Creating A Streamlined Onboarding Process For New Hires

A guide to improving the company onboarding process with a detailed explanation of how to streamline the process.

June 26, 2023
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Integrating new hires into your organization can often feel like navigating treacherous waters, but just like a well-oiled ship, an efficient onboarding process ensures smooth sailing.

The employee onboarding process is continuous, systematic and goal-oriented, often defining the company’s efforts. It shapes employees' experience, influences their level of engagement, and effectively determines the overall success of a company.

A well-crafted onboarding plan ensures early integration of new hires into the company's culture and allows new employees to get familiar with their roles and responsibilities. More importantly, it creates a welcoming environment for new employees, allowing them to thrive.

Streamlining new hire onboarding is the key to optimizing your efforts in the onboarding process. A streamlined process reduces the workload of HR personnel and cuts hiring costs by implementing a friendly, smooth and automated onboarding process. 

In this article, we'll discuss the role of the HR team in onboarding and the best ways to streamline the onboarding process. 

Let's jump right in!

What Is An Onboarding Process?

An onboarding process is the sequence of activities to introduce new hires to their responsibilities, including familiarizing them with the team and the company's workflow. It also involves welcoming new employees, setting up workstations and completing necessary filing. 

An onboarding training aims to equip employees with the necessary tools to succeed. It doesn't end after hiring; it continues until employees fully integrate into the company. 

A memorable onboarding process is the best way to sustain a company workflow, and an optimised onboarding process has various benefits. 3 top benefits include:

  1. Improved productivity

Efficient employee onboarding translates to higher retention rates and enhanced productivity. 

According to a recent study, companies with a robust onboarding process improve their productivity by 70%.

  1. Higher employee engagement

Employees are excited and eager to get started when the company does onboarding properly.

Making time to answer questions from new hires, explaining the company's objectives and discussing their personal goals sets the stage for strong employee engagement.

  1. Reduced recruitment costs

According to a report by SHRM, it costs approximately 33% of an employee’s salary to employ a replacement. 

Setting up a standardized onboarding process reduces turnover, and fewer resources are channeled into hiring. With this, you can save costs and ensure the HR team isn’t overwhelmed.

What Are The 4 Phases Of An Onboarding Process?

Onboarding typically consists of four phases that address different aspects of the employee's integration journey. The phases guide organisations, allowing them to use a framework to provide a well-rounded onboarding experience.

The phases include:

  1. Pre-boarding
  2. Orientation
  3. Training and development
  4. Integration

  1. Pre-boarding

This phase of the employee onboarding process begins when an employee accepts the job offer. Effective communication is crucial during this period.

Here, employees complete the necessary paperwork and receive relevant information for their respective roles. It may involve sending an explanatory video or documents to help new employees understand what to expect on the first day at work. New hires can be paired with experienced employees to serve as their mentors.

The essence of pre-boarding is to reduce first-day-at-work anxiety. Effectively carrying out this phase eases tension, allowing employees to start off with their best foot forward. 

  1. Orientation 

This phase aims to get new hires fully integrated into the company. It typically occurs on the first day or week of employment.

Orientation allows HR managers to discuss key company policies such as vacation, medical policies and other important topics not addressed during the pre-boarding phase.

New employees learn about the company's culture and values in this phase. HR can introduce them to the organization's workforce, including team members and top management staff. 

  1. Training and development

The HR onboarding process is not complete without this step. It significantly determines the level of success attained by newly hired employees.

This is the step where new hires can access the company's learning management system for training, courses, etc. Essentially, the training programs should be job-specific, continuous and crafted to provide employees with extensive career advancement and personal development.

HR needs to set clear expectations for employees in their respective roles and walk them through the performance evaluation process

Assembly has a detailed template for productive check-ins. Check it out!


In this final phase of the employee onboarding process, the focus is to help employees build connections and become integrated members of the company's workforce. It also involves providing new employees with collaboration, networking opportunities and tools that improve communication.

