Digital onboarding process with importance and benefits and How to structure and tools

Digital onboarding process

Digital onboarding is based on new technologies and strategies to promote the integration of new employees to their teams and to the company in a process that happens remotely.

Digital onboarding is the process of onboarding new employees remotely. An ideal strategy for situations such as the new coronavirus pandemic or any other company and professionals are distant.

A lot has been said, about issues such as reduced working hours or temporary suspension of contract because of covid-19. This, however, is not the only perspective that exists in this scenario.

There are companies that have made or expect to make new hires during social isolation and that still don’t know how to conduct the integration of employees online.

Onboarding is the process of onboarding new employees through techniques that reduce their time to adapt to the new job.

It is based on this definition that we can talk about what digital onboarding is, which, as you will see throughout the text, maintains the essence of the conventional process, but has some changes to make it work properly.

That said, we clarify that digital onboarding is a process that relies on strategies, clear communication and technological tools to promote the onboarding of new employees remotely.

In any situation, face-to-face or digital, onboarding goes beyond an informal welcome movement.

We are talking about something that is much more structured and that results in a documented process that guides online employee onboarding actions.

The importance of digital onboarding process

The comparison with a face-to-face integration context is welcome, because it helps us to better understand the existence of challenges in an integration carried out remotely.

The insertion process is something that can happen naturally, but letting things flow by themselves can be time consuming and not guarantee the expected results.

When HR participates in the process, structures and conducts the company’s onboardingthe results appear faster and this is beneficial for everyone involved .

Newcomers win because they take less time to feel able to deliver their best; the team wins because the changes necessary for the work start to flow more naturally; and the company benefits because it gets the most out of its workforce.

When HR does not participate in the process, new and old employees have to fend for themselves to adapt to each other’s way of working and thus try to maintain the company’s quality standards.

In addition, of course, to good coexistence and a positive organizational climate .

Do you realize how not investing in onboarding can be negative? Now, take all this to a virtual context, where the connection between people can be even more difficult to establish.

Do you also realize how essential digital onboarding is to promote alignment between professionals, teams and the company itself?

With that in mind, read on to better understand the importance of online onboarding based on some of the key challenges related to remote work.

Benefits of digital onboarding

With all that, you must have understood the importance of online employee onboarding. As a result, you can already identify the main benefits of digital onboarding.

In any case, we have listed these benefits below just so there is no doubt.

If you are already familiar with a traditional onboarding process, you will find that both cases promote similar achievements for the company. Look.

1-real integration

Put the new employees in a video conference room with their teammates, make room for a short presentation, and you’re done.

If you came to this post wondering what digital onboarding is all about, I’m glad you’re having the opportunity to broaden your understanding.

Undoubtedly, tools like video calling apps can be part of online employee onboarding, but onboarding goes beyond a simple introduction between those involved.

Real integration concerns a continuous HR process that must act to facilitate contact between professionals, through the dissemination of an organizational climate that is welcoming .

This is something that certainly doesn’t end once introductions have been made and reveals the importance of following up with newcomers, considering that onboarding can take a few months.

2-improvement of motivation

Integrated employees feel more motivated to be part of the company , its teams and, consequently, to do their work better.

When they have the opportunity to experience the company’s day-to-day face-to-face, new employees can find it easier to find identification points.

As a result, they may find it easier to align their work with the employer’s expectations, as well as their own expectations of the job.

When the relationship takes place at a distance, this connection that generates motivation is more challenging.

Thus, a well-structured digital onboarding has the power to bring those involved together , making new employees feel more motivated and more productive.

3-Reduction in turnover

High turnover is a problem that costs companies dearly, because it involves the payment of severance pay and the allocation of resources to new hires.

Not adapting to a company or a work team is a reason that may be behind a professional’s decision to seek the termination of his contract. Something that can also be harmful to the company’s image.

Thus, knowing that digital onboarding favors the adaptation of new hires, the process also reduces the chances that professionals will want to leave because they do not feel part of the company . Something that, in other words, promotes the much-desired retention of talent .

4-Professional training

Finally, a well-structured digital onboarding also considers training actions.

This strategy makes professionals even better prepared to perform their tasks, giving them more confidence to perform their duties and recognize their role within the company and its teams .

How to structure a digital onboarding process

Now that you know what digital onboarding is and what its steps are, let’s go through the four Cs of onboarding so you know how to structure the process in your company.

