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Automation in Talent Acquisition Part 3: Onboarding Automation for New Recruits

Automation in talent acquisition should start at the candidate sourcing stage and continue on through reference checking and into the onboarding process. By having clear, logical, automated steps in place to take each employee through from recruitment to the 12-month mark, organizations can reduce early churn and minimize costs of high employee turnover.

Onboarding Automation Processes

Employee onboarding processes across different organizations can vary based on the company’s HR department and processes involved. These can range from minimal to incredibly detailed, but even for the most basic company structure onboarding is a critical step for employee retention.

For some companies, training may be minimal and the more important tasks include ensuring the employee integrates with the company culture smoothly. For others, onboarding may be a much longer and more complex process, with multiple stages that span months. 

In either case, the onboarding process should consist of more than simply completing the paperwork for newly hired employees. Both on-site and remote workers can benefit from a robust onboarding process that takes advantage of technology to automate key processes.

Forward-thinking organizations will realize that onboarding starts the moment when an offer is made and continues until the employee is firmly established as a productive member of the company, and outside the six-month window when most new hires are most likely to quit.

What should be happening to automate onboarding?

An organization’s onboarding process should be adaptable to the type of employee being hired, their role and level within the organization, who they work with, where they work from, and their specific duties. 

Creating an onboarding checklist and flow chart can help HR personnel clarify which steps are critical for all employees, which can be implemented on a case-by-case basis, and which can be automated to deliver a seamless transition into the workplace.

When companies use automation in talent acquisition as a jumping-off point (like using opt-in candidate sourcing for talent such as Crosschq Recruit) it’s easier to continue onboarding automation and beyond.

automation in talent acquisition

Key onboarding phases to automate

Each phase of onboarding can be supported with automation technology and software designed to identify candidate strengths and weaknesses and help foster their integration into the team. 

Pre-onboarding automation 

Reference checks can be streamlined and automated using software like Crosschq 360 to allow candidates to be locked in quickly, and new hire data can be automatically transferred from the ATS to other systems and platforms in use by the company. Send new prospective hires a pre-onboarding welcome message with a clear detailing of the job offer, scope, expectations, and responsibilities as well as the benefits and other relevant items to help ensure everything is understood and agreed on before the offer is accepted. Up to 33% of workers realize they are a bad fit for a company and leave in the first six months after hiring, making it critical to clarify as much as possible before an offer is signed.

Early onboarding automation

As soon as the offer letter is accepted, onboarding automation can begin. The time lapse between offer acceptance and a new hire's first day can be the perfect time to start a pattern of engagement that will continue throughout their term of employment. This is the best time to get the paperwork out of the way. An automated onboarding system can streamline these processes, from handling enrollment in benefits programs to walking new hires through mandatory programs for cybersecurity or sexual harassment. Email addresses, credentials for company programs, and other tools can also be introduced.

Automating employee orientation 

Utilize onboarding automation to schedule meet and greets with key personnel who will be working with new recruits on key projects, or who will be in a direct managerial line. Talk about the employee's initial role as well as the potential future career they can build within the organization. You can find out what can be done to assist a new employee as they acclimate to the new work situation, and ensure they have all the tools that they need to set them up for success by providing employee surveys that track progress and job satisfaction, such as  Crosschq Analytics. It’s up to you how often you want to collect the data such as monthly, quarterly, twice a year, or yearly–the choice is yours. 

Streamlined communication processes

Bookend meetings can help support new hires and ensure a smooth transition from recruit to a fully self-sufficient team member. Start with a 15-minute check-in at the start and end of each day, and gradually space out to start and end of week communications.  Do regular biweekly pulse checks in addition to bookend meetings to get feedback from new hires as well as from their managers and peers. This data can help gauge quality of hire and also allow companies to tweak onboarding processes for better future implementation. Scheduling and communications can all be handled through the automated system.

