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How Long Should Employee Onboarding Take

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Tips For Success With Seasonal Employees

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4 min read

4 Reasons Why You Need a Formal Onboarding Process

Every new employee wants to make a strong impression on their first day. The HR team plays a key role in setting each new worker on the right track so they can succeed. At the same time, hiring managers rarely have the time to organize an official onboarding process. Doing so, however, could save significant time, energy and transition complications. It welcomes the new team member with a sense of efficiency and enthusiasm that would otherwise get lost without a plan.

Team working together in office settingDifferent from the training process, an onboarding plan covers all the policy information, paperwork requirements and details for succeeding as an employee of the whole company. It creates a foundation for understanding the timekeeping procedures, completing all payroll and policy forms and feeling comfortable in how the office of business runs. Many modern companies benefit from the help of digital onboarding software as well.

Both the company and the new-hire benefit from an organized onboarding process. For example, an onboarding plan:

  • Decreases transition time
  • Sets an enthusiastic tone for the new hire’s first day
  • Lowers a chance for payroll, benefits or tax form errors
  • Sets up the HR team as a go-to resource for the new employee

In an ever-expanding or changing company, a standard onboarding process simplifies the training process when new members start frequently and on a rolling basis.

Top Benefits for Organizing an Onboarding Process

As we touched on above, both sides benefit from an organized process. These benefits go beyond getting through everything on time. Additional benefits include:


1. Compliance

With minimal time to onboard and train an employee, a proper plan ensures that you haven’t missed any forms or necessary policy information. This prevents compliance issues in the first few months of the employee’s experience.

A team-based onboarding plan means that there’s a decreased chance of missing any important details or making paperwork errors. Even if the whole onboarding process falls to one person, a preset process cuts down on preparation efforts each time an employee begins.


2. Orientation

Starting with basic paperwork and information can take the pressure off the new recruit. All they have to do is listen and answer with their basic data. This allows them time to ease into the office space and mentally prepare for more complex training. You equally have time to start a conversation with the employee and set yourself up to be a resource and point of contact going forward. As the first face they see when they arrive, you have a chance to pass on the tone of the office.


3. Trust

Demonstrate your confident level of organization from the very moment they begin their tenure with the company. By setting this standard, the employee is more likely to uphold the same level of care and specificity spent on a system that takes care of its community of employees.


4. Efficiency

Perhaps most importantly, the employee can get on with the job they came here to do. With a clear system of onboarding, you can be at the ready to streamline them through their orientation so they’re ready to solely focus on training.


Elements of an Onboarding Process

A member of human resources is often the first point of contact for an employee on their first day. It’s easy to feel inundated with information before their official training even begins. So how can you simplify the initial interaction to put the employee at ease?

The first day of onboarding may include the following:

  1. Introduction to the company culture: Set the tone for the company experience by presenting the basic background of the company, names of head directors and your overall culture and philosophy.
  2. Tour of the office space: Help them get acquainted with both the office and the building. Use this as an opportunity to acquire key cards and point out all exits.
  3. Introduction to head managers: Make introductions as you make the rounds throughout the office. Invite relevant managers to stop by your onboarding session if they’re available.
  4. Payroll and timekeeping processes: Start off by clarifying all steps the employee needs to complete to ensure proper and on-time payments.
  5. Time off, vacation and benefits: Have a personal conversation about each employee’s benefits, PTO agreement and company holidays.
  6. Policies on disciplinary action: Be sure to clarify your policy on lateness, missed days and disciplinary steps should an issue arise at work.
  7. Tax, contractual and benefits paperwork: Complete all necessary paperwork to register the employee with the company.

This is a lot of information for the new recruit take in. Having a set process for each employee allows you to customize their first day based on a pre-determined method that is tried and true. This means that both you and the new employee feel at ease during this initial setup phase.


Vary Your Methods

Consider all the ways you can relay this information to the new employee. Tactics may include stand-and-deliver lecturing, PowerPoint presentations, allowing the employee to read on their own or through online onboarding software.

Each method has its own benefits. Presentations allow the new employee to sit back and simply take in the information, relieving the pressure of the first-day jitters. Reading and filling out paperwork on their own gives them a chance to quietly process the information without someone standing over them. It also gives them a chance to take notes at their own speed. By varying your methods, you provide each type of personality the time to both relax and engage.


Announce Your Plan

Alert your new employee of their first-day schedule before or as soon as they arrive on the first day. Get them started on setting up their login and basic information as soon as they arrive to give them a moment to get settled at their desk and begin the process of sign-in without the pressure of time. Breaking down the day into clear segments allows the employee to look ahead and prepare for the day.


Collaborate with the Training Team

Some companies prefer to combine the training and onboarding process to vary the topic of information. Coordinate with the new employee’s manager to transition between HR onboarding and role-specific topics. This way, if the employee needs a break from paperwork, they can switch gears and take in the dense information in easy-to-process portions.

Their managers may also want to welcome them with an off-site lunch or breakfast, so it’s important to work your schedule around the intentions of their team.


Explore Onboarding Software

Horizon Payroll Solutions offers customizable onboarding software that allows you to tailor your paperwork needs to each employee. Cut down on paper itself while decreasing the time it takes to hand-transfer information into a database yourself. Our system automatically creates an employee profile and stores information for safekeeping.


Why You Need an Onboarding Process

With little time to spare, taking the time to arrange a set onboarding process could get pushed aside. As soon as you have a customary method of welcoming a new member of your team, the more time saved in the future. Set the tone during an employee’s orientation with organization, efficiency and confidence.




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