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Onboarding in the Digital Age

29 Mar 2024

In today’s business environment, digital technologies have become a necessary component, especially in personnel management. Digital transformation significantly affects all stages of the employee’s life cycle, in particular, onboarding processes, which are becoming more global and technology-oriented.

Onboarding is an important process of integration of a new employee, which starts from the moment of hiring and continues during the first 90 days. At Vector Software, it’s important to us to provide each newcomer with the best possible experience and familiarize them with our corporate culture, values, and business processes.

In the future, this will contribute to his involvement in company activities, as well as productivity at the workplace.

To achieve these goals, we identified 5 principles of successful onboarding and the main dos and don’ts in them. The use of technologies and digitization make this process even more efficient and convenient.


1. Preliminary stage of onboarding (Pre-onboarding)

Do: Prepare well for the onboarding of a new employee: develop clear and structured checklists for each stage of onboarding, personalize them, and define tasks and responsibilities according to the specific role and needs of the newcomer.

Don’ts: Don’t leave the onboarding process without proper coordination, as this can lead to stress and insecurity in the new employee.

Proper preparation for the arrival of a new employee is not only about access to systems and workplace preparation. Artificial intelligence and automation work great here, the implementation of which allows you to automate many routine tasks, freeing up time for more important interactive aspects. Example:

  • with the help of AI for text recognition, documents and forms for new employees can be filled out automatically, reducing the time required to fill them out manually.
  • the use of virtual assistants helps to automate communication with employees, allowing you to deal with standard questions, provide information about the company, and collect data about newcomers.


2. Cooperation

Do: Involve managers and other departments in the new employee onboarding process, implement effective communication methods for communication and interaction between departments.

Don’ts: Avoid limiting the sharing of information between departments, as this can lead to the loss of important data.

In our opinion, one of the most important elements is the involvement of HR, Finance, IT and Administrative Department to create a unified approach to onboarding, as well as to provide the necessary support for the new employee.

Digitization promotes the globalization of onboarding, allowing companies, including us, to hire and train employees from all over the world. In 2022, we opened 2 new locations in Poland and Spain, and of course, the full-scale invasion made its adjustments.

Remote work is becoming more common, and digital technologies are helping to create a single onboarding standard for workers around the world.

Today, our employees can start work from anywhere in the world, and well-established cooperation between departments is indispensable here.

How does it work?

The recruiter sends information to the IT department about which technical support is needed. Then the IT department cooperates with the office manager, and sends the equipment for work, while finance helps to prepare the necessary type of contract by location and type of cooperation. At the time of the departure of the new employee, the HR Business Partner has the necessary amount of input data for “small talk”. Small talk in business is an informal conversation on everyday topics, general events, interests that are not directly related to work tasks or projects. Such conversations positively contribute to the strengthening of trust between employees and the creation of a favourable working climate. You can start a conversation like this: How was your weekend? What do you do in your free time? What are your hobbies?


3. Personalization

Do: Create a warm and friendly environment for the newcomer by actively involving them in team projects and tasks for quick integration. Personalize the onboarding process, taking into account the individual needs and interests of the new employee. Provide active support and mentoring during the first days and weeks on the job to facilitate adaptation.

Don’ts: Avoid strict formalism in the onboarding process, as this can reduce the motivation and intrinsic engagement of the new employee. Don’t limit yourself to offline onboarding, use technology to create a unified approach to the process and global engagement.

A personalized approach helps ensure a more effective adaptation. Therefore, we adapt the onboarding process to the individual needs and interests of the individual. I am attaching examples of questions:

How do you prefer to communicate? What area of the company’s activity would you like to learn more about? What would you like to focus more on in our next meetings? How to make them more useful for you? In what situations do you expect more help from me? What percentage of my participation in your daily affairs?

Hiring employees from abroad has shown us that cross-cultural differences are not a myth, but another action item (a specific task or action that is necessary to achieve a certain goal or objective) that must be taken into account in the process of integrating newcomers.

Digital technologies play a significant role in creating a comfortable and engaging onboarding experience for new employees. Today, the IT market offers many complex people management systems with different content and characteristics. Here are a few of them that can significantly facilitate the onboarding process:

BambooHR collects and organizes all the information during employees’ work, and then helps to use it to achieve common goals.

Ultimate Software HR, Payroll and Talent Management Software.

HURMA – Ukrainian system for HR, recruiting and goal management.

Zoho People is an all-in-one online personnel management system that simplifies and automates HR processes.

People Force – the system will help optimize HR processes and simplify the procedure for hiring new employees.

The main recommendation here is to choose what best suits your specific needs and business processes.

Using the people management system allows us to customize onboarding by creating interactive online courses and video instructions. At the same time, we maintain personal contact through 1:1 meetings to maintain a personal connection and build a trusting relationship with newcomers throughout the process of adaptation in the company.


4. Check sheets

Do: Use checklists as a guide for newcomers, helping them navigate the onboarding process and complete important tasks.

Don’ts: Avoid using checklists as the only onboarding tool; complement them with other methods and tools.

The use of checklists in the onboarding process helps to ensure systematicity. They allow you not to miss important steps and tasks, which helps improve the employee experience.

Checklists must be one of the tools and not the only method in the onboarding process. Complementing them with other instructions, separate conversations, and open communication channels helps create a more complete and efficient process for new employees.

An example of an effective checklist may look like this:


5. Metrics

Do: Ensure systematic data collection throughout the onboarding process. Use metrics to measure and analyse process effectiveness, and assess new hire onboarding and performance.

Don’ts: Don’t ignore the importance of employee feedback when analysing metrics, as their feedback can help you understand the reasons for certain results and identify possible ways to improve.

Measurement and systematic data analysis in the onboarding process is an important tool to better understand how new employees adapt.

Onboarding data analysis helps identify needs, gaps, and opportunities for process optimization.

Work on identified shortcomings contributes to increasing the level of satisfaction, motivation and success of employees, both at the personal and corporate level. The analytics module is included in most people management systems popular on the market, but if they are not yet integrated into your HR processes, Google spreadsheets are your main tool. With their help, you can quickly and efficiently conduct an analysis and calculate the necessary indicators.


So, the life cycle of an employee is a story that every employee experiences in his own career in the company, and onboarding is its first important part. The correct organization of this process can significantly affect the specialist’s decision to continue cooperation, satisfaction, motivation, productivity and success both personally and in the company.