportunities in front of a wider audience. Choosing candidates from a broader base of prospective talent can infuse new life into your recruiting efforts.

Even in fields facing talent shortages, it’s possible to find great candidates. Building an agile recruiting process using the right applicant tracking system, prioritizing the candidate experience, and finding ways to expand your recruiting pool are all steps in the right direction.

For more information on how to use an applicant tracking system to overcome labor shortages, please download our talent communities whitepaper.

Add Consistency with Onboarding

Consistent processes are essential to organizational effectiveness. This is especially true if your organization has multiple locations.  An onboarding software offers a consistent, unified onboarding processes for new hires.

Let’s look at a nationwide organization, for example. The HR Administrator may be centralized at headquarters and far from the actual hiring locations.

The Hiring Managers (at each location) may be more likely to follow their own process of having new hires complete new hire paperwork. This could be at the start of their first day on the job or staggered throughout Week One while the new hire is simultaneously being trained. After all, if the Hiring Manager has to mail off a stack of new-hire paperwork, they are already accustomed to the lag in between getting forms completed and sent in to HR.

An online onboarding system is designed to be consistent.  The forms chosen by the employer to be completed may reflect federal and state requirements, as well as company policy.

The onboarding software is immediate too.   As forms are completed, a highly visible check mark appears in the checklist. The completed forms are automatically submitted for approval and immediately available for viewing.  The result is a consistent process that provides visibility.

Get Forms Completed with Onboarding

Missing paperwork could be costly. Some new hire forms may be required to comply with government regulations. Other new hire forms are completed to ensure new hires are aware of company policies.

An onboarding software is an easy-to-use tool that facilitates the tracking of completed forms, thereby enforcing a process for consistency and compliance.

Let’s look at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-9, for example. If a new hire selects the box that they are “a lawful permanent resident,” the electronic form will automatically prompt the individual to provide the required Alien Registration/USCIS Number. The electronic form will not permit the new hire to skip over this required information. If they do not have this information handy, there is a “save and exit” button for their easy return.  The same holds true for the Form W-4.

On the new hire’s forms checklist, there is clear visibility on which forms are complete or which forms are in progress. As the date for completion approaches, an automatic reminder can be sent, prompting the new hire to complete the process. If it remains incomplete, the HR Administrator can be notified and can reach out directly to the employee.

For more information about the benefits of onboarding, contact us at

5 Ways to Build a Strong Reputation with an Onboarding System

Companies compete on talent, so it’s important to maintain a good reputation among applicants and new hires. Here are five ways an onboarding system can help you gain visibility in the crowded talent marketplace:

  1. Offer a warm welcome – Onboarding is more than just a pile of paperwork. Customize your onboarding system to include a Welcome Letter/Video to warmly welcome your new hire and give them a taste of company culture.
  2. Set productivity standards – With an easy-to-follow checklist of forms, your new hire will see you are a company that values efficiency. Even before the job start date, your new hire will understand what’s expected of them.
  3. Demonstrate innovation – Manually filling out reams of paperwork is yesterday’s onboarding model. Instead, you can onboard new hires more efficiently when you use software that empowers new hires to complete pre-hire forms from any online connection and have their time spent tracked to ensure they are paid in accordance with applicable wage and hour laws.
  4. Keep information secure – No one wants to carry around all of their personal documentation (social security card, driver’s license, passport) and risk losing it. With an online onboarding system, your new hires can complete electronic forms that are kept secure.
  5. Provide flexibility – New hires can “save and exit” and return to their forms at any time. This provides great flexibility in completing the paperwork.

Help to Reduce No Shows with Onboarding Software

There may be a lag from the day your new hire accepts your offer to their actual start date. This could be because the new hire has to give two weeks’ notice at their current job, or the hiring manager is on PTO.

Whatever the reason may be, a lag in the start date can cause the new hire to become disengaged. After hours of interviews and ultimately making a hire it is critical to keep new hires engaged so that they remain committed and show up on their first day. One way to keep a new hire committed is to implement an onboarding system. With onboarding, you can keep the new hire engaged with a “getting started” workflow that contains multiple communication touch points.

