Digital onboarding of new hires – A Guide.

A good employee onboarding can improve employee retention by 82%” 

says the Human Capital Institute
Onboarding steps for new employees

Most of the companies often find the process of onboarding new hires either too complicated or too straight-forward. Since there is no standard stereotype for onboarding that fits all organisations and companies.

An onboarding process welcomes a new employee to the organisation builds a work culture in which everyone has a sense of belongingness, and shortens the period for an employee to start performing. .

The new normal is going to be digital. In the choice between remote and office working, the future, as we all know, inclines towards the former. (Read how and why the Remote Working is the future)

How do we, then, onboard employees digitally?

1. Pre-boarding phase

The onboarding process for an employee begins when the offer is accepted and extends up to one year of their work in the organisation.

a) Employment Agreement 

Following the selection process, right after an employee has been hired, the first thing to be taken care of is ensuring mutual e-signatures on the Employee Agreement. Clarity and mutual conformity in terms of the agreement are a must to avoid future conflicts. This phase of onboarding aims at informing the employee about his job profile, working hours, leaves, monetary compensation, and other incentives etc.

b) Digital Welcome-Kit

After the documentation and official formalities are done and over with, the employer should prepare a virtual welcome kit for the new employe that includes- an official and personalised ‘welcome message‘ addressed to the new employee, personalised logins (like, as well as other logins and handles to the company software and tools. This encourages the new hire and enhances the starting point of the employer-employee relationship. It shall also include the details of the first day of work/orientation. 

2. Digital Orientation

A virtual orientation on the first day of work is a great way familiarising the new employee to the work culture of the organisation. An effective orientation should be well prepared for and organised, before-hand. As an employer note down all the points, you want your employee to take note of right at the beginning of his work.

A digital orientation is a setup for the exchange of information regarding the hierarchy, work culture, policies, rules, communication channels, and code of conduct in the organisation. Furthermore, it also acts as a virtual tour of the workplace. Following the orientation, the employee shall be given time to ask any questions he finds appropriate. 

3. Virtual Socialisation 

The next step is to add the new employee into all the official online communication groups of the organisation. 

This is a constructive way of introducing the new employees to their teammates, immediate seniors and subordinates.

Companies can assign another employee as an onboarding buddy to the new employee. This curates a feeling of inclusivity and adds a personal touch to the socialisation process.

4. Online Training

Certain jobs might need specific training for job roles. This can effectively be undertaken by one more online training sessions aimed at developing the required skill set in the new employee.

For other jobs which call for on the job training, the first month must include tips, suggestions and assignments apart from the daily work to effectively train the new employee. 

5. Regular Checkups

According to the same report by HCI, most organizations have stopped their onboarding process just after the first week, leaving new hires feeling confused, discouraged, and lacking resources.  

It is essential to set up a systematic structure of periodic performance review and honest feedback. This can include bi-directional feedback, in which both the employer and the employee are honest and transparent to each other. This would ensure the smooth functioning of the organisation in the long run. 


Most of the companies lose 25% of all new employees within a year, as quoted by Allied Workforce Mobility Survey 

The relevance of onboarding for the employee and employer is imperative. Organisations with a standardised onboarding process not only promote and host a healthy work environment but also have a lower employee turnover ratio. 

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