What is Onboarding?

Onboarding is the process of integrating / acclimatizing employees to their new role, the company’s values, goals and culture. This stage of the employee lifecycle is important in providing a new hire the tools and information needed to become a productive team member. It also engages employees, creating workers that are committed to the company’s success and helps retain new hires by making them feel like a member of the team.

The onboarding process can include, but is not limited to:

An Employer: An Employee:

Providing HR / Compliance documents (Employment contract, Job Description, Policies, Fair Work Information Statements, etc.)

Organising workplace assets (Laptop, mobile phone, company credit card, etc.)

Setting up software log ins

Coordinating a buddy

Providing information on Induction plans

Completing personal details (Super, TFN, Bank details, etc.)

Providing documents that are required to be able to perform their role (RSA, Driver’s license, etc.)

Providing proof of legal entitlement to work in Australia (Visa and related documentation)

Disclosing any pre-existing injury, illness, medical condition or allergy, which may impact on their ability to safely perform the inherent requirements of their role.


Why is it important?

Having a well-defined, consistent, and efficient onboarding process can:

    • Reduce that ‘new job anxiety’ an employee may be feeling
    • Give a new employee clear expectation
    • Increase productivity
    • Decrease employee turnover


Why is it important to prioritize the onboarding process right now?

Australia has job vacancies and a lot of them…

The Internet Vacancy Index (IVI) is a monthly count of online job advertisements compiled by the National Skills Commission (NSC). The report is a monthly count of online job advertisements newly lodged on SEEK, CareerOne and Australian JobSearch.

Labour Market Insights latest report states, “In seasonally adjusted terms, job advertisements increased 3.7% (or 10,200 job advertisements) in March 2022 to stand at 282,400. The strong increase in recruitment activity growth saw job advertisements reach their highest level since July 2008. Advertisements have rebounded strongly since hitting record lows in April 2020 with the initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Why might this be happening? Well, we’ve heard of The Great Resignation and current Skill Shortages; but it may also be that your organisation prospered in the pandemic and continues to do so, meaning the need for an increase in headcount.

Ultimately, if you are seeing an increase in the number of job vacancies within your organisation, this will in turn correlate with the number of employees that will need to be onboarded… following a successful recruitment process of course.

ELMO’s HR Industry Benchmark Survey 2021: Your 2022 Report, found that 70% of HR & Payroll professionals believed onboarding to be a high – medium priority for FY21/22, following other key HR areas, such as employee wellness, compliance, recruitment, etc.

With more employers on the hunt for top talent, only emphasises the importance that once you have successfully attracted and recruited your new hire, that the next goal should then be to retain. If you fall at the first hurdle (onboarding), then you are not positively contributing to that overall retainment goal and risk unnecessarily losing that prospect early on. Which can in turn negatively impact existing employee engagement and overall company culture.

HELPFUL TIP: Recruitment, retention, engagement and return on investment are all areas that can be measured using Employment Innovations: Guide to HR Metrics.



Who’s responsible for Onboarding?

Although many aspects of the onboarding process can be automated via a HR Information System such as Employment Hero, the responsibility of the onboarding process is generally shared:

    • Hiring Manager (employees’ direct manager) – Maintains high touch communications with new employee, setting clear expectations and connecting them with the people, resources, and systems they require to perform their role.
    • People & Culture / another stakeholder that Manages HR priorities e.g., EA – Oversees or facilitates the completion of required documentation or related processes, such as Employment Contract, Work eligibility, Policies, etc.
    • Senior Managers – Ensure and support (where required) the hiring manager (their direct report) are conducting the onboarding process in a successful and efficient manner. The senior manager should make themselves approachable so that they can act as a resource to the new hire should their direct manager not be available.
    • Executive Management – Communicates the company’s values and goals.


The degree to which one of the above stakeholders is involved will of course vary depending on the size of the organisation and the resources available.


Stop, start, continue

Below outlines what HR & Payroll professionals believe to be their organisations onboarding challenges.


What are your organisations key onboarding challenges?

ELMO’s HR Industry Benchmark Survey 2021: Your 2022 Report


What would you have voted?

One person’s perception might not be another’s reality. To assess the current ‘health’ of your onboarding process, we would highly recommend conducting onboarding / new hire surveys. This will provide you with data and feedback which can then be utilised to improve the initial state of onboarding procedures.


What’s changed?

For many of us remote and hybrid working arrangements have become the new normal, which certainly accelerated the utilisation of technology.

As you can see from the image above (onboarding challenges), two of the highest reported challenges are:

    • Lack of regular check ins with new hires – 26% of those with HR technology fully implemented and 31% of those without fully implemented HR technology.
    • Integrating new hires into teams / culture – 28% of those with HR technology fully implemented and 33% of those without fully implemented HR technology.


This highlights that although technology can help facilitate and organise interactions, the success of onboarding remains tied to interpersonal relationships (between manager and employee). Further, technology should be used to provide reminders and prompts via onboarding checklists to undertake certain onboarding tasks, it has limited impact on enhancing those relationships.



About Employment Innovations

Employment Innovations is one of Australia’s leading providers of employment services designed to increase productivity and ensure compliance. Its services and solutions include all the tools that every Australian small to medium sized employer needs – including workplace advice, legal services, payroll solutions, migration, human resource management and HR software.



The information provided in these blog articles is general in nature and is not intended to substitute for professional advice. If you are unsure about how this information applies to your specific situation we recommend you contact Employment Innovations for advice.