From the moment of acceptance, your new hire will receive a Welcome email directing them to the onboarding software. This polished approach reinforces your commitment to them and provides information on the next steps.

Once in the onboarding system, they will see an easy-to-follow list of electronic forms they need to complete. They can “save and exit” and return to forms as their time permits. This feature is especially helpful if they need to grab their driver’s license, passport, or any other supporting documentation. A clear “check mark” appears next to each completed form. In addition, the onboarding system keeps track of the time the new hire spends completing the forms so that they can be compensated in accordance with applicable wage and hour laws.

You can also include a Welcome Letter/Video, instructions for their first day, and parking directions. Therefore, even if there is a lag time to start, your new hire will be more likely to show up on their start date already feeling like a part of the team. With a thorough communication plan and streamlined workflow, it is possible to keep new hires informed and engaged so that they show up on their first day.

For more information on how to welcome new employees and reduce no shows, download our free onboarding webinar.

Five Ways to Wow New Hires with Onboarding

The interview process is over and you feel confident you’ve chosen the right person. But the journey is not over yet. Here are five ways an onboarding system can provide a positive welcoming experience to your new hire:

  1. Polished communications approach – No one likes their inbox to be slammed with a dozen random emails. An onboarding system offers a single portal in which all of the required forms are securely stored.
  2. Easy step-by-step completion – With electronic forms, the onboarding system automatically alerts the new hire if a required field is incomplete. As each form is completed, a “check mark” appears on the list clearly navigating the process.
  3. Anytime convenience – An online onboarding system means the forms can be completed at any time. This empowers new hires to complete the onboarding process when it is convenient for them and when they have all the information needed. In addition, the system tracks the time it takes to complete the forms allowing an employer to comply with wage and hour laws regarding hours worked.
  4. Employee handbook/company policy – An employee handbook and/or company policy are important documents for your new hire to acknowledge reading. This information sets forth your expectations, and employee rights.
  5. Welcome video and/or letter – A video or letter from your company’s executives is a great way for new hires to feel welcomed, as well as learn more about the bigger picture in which they now play an important part role.

For more information about the benefits of onboarding, contact us at

Recruiting Greatness: #SHRM15

While in Las Vegas for SHRM 2015, I had the pleasure of attending the show Le Reve. Captivated by their skill and creativity, I found myself thinking about the casting manager and what a prescreening process could look like in an applicant tracking system.

  • Are you scuba certified?
  • This position requires dancing in water and fire. Are you able to dance in these conditions?
  • At times, you may be required to jump from several stories into a body of water. How does your experience prepare you for this position?
  • Can you lift, carry, and move than 100 pounds?
  • The show incorporates aerial elements using silks, ropes, and bars. Do you feel comfortable performing these tasks on a regular basis?

What positions have you recruited for that were outside of the norm? How did you fill them?

Five Tips for #SHRM15

Is this your first trip to the SHRM Annual Conference? With more than 7 years of experience, here are my top five tips to concur SHRM.

  1. Wear comfortable shoes. The convention center is huge and you will be putting in 20,000 or more steps a day. Personally, I am a Sperry fan and will be rocking my polka dot boat shoes the entire time. Another great option is a pair of Me Too flats.  Check out myStaffingPro’s Pinterest board for more ideas.
  2. Have a game plan. Zigzagging around the convention center is not the best use of your time. Instead, use SHRM’s mobile app to plan your days and to get the most out of them. Check out my 5 Sessions to Look Forward to at #SHRM
  3. Ask questions. This is a great time to seek information from industry peers and analysts. Use it to gain information and a fresh perspective that you can take back with you.
  4. Attend the parties! SHRM is notorious for great parties and it often the best place to network. One of my favorite SHRM moments was at STATS in Atlanta with HRO Today’s Zachary Misko, BackTrack’s John Hawkins, and the emPerform crew.
  5. Go to the exhibit hall and have fun. SHRM’s exhibit hall is always a captivating experience and I am sure that this year will be even better than years past. This year, I am looking forward to Paychex‘s booth, 1022, which is teasing a giant game of Jenga®.