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Want a Smooth Employee Onboarding Process? Here's How to Make It Happen

Employee onboarding is more than just paperwork and orientation. It's about setting the stage for a successful employee journey from day one. More importantly, it's the first real impression you're making on your new hires.

For new employees, the quality of your onboarding process is directly linked to the perception of the company. A well-structured and welcoming onboarding experience sets the tone for their future engagement. It communicates to employees how much the organization values their presence and how committed to their success it is.

Get it right, and you end up with higher retention rates and a positive employer reputation. Get it wrong and, well, end up with the opposite.

So, let’s not just slap together a boring orientation session and call it a day. Instead, let's create an experience that leaves your new hires feeling welcomed, valued, and ready to hit the ground running.

Superstars wanted, but not welcomed

There's no shortage of companies who either flat out state they're searching for a [insert title here] superstar/wizard/guru or imply it through their job ad requirements. Yet, as those star candidates transition into star employees, the onboarding process usually puts a stop to the excitement for the new job.

While many organizations have great strategies for attracting candidates, most of them fumble the bag as soon as these candidates step foot into the door. As a matter of fact, as little as 12% of employees think that their organization has a good onboarding process.

What this essentially boils down to is the clear drop in enthusiasm compared to the hiring process. In the eyes of new hires, companies everywhere tend to treat the onboarding process as a necessary evil. They want to get it over with as soon as possible, so they:

  • Throw them straight into work without context or training

  • Fail to even introduce them to the rest of the team

  • Focus solely on collecting paperwork

  • Don't introduce them to their managers early on

  • Give no initial feedback and leave them to figure it out for themselves

If any of this sounds like your onboarding process, it's time to rethink how you approach integrating a new hire into your organization. Besides the obvious benefit of not confusing them from the start, a good onboarding process helps boost employee retention and loyalty.

Giving your new hires the welcome they deserve

After you’ve spent weeks finding the perfect candidate for your open position, the last thing you want to do is fail to properly welcome them. With a poorly structured onboarding program, you're not only giving your new hire a rocky start to your company. You're leaving a negative impression that impacts their future work performance.

Employees thrive at companies where they feel appreciated and comfortable. And since as much as 20% of employee turnover happens within the first 45 days, your onboarding process sets the tone for both.

Seeing that it takes one half to two times an employee's annual salary to replace them, you'll want to make sure you aren't going through it every 45 days. Here's how to make sure your employee onboarding strategy is as good as your strategy for attracting candidates.

Put in effort right from the start

Your onboarding process includes everything your new hire needs to start working. And the first (and often overlooked) thing they need from you is the job offer.

While sending the job offer over as soon as possible is common sense, the format you send it in also matters. Every interaction you have with your new hire shapes their perception of your company. This perception, in turn, shapes their level of dedication, commitment, and how they see themselves fitting in.

As any other standard practice, sending an email detailing the offer is expected. It also doesn't set you apart from other employers the candidate might be considering.

In addition to that, even if the candidate accepts the offer over email, you're still not in the clear until you have their signature on a contract. While you're making changes to your Word template, checking it twice, exporting it to PDF, and emailing it for signing (or worse, sending it by mail), your ideal candidate has all the time in the world to change their mind.

The sooner you can get them on board, the better. That's why you should consider moving away from plain, standard job offer formats and transitioning to modern, digital ones.

graphic designer job offer template by better proposals

Stand out with your job offers

The moment when they receive the job offer is when your new hires are at peak excitement. It's also when they form an opinion on your company based on actual evidence - the format and wording you use in the job offer you're sending.

This is the time when they decide you're the perfect fit for them or start having doubts about accepting. To make sure there's no doubt in their mind, all you need to do is add a document to the list of your employee onboarding templates - job offers.

Include modern design, a comprehensive list of responsibilities, and a clear job description. Don't forget to make the job offer responsive so your new hire can open and easily go through it on any device. Oh, and include an eSignature so you can get them on board as soon as possible.

Sounds like a lot of work? Don't worry, we've got you. Our template library comes with free pre-written and professionally designed job offer templates. All you need to do is make a few tweaks to make them your own and you're good to go.

view all better proposals job offer templates

The best part? It takes less time than writing out a boring job offer email from scratch.

Keep the momentum going

An impressive job offer sent, signature acquired, positive first impression achieved. Congratulations on your new hire, but the work isn't done yet.

So far, you've only got your new employee's basic information, and you'll need much more than that to cover your bases. We're talking account details, emergency contacts, employee handbooks, benefits brochures, and all other documentation you need to get in order.

One of the best ways to make this process as smooth as possible is taking paper out of the equation. Besides being more environmentally friendly, a digital onboarding process is also more efficient and cost-effective.

By using online document platforms, you can start the onboarding process right after a candidate accepts the job offer. For example, Better Proposals gives you the opportunity to set up a customized onboarding flow right inside the job offer.

Collecting account details, emergency contacts, and employee preferences for your retention strategy? No problem - simply set up a custom form.

create custom form inside better proposals

Need to include an employee handbook and want to make sure they've read it? Just load it up into Better Proposals and you'll see exactly when they've opened and read it - and whether they've just skimmed through it.

better proposals document activity tracking

Need to give them access to their email address and login details for apps they'll be using every day? Simply list the instructions and links inside the onboarding flow. Want your new hire to book an introduction call with their manager? Include it in your onboarding sequence and make sure it doesn't fall through the cracks.

book a call inside onboarding

Need to send the new hire to a government form they need to fill in and get back to you? You can.

set up a redirect link inside better proposals onboarding

The best part? You only need to set up your onboarding flow once and assign it to a template. Once you've done that, your onboarding process will start every time you create a job offer from the same template.

Create a new employee onboarding checklist

Having a new employee onboarding checklist helps you stay organized and ensures you don't forget any steps in the onboarding process. It also helps to create a welcoming experience for new employees by making them feel prepared to start their new role.

That said, the activities you include in your onboarding checklist will depend on both government and company requirements. For example, this could be:

Before first day
  • Welcome package with important information and instructions

  • Prepare workstation with necessary equipment

  • Assign a mentor for the new employee

  • Schedule an orientation session with HR

First day
  • Introduce the new employee to the team

  • Give them a tour of the office and show them key areas

  • Provide them with a company handbook and go over policies and procedures

  • Set up their computer login credentials and email account

  • Provide an overview of company culture, values, and mission

  • Schedule meetings with key team members or departments for introductions

  • Go over benefits package

First week
  • Explain company's organizational structure and reporting system

  • Discuss performance review process

  • Provide any necessary training materials or manuals

  • Set up any required accounts or software systems

The smoothest employee onboarding process is just a few clicks away

The best way to make a new employee feel welcome is by putting in effort right from the start. This means having an impressive onboarding process that makes them feel valued and excited about their new role.

With Better Proposals, you can ensure that your new hire has a positive first impression and a smooth transition into their new job. But don't take our word for it. Instead, sign up and see for yourself.

Easy on the eyes, easy to accept

Start off on the right foot with beautifully designed job offers that are easy to accept thanks to digital signatures by Better Proposals.

Patricija Šobak's profile image
Patricija Šobak puts her talent in spotting questionable grammar and shady syntax to good use by writing about various business-related topics. Besides advocating the use of the Oxford comma, she also likes coffee, dogs, and video games. People find her ability to name classic rock songs only from the intro both shocking and impressive.