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How to Implement Employee Onboarding Automation in 3 Steps

Employee onboarding is one of the most important steps in the employment process. It determines how quickly new hires get up to speed, how well they perform their job, and even how long they stay employed at your company. Employee onboarding automation can help make the process even more efficient and improve employee retention.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of employee onboarding automation, which steps can be automated, and how to implement HR automation for this and other tasks.

Benefits of Employee Onboarding Automation

The employee turnover rate in the U.S. is as high as 57.3%. Although the amount can vary from one industry to the next, the employee onboarding process can use up a significant chunk of your organization’s time and resources. Automating HR processes like employee onboarding can benefit your organization in at least three key ways:

It speeds up the process. Many delays are the result of using outdated onboarding systems, such as handing an employee a folder of paper forms to fill out.

Automating and digitizing the process ensures that employees can be added to your schedule, payroll, and other software as efficiently as possible. New employees can upload digital versions of documents and even sign contracts digitally.

Reducing the amount of time it takes to get from extending an offer to an employee’s first day on the job makes a better first impression and onboarding experience.

It reduces human error. Paper forms aren’t just time-consuming, they also increase the risk of human error and the chances of mishandling employee data.

The onboarding process requires the collection of personal employee information, such as banking details, and may even include sensitive medical details when an employee signs up for an employer-based health plan.

While you can’t automate every step in the onboarding workflow, you can streamline key administrative tasks and ensure that employee data is stored securely.

It improves collaboration and employee retention. An effective onboarding process facilitates introductions and immerses new hires in your company culture.

Whether your onboarding process includes video tutorials, one-on-one conversations with team members, or a welcome package, HR automation software can streamline repetitive tasks so hiring managers can focus on personal interactions.

A collaborative onboarding checklist ensures that nothing gets missed, and that new hires can feel like part of the team from Day 1. This is especially important for remote employees, who may have less opportunity to connect with colleagues in person.

Which Onboarding Tasks Should You Automate?

Can every step in the employee onboarding process be automated? Not quite. Even the best onboarding programs leave some tasks for your HR team, because employees still appreciate human interactions when getting oriented to a new job.

But workflow automation can improve the employee onboarding experience and reduce the amount of manual work for your HR department.

Here are three parts of the onboarding process that make sense to automate.


Manager reviewing their employee onboarding automation process

Filling out forms can be one of the most tedious parts of the onboarding process. Each stage, from payroll to benefits enrollment, may require its own signup form. By using an automated onboarding process, you can pre-fill forms with the employee information you already have in your human resources management system.

This can even extend to job offers, contracts, and leave of absence paperwork: use templates to standardize key forms, and ask employees to sign them digitally.

Account Generation

Chances are your new employee needs access to a number of key tools and pieces of software, such as your Slack channel or time-tracking apps. Your onboarding process should automatically create profiles and user accounts on relevant platforms.

Instead of requiring new employees to sign up for each one manually, give them a head start and do it for them. Not only does it save time, it ensures that their usernames and passwords adhere to your company policies and security standards.

Training and Assessments

Training modules are an important part of an onboarding automation platform. But don’t rely on old-fashioned video tutorials and pop quizzes. Automated employee onboarding software can incorporate a self-service knowledge portal and even chatbots that can quiz employees on what they’ve learned or help them if they get stuck.

From workplace safety training to FMLA compliance, you can use automated training modules to introduce new concepts or expand upon existing skills. Plus, since it’s all digitized, you’ll be able to see which employees have completed their training, and which certificates or micro-credentials they’ve earned.

How to Implement Employee Onboarding Automation in 3 Steps

Once you’ve decided to implement an automated onboarding process, what software or tools do you need? Although you could create your own custom platform to deliver your onboarding program, the truth is that you can implement many steps in the onboarding process without expensive hiring software developers or learning how to code.

Here’s how to get started with employee onboarding automation.

1. Identify a Trigger

In business process automation, a trigger is an event that starts a chain of actions. For example, when you identify a job applicant as “hired” in your HR management system, this could result in the platform taking the following actions:

  • Sending out a welcome email with an expected start date
  • Generating a new user account on Slack or Microsoft Teams
  • Scheduling a meeting with a mentor or other key stakeholders

For your trigger to work properly, you’ll need to use automation software that integrates well with other tools that you’re already using. This allows an action in one part of your HR management system to trigger a follow-up action in another piece of software.

2. Create an Onboarding Workflow

Your employee onboarding process shouldn’t happen all at once. You don’t want your new employees to be overwhelmed by too much information, and in any case, some tasks need to take place in a particular order. That’s where workflows come in.

A streamlined workflow allows employees to move through the onboarding process methodically. You can assign due dates for particular training modules, mark some tasks as optional, and use if/then rules to determine what happens next.

3. Send Automatic Notifications

The onboarding process doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Your legal team may need to sign off on a contract, your IT team may need to approve access to a piece of software, and your HR team may need to assist with benefits enrollment.

Automation means you don’t have to manually keep tabs on each employee as they move through the onboarding process. The appropriate team or individual will get a notification when something needs their oversight or approval.

You can even send notifications to other team members introducing your new hire and letting them know that a new employee will be joining the team.

Streamline Employee Onboarding Automation

Mom working at home while her toddler sits beside her

The onboarding process typically involves form-filling, training, and signing up for new user accounts on company platforms. With onboarding software, you can standardize the onboarding process and automate key tasks to save time and reduce errors. You can use similar tools for time-tracking, leave management, offboarding, and more.

Pulpstream is a cloud-based platform that makes it easy to automate HR workflows — whether it’s a one-time thing or part of a broader digital transformation strategy. Plus, our no-code interface means you don’t need any coding know-how to do it.

Request a demo today to learn more!