Design your Employee Onboarding – Make a good first impression

Last Updated: May 19, 2020

“A good first impression can work wonders”

J. K. Rowling

You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression. Employee onboarding offers employers that chance to make a lasting impression that will stay with new recruits for the rest of their careers.

A well-designed employee onboarding process makes good business sense as well. 

  • A case study by Corning Glass Works, for example, found that employees who attended a structured orientation program were 69 percent more likely to stay with the company for three years.
  • A report by the Boston Consulting Group showed that companies that are highly capable in 22 key HR topics consistently enjoyed better economic performance than those less capable. Further companies which were effective in employee onboarding saw 2.5x times revenue growth and 1.9x times profit margin compared to the companies with low capability.
  • The Wynhurst Group found that 22% of employee turnover happens in the first 45 days of employment.
  • Employee Benefits News reported that turnover can cost employers 33 percent of an employee’s annual salary.

Companies are vying to hire the best talent. Times have changed from several applicants competing for one opportunity to several companies competing for that one-star performer. Stay ahead of the pack with a carefully crafted employee onboarding process.

Ideally, onboarding should start as soon as a candidate accepts the offer. Follow these basic steps to design a structured onboarding plan.


A pre-hire checklist like this can help your HR team track the progress of the necessary steps that need to be completed before Day 1. Setting timelines and follow-ups ensures that the process is smooth. Personalize the experience and let your new recruits get a feel for how it will be working for your company.

On Day 1

With most of the documentation done during the pre-hire phase. Make Day 1 special for your new recruits and let the focus be on people. Assign a buddy, schedule team introductions, and one-on-ones with the supervisor to do that.


Post-hire is a crucial part of onboarding. Provide guidance throughout the post-hire phase and schedule periodic check-ins, to get your new recruits acclimated. A properly designed induction training for each role is essential. Revise your process based on the feedback received to better adjust to the needs of your new recruits.

Customize the onboarding plan to make the onboarding experience fun and exciting for new hires.

Top Onboarding Strategies To Win Your New Recruits Over

Engage With New Recruits Before They Join

A Recruiter Nation Study indicates that 75% of recruiters say that they’ve seen a candidate change their mind after signing an offer letter. Signing the offer letter does not mean the deal is done. Candidates declining the offer just a few days before the start date has become commonplace. It becomes crucial to start engaging with candidates soon after they accept the offer. Companies are looking for innovative ways to stay connected with prospective new hires. Sending “Welcome Packages” with information on the company’s journey, detailed employee benefits plan, recent company news and updates, and social media profiles of key members. 

Use the pre-boarding time to get much of the documentation work completed. Try to spread this across a period of time and don’t overwhelm them with too much information.

Get to know the new recruit on a personal level and clarify their questions on career progression and opportunities for learning and development within the company. 

Try to create fun experiences like a tour of the office or a lunch with the team before they join.

Prepare them for their first day at work with all the relevant information they need. Share an agenda of the day’s plan in advance. 

Integrate Culture Into Onboarding

A Forbes article says that culture is the most important thing for new recruits to assimilate, however, it is the least well implemented. They also attribute poor culture fit to being the no.1 cause for new hire failure. 

The key is to help new hires feel like they are part of the team. A good way to go about doing that is through the “Buddy Program”. A buddy is someone who has been with the company for a substantial amount of time and helps clarify questions new recruits may be hesitant to ask their managers. 

Let the company’s underlying principles on culture be reinforced throughout the onboarding process and have people from different teams participate in it. Get new recruits to network inside the company by being involved in office celebrations planning or being part of internal committees. 

Optimize Learning

Microlearning is a trend that is fast catching up. Design your learning content in small chunks of 5 to 10 minutes. 

Include different forms of learning content from articles, to audio and video content. Make learning fun and interactive through gamification. 

Pace learning to allow new recruits the opportunity to deliberate and to take it in. Periodic check-ins allow them the opportunity to have their questions answered.

Automate Everything

Leverage Technology to standardize the onboarding process for each role. Equip your HR team with the right automation tools to easily track and ensure tasks and documentation get done. Workflow automation allows for easy collaboration between teams. With multiple team members involved, the entire onboarding process can be centralized and tracked from one place.

Research shows that when employee onboarding is done right, it leads to 

  • Higher Job Satisfaction
  • Organizational Commitment
  • Lower Turnover
  • Higher Performance Levels
  • Career Effectiveness
  • Lowered Stress

I rest my case!

Let HappyFox Workflows do the heavy lifting and let your HR team focus on relationship building.