Reasons for Onboarding Automation 

Automation in talent acquisition can help companies maximize new hire onboarding and provide multiple benefits, including:

Simplified paperwork

The paper pushing associated with onboarding can be one of the most frustrating, time-intensive, and costly processes associated with a new hire. The new employee and the HR department can spend hours working through stacks of mundane papers, which must then be filed and stored or entered manually into a digitized system. 

  • Reference checking
  • Background checks
  • Benefits enrollment
  • Emergency information
  • Tax information 


Using automated onboarding, these documentation and data input tasks can in many cases be completed using online forms and digital documents. This allows new employees to read and sign important documents, and authorize the various things required to get them fully set up in the organization, from parking to payroll.  

Reduced costs from automation

Onboarding automation takes the many repetitive processes associated with bringing new hires on board and streamlines them for faster, more effective use of everyone’s time. Employee data can be seamlessly shifted from the candidate sourcing platform to internal systems as hiring takes place, reducing the number of workers and administrative work hours required to handle this task. 

Reducing the time spent onboarding a new hire frees up resources for more important endeavors. Meanwhile, new hires can be gotten up to speed more swiftly and start making a positive impact on the organization, reducing the built-in costs associated with employee hiring. Making onboarding run more smoothly across the board can be a massive time and cost saver.

Automation increases productivity  

Automation is no substitute for a human-driven, new hire-centric onboarding process. Software and systems designed to automate onboarding don’t replace human employees who guide a new recruit through the basics and ensure they feel welcome and have everything they need. What automation does accomplish is handling much of the routine document pushing and task verification associated with onboarding processes, leaving HR and managerial staff more time for personalized one-on-one time with the new employee. 

By having their first few days and weeks go well thanks to automation smoothing the way, employees will settle in more quickly and become more confident in their ability to complete the tasks assigned to them. As the automated system cycles through tasks like helping set up benefits and providing logins for tools and platforms, the employee will feel that their needs are being anticipated and that they are fully supported at work.

Improved employee retention

Efficient and prolonged onboarding can also help to improve employee retention by showing new hires that the company is willing to make a time investment in them and their success. Automating the employee onboarding process can reduce employee turnover in the critical six months after hire.

The first six weeks are especially critical for employee retention. Up to 20% of new hires quit in the first 45 days from hiring, and the cause is typically tied to poor onboarding:

  • Expectations created during the recruitment phase being unmet
  • Failure to achieve clarity about the role or responsibilities
  • Overbearing or absent management styles
  • Lack of self-development opportunities

Automating onboarding can help to ensure a clear process is in place, no steps are missed, and managers have more time to spend one-on-one with new employees to ensure they are satisfied and supported. This leads to higher retention levels, and savings in money, resources, and time that otherwise would have had to be poured directly back into recruitment efforts.

automation in talent acquisition

Onboarding Automation With Crosschq

Crosschq allows companies to smoothly and seamlessly move from the recruitment phase through hiring to onboarding and retention by providing advanced digital options and additional technologies to support automation in talent acquisition.

To start the process of automated hiring and onboarding, Crosschq Recruit makes hiring faster, easier, and more reliable. A highly qualified pool of ready-to-hire candidates can be accessed directly in the ATS, and offers extended to preferred candidates in a fraction of the time it would take to go through the motions associated with traditional hiring processes.

Continuing in the same vein, Crosschq 360 streamlines and automates the reference-checking process. Clear, comparable data from former managers and peers helps showcase candidate strengths and assists hiring managers in tailoring onboarding as needed.

Finally, Crosschq Analytics continues to support automation throughout the onboarding process, and provides a foundation for employee retention with comprehensive reporting and easy-to-generate and deploy surveys to track new hire performance and satisfaction levels. 

It’s time to embrace automation in talent acquisition with onboarding processes that reduce the costs of recruitment and encourage retention. To learn more, request a free demo today.

Elena Arney

by Elena Arney

Director of People & Culture

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