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9 key steps to automate new employee onboarding process

A few ways in which you can use automated workflows to automate a new employee's onboarding process.

New employee onboarding should be a moment of joy but it ends up being a stressful process because it requires a number of teams – IT, HR, Facilities, the team they’re joining – to come together to onboard a new hire.

As anyone who’s ever been a part of a multi-team project can tell you, “the more, the merrier” should strictly be for personal events and not for important, employee experiential activities like employee onboarding or offboarding. Making a to-do list helps but it still leaves room for human error which makes us sad because a lot of these tasks are automatable and can be handled by a competent service desk.

Here are a few ways in which you can use automated workflows to automate onboarding tasks so your team can save time and effort.

1. Make a list

Before we begin, we must note that onboarding a new hire is not just a matter of getting them setup with their devices and software licenses – it’s also educating them on how their new company works introducing them to their teammates, and bringing them up to speed on whatever context they need to be successful at their job. It might help you separate your new hire to-do lists by whether they’re employee-facing or not.

A sample list might look like:

  • Ticket from HR-BP when a candidate accepts an offer with their date of joining
  • Approval form sent to the new hire’s manager, asking them for required permissions and equipment
  • Task form for payroll
  • Task list for IT so they get added to identity software like Azure Active Directory and team-specific software like Figma, Salesforce CRM, or Marketo.

Here’s what you’ll need to set up a workflow successfully:

  • Sufficient privileges for the software you want to perform an action in. If you’re not sure, ask an admin.
  • An Atomicwork account to replicate these workflows. Sign up now to get started!

2. Setup a service catalog to kickoff employee onboarding workflows

Set up a service item for employee onboarding and offboarding so that HR BPs or the new hire’s manager can raise a request when they have a new person joining their team. Make this a comprehensive form so that your workflows and agents have all the information they need to do as much as they can, without having to reach out to the requester.

A bonus is having an AI Assistant connected to your service catalog means HR managers or the new hire’s manager can conversationally raise an onboarding request straight from Slack / Microsoft Teams.

3. Create employee profiles

The HR team likely uses a platform to manage employee profiles. Setup a workflow to create a new employee profile for this new hire automatically from the information in the ticket.

4. Get approvals from managers for devices

Managers of new hires often need to approve certain requested equipment or modifications before IT teams can act on the ticket. Automatically send out approval requests to the manager and cut down on the approval lifecycle.

Pro tip: You can even save certain sets of approvers as policies to be reused across workflows.

5. Automatically add them to the identity platform and their relevant tools

Every new hire will need access to not just software relevant to their role (e.g., Figma access for a new designer) but also common “work” tools like email, Slack, or Microsoft Teams, your document management software (Notion or Coda), and so on. You might even be managing app access by department in which case new hires will need to be added to your identity access management platform and then, the correct groups in the platform so they can hit the ground running.

Set up a workflow to automatically create a new user account in Azure Active Directory, Google Workspace, Okta and so on. You can set up conditions in workflows based on departments that:

  • Add new hires to the right groups which gives them access to specific apps
  • Add new hires to the right tools directly.

6. Send alerts to onboarding stakeholders

Streamline communication by posting alerts to employee onboarding channels in your collaboration software. This way, all stakeholders are up to speed on the onboarding checklist and can get to work on their parts of the welcome red carpet.

7. Let everyone know

Christie Hoffman, Director of Product Marketing at Pingboard, said it best when she said that onboarding is how new people learn the moves so they can participate in the flash mob. Let the team know who their newest student is by automatically posting alerts to #general or #new-hires.

8. Add new employees to relevant channels

Help new hires quickly integrate into the team by providing them with access to discussions, updates, and resources. Being a part of relevant channels also exposes new employees to the company’s culture and values, helping them assimilate faster and get into the groove.

9. Send the new hire a welcome email with all the relevant information they need

The first few days of working somewhere are always disorienting because of the amount of information being thrown one’s way. Set your new employees up for success by sending them emails with all the information and links they need even if they don’t need everything immediately so they can use it as a reference even months down the line.

Make onboarding peaceful again

As organizations grow, onboarding tends to become a stressful and time-consuming process. These automated workflows go a long way toward ensuring a standardized process that can scale efficiently while still providing a smooth and user-friendly experience for new employees.

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