How Do I Streamline The Onboarding Process?

The new hire onboarding process is often demanding and time-consuming. The best way to streamline the onboard process is to leverage technology, including infrastructure that makes remote onboarding much more effortless. 

Streamlining the process helps avoid burnout and reduce the incidence of missed crucial steps.

Here's a 4-step guide on how to streamline your onboard process:

  1. Create a well-detailed onboarding process checklist.
  2. Use onboarding software.
  3. Set up self-service portals.
  4. Conduct feedback.

  1. Create A Well-Detailed Onboarding Process Checklist.

This checklist should contain tasks, paperwork, and all activities required during onboarding, including orientation sessions and workstation setups.

  1. Use An Onboarding Software.

The next step is to optimize your efforts using a tool that automates the process. An onboarding software offers real-time communication, document management and task management features, including electronic forms and digital signatures to automate paperwork. 

This reduces time, paperwork and the need for manual printing since electronic forms.

Assembly is a comprehensive onboarding tool that allows you to communicate smoothly with new hires, assign responsibilities and track progress. Book a demo today.

  1. Set-Up Self-Service Portals

This entails creating intranet and communication portals for new employees. With that, they can access valuable information and documents related to their roles and the onboarding process. 

  1. Conduct feedback 

With more inputs, the onboarding process gets more standardized and optimized. Therefore, it’s essential to continually obtain feedback from new hires and HR managers to identify areas of improvement. 

The company can obtain feedback through surveys or routine check-ins.

Does Onboarding Mean You're Hired?

Yes, onboarding means you're hired.

However, it does not necessarily assure permanent employment. Onboarding represents a transition period between job acceptance and a formal job commencement. Some companies opt for a probationary period, usually lasting three months, while others may be shorter or longer.

It's the duty of HR managers to inform new hires about such policy and also indicate time duration expectations during this period.

What Is The Role Of HR In Onboarding?

The role of HR is to ensure a smooth employee onboarding flow via different activities. Some of the activities include: 

  1. Preparation of onboarding materials.
  2. Orientation and cordial reception.
  3. Inquiry resolution.
  4. Development of training programs. 
  5. Performance tracking.

  1. Preparation Of Onboarding Materials

The HR team is responsible for preparing, creating and organizing relevant paperwork for new employees to review and sign. Important onboard materials include employee contracts, tax forms and health insurance documents.

  1. Orientation And Cordial Reception

Following the completion of the hiring process, the HR team welcomes new hires, ensuring they are aware of their rights, responsibilities, the company's ethics, existing safety guidelines and key legal requirements. Orientation sessions provide an avenue to explain the company's structure, culture and policies to new hires. 

  1. Inquiry resolution 

The HR addresses questions, confusion and concerns during the onboarding process. The HR team effectively communicates with new hires, clarifying policies, compensation packages, growth trajectory, and employment benefits such as retirement plans and life insurance schemes.

  1. Development of training programs

HRs are also responsible for creating structured and purposeful training initiatives to improve the new employees’ relevant skills, knowledge and expertise to succeed in their assigned roles.

  1. Performance tracking

HR managers must routinely monitor employees' progress undergoing the onboarding process. This helps ascertain and measure how well new hires integrate into the company's workflow. In addition, regular check-ins with new hires help to identify challenges and obtain valuable feedback.

Streamlining Onboarding Boosts Company-Wide Efficiency

A successful employee onboarding process perfectly surmises the saying; the first impression lasts longer. It is branding in itself. When carried out smoothly, new employees have a positive experience and become company brand ambassadors, making it easier to attract and retain top-tier applicants.

Ultimately, a streamlined onboarding program improves the overall company's productivity by fostering commitment and engagement amongst newly hired employees.

Assembly is a trusted HR onboarding tool that reduces the workload of HR teams. It guarantees company-wide efficiency and success. Sign up for free today.

Browse our Free Employee Recognition Guide

Get the foundational knowledge on creating an employee recognition program that boosts employee engagement and helps them feel valued.