1-Analysis of the four Cs of onboarding

The process of onboarding new employees can be understood from four factors that were named The Four Cs . Are they:

Considering these four Cs, Dr. Talya Bauer, from the SHRM Foundation (Society for Human Resource Management) developed a best practice guide that allows us to assess what success is expected for a company, based on how involved its HR is with the factors related to onboarding.

Basically, Bauer indicates that companies include the compliance part almost naturally in their onboarding processes.

However, if HR is not engaged in structuring and driving an effective process, the culture and connection parts end up being left out.

This is a problem for companies that see digital or even conventional onboarding as a checklist and not as a strategic process whose points are related.

The best scenario is one where all four factors are actively considered by HR and understood in a non-isolated manner .

Understanding, for example, that connecting with a longer-term employee can be key to compliance and clarification, as well as spreading the culture, is a more mature view of onboarding.

2-Creating a schedule for onboarding

Based on the four Cs and the other information you’ve seen so far, HR can understand what needs to be part of a digital onboarding process.

To facilitate its implementation and management, it is interesting to structure it through the creation of a schedule that defines when each action should begin to be executed .

For example, the company may need to order a new notebook X days in advance to deliver it to the employee before it actually starts.

3-Onboarding data collection

Remember we said that HR needs to keep up with the digital onboarding process to see how new hires are doing?

Therefore, it is interesting to define performance indicators or KPIs that assess their performance, in addition to relying on other resources such as feedback collections and satisfaction surveys.

The idea is to generate data not only on productivity, but on how each step of the integration process is contributing or not to generating results .

Something that should consider both the well-being of employees and the goals of the company.

4-Process documentation

As with conventional onboarding development, the digital onboarding process must also be documented.

In this way, the company is able to define a standard structure to be followed to ensure the integration of new hires , while also ensuring the maintenance of a quality standard.

Adjustments made over time must also be documented so that the company avoids making mistakes or following strategies that are not the most suitable for digital onboarding.

Tools to drive employee onboarding

Clear and efficient communication is the centerpiece of an online onboarding process.

Therefore, the main tools that can assist in conducting the process of onboarding new employees are aimed at creating connections and making them simpler.


Hard to imagine life without the use of emails, isn’t it? This is a widely used tool, especially in the corporate world, and there is no need to describe it.

Through e-mail, the company can send different materials that are part of the onboarding process, directly or indirectly.

We mentioned the welcome email earlier, but the channel also serves to send internal newspapers and other reports .

Although intended for everyone and not just those who are just joining the company, internal communication materials can also help contractors get to know the company’s culture and leadership even better . Something that is part of your integration.

2-Zoom, Hangouts and the like

After the onset of the pandemic and the “boom” of video meetings, it was not long before experts were called in to explain why video calls can be so tiring .

There are a few factors associated with the way our brains interpret video communication — as compared to face-to-face communication — that are behind the problem.

This does not make video calls unfeasible, but serves as a warning so that they are strategically used.

In a digital onboarding process, it is very interesting that the first contacts of new employees with HR, with their colleagues and with the leadership are in video .

People connect better when they can see each other, and they also have a better chance of assimilating each other’s way of communicating; something that avoids or minimizes noise .

Thus, it is interesting that the company is ready to use tools such as Zoom or Google Hangouts, or any other of the many options that exist.

The most important thing, in addition to the quality of the calls, is the choice of a safe tool.

3-Slack and the like

Currently, it is quite normal to use WhatsApp as a messenger used also in the work environment.

If your company doesn’t have a group in the app, chances are you know several that do!

Despite this, there are those who prefer not to use this popular tool for corporate issues because it is a messenger also used for personal matters.

Thus, it is understood that there is a chance that workers will be distracted by some matter and end up delaying their deliveries.

Slack is one of the tools that can be used as an alternative to WhatsApp , and it is very common that its use is exclusively professional.

It is an interesting option, because it allows conversations to be separated into different channels, dividing areas of the company and teams.

4-Trello and the like

Can you imagine how difficult it can be to wait for the return of several members to know what stage of the production process the team is at?

If doing this in person is difficult enough, working remotely can be even more challenging.

It turns out that understanding the steps of a process is important for those who are arriving .

New hires need to know who is involved with what, how their work affects the work of teammates, and so on.

For this, there are tools such as Trello, which allow each demand to be structured based on who is responsible for the steps, delivery times and other details of the process.

In the development of digital onboarding, it is up to HR to show the tool and explain how it works, in addition to asking for feedback on the experience.

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