Explore Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Assembly SOC 2 compliant?

Yes, at Assembly, security is a top priority. Each quarter, we have ongoing security work that is everyone’s responsibility. While we maintain a strong security posture, it was important for us to prove to our customers that we do everything we claim to do. This led us to pursue a SOC 2 Type II report that would provide evidence of our compliance with industry gold-standard security practice.

What's the ROI for employee recognition?

There is study after study showing that employee recognition leads to increased engagement. This in return creates an environment where employees are happier and more motivated which increase productivity and reduces voluntary turnover significantly. In order to filled critical roles, companies tend to spend nearly twice the value of an annual salary. Assembly is an investment in your employees that supports your bottom line.

Does Assembly offer longer-term contracts?

Yes, we will offer contracts for companies with longer-term agreements to help larger customers have more certainty around future costs.

The minimum agreement term is a 12-month subscription.

Does Assembly offer onboarding support?

We do and for FREE! Any new customer needing further support to get started with Assembly to ensure you're set up for success can request custom onboarding support. Improving your employee experience is about much more than just using our amazing software; it’s about transforming your business to create a workplace that people love. That’s much easier to do with the personal support and advice from our passionate people experts.

Is there a free version of Assembly?

Yes. We offer a completely free plan for up to 50 team members. This plan is intended for teams or organizations that are looking to get started with an employee engagement tool. Keep in mind, this plan is limited in features.

All customers can open an Assembly account for free and get started without a credit card. Then you can change plans as necessary.

How much do rewards cost?

At the time of redemption (when your employees exchange their points for a paid reward) you'll pay face value. If a reward is a $10 Amazon gift card, your cost will be $10. All paid rewards are billed for on a monthly basis.

The good news is that you don't have to pay for rewards upfront because we only charge you when points are redeemed, not when they're earned.

Does Assembly offer discounts?

We offer discounts or educational or charitable organizations. In order to secure a discount, you'll first need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

For all other organizations, we are willing to consider longer-term agreements in exchange for discounts. To set up annual plans or longer, you will need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

How do I cancel my plan if needed?

If you're on a month to month plan, you can go here and cancel anytime. If you're having concerns or need help setting up your account for success, you can always book a demo with a customer support specialist.

If you're on a longer-term custom plan, you'll need to reach out to your customer support specialist to cancel your account or email us at

What customizations are available?

Great question! You can customize your core values to match your organization's to boost and track alignment. You can change your currency from the 🏆 emoji (our default) to any emoji of your choice. You can swap our logo for your own. You can also set up company culture rewards such as, "Lunch with the CEO," "Buy a book on us," and so much more!

Who can give or receive recognition?

While we recommend a peer to peer set up where anyone in your organization can give or receive recognition, you can set up Assembly however you want. If you need to limit the people who can give or receive recognition, that's perfectly fine and can be done from your Admin, here.

What integrations are available?

Assembly connects to the tools your employees use every day to offer an easy, seamless experience with minimal change management.  

Assembly has integrations with HCM/HRIS systems like ADP, Google, Office 365, and Slack. We also integrate with communication tools like Slack and Teams so you and your employees can access Assembly wherever they work now.

What's your average adoption rate?

That depends on the company's permissions set up. That said, over 90% of the employees on Assembly's platform are recognized on a monthly basis. That means nearly every employee across all of our customers are receiving regular recognition from their peers, managers, or leadership. We're extremely proud of this.

Must rewards be set up to use Assembly?

They are not required. You can use Assembly without having rewards set up. However, we don't recommend it if you intend to have a high adoption and usage rate. You can always keep the costs down by offering internal culture rewards that are fulfilled by you internally.

Are points required to use Assembly?

No, you can remove allowances from anyone or everyone. It's up to you but we do recommend using points whether they're worth a real dollar value or not. Companies that use points have a much higher engagement rate even if those points don't exchange for real dollars.

Could find the answer you are looking for?

Please schedule time with an expert and we will help you to get all your questions answered