What is Automated Onboarding and How Does it Work?

Manager showing explaining process to new employee on computer screen symbolising automated onboarding

In this article, we will explore what automated onboarding is and why your business needs it.

What is automated onboarding?

Automated onboarding is the use of technology to manage the employee onboarding process. Instead of relying on manual tasks, automated processes take over. This means that tasks such as filling out forms, managing employee data, and setting up new hires in the company’s system are handled by software. Automated onboarding processes can include things like:

  • Sending welcome emails
  • Providing access to necessary tools and resources
  • Tracking progress through the onboarding workflow

With automated onboarding, the hr team can set up an onboarding workflow that is consistent and repeatable. This ensures that every new hire has the same positive onboarding experience.

Onboarding software can handle repetitive tasks, allowing the hr department to focus on more important aspects of onboarding employees, like building relationships and integrating new hires into the company culture.

Why does your business need automated onboarding?

Automated onboarding is not just a trend; it's a necessity for modern businesses. Here are five reasons why your business needs to automate your onboarding process:

1. Saves time and reduces errors

Automated onboarding software handles administrative tasks that are often prone to errors when done manually. This includes managing employee data, document management, and setting up new employees in the it service management system. By automating these tasks, you save time and reduce the chance of mistakes.

2. Improves employee experience

A smooth onboarding process can make a big difference in how new hires feel about your company. Automated onboarding ensures a positive onboarding experience by making the process seamless and less stressful. New hires can access everything they need from day one, helping them feel welcomed and ready to start.

3. Increases efficiency for the HR team

The hr team often spends a lot of time on manual onboarding processes, like manual data entry and following up on incomplete tasks. With automated onboarding, these repetitive tasks are handled by the software, freeing up the hr department to focus on more strategic activities.

4. Ensures consistency and compliance

Automated onboarding processes ensure that every new hire goes through the same steps, ensuring a consistent experience. This is important for compliance, as it ensures that all necessary paperwork is completed and that company policies are clearly communicated.

5. Enhances data management

Managing employee data can be challenging, especially with manual processes. Automated onboarding software helps manage employee data efficiently, ensuring that all information is stored securely and is easily accessible. This makes it easier to track onboarding progress and address any issues quickly.

Key features of automated onboarding systems

Automated onboarding systems come with many useful features that make the onboarding process smooth and efficient. Here are some key features you should know about:

Centralized document management

With an automated onboarding process, all onboarding documents are stored in one place. This means no more digging through piles of paperwork.

For example, new employees can access their employee contracts, benefits enrollment forms, and company policies through a cloud storage app. This centralized system helps both the company and new hires keep track of important documents easily.

Automated task assignments and reminders

One of the best parts of employee onboarding automation is that it takes care of assigning and reminding tasks.

For instance, onboarding tasks like setting up a work email, scheduling training sessions, and completing forms can be automated. New hires receive reminders about these tasks, ensuring nothing is missed. This makes the entire process more organized and less stressful for both the new employee and the hr teams.

Integration with HR and payroll systems

An automated onboarding process integrates seamlessly with HR and payroll systems. This means that when new employees fill out their personal information, it automatically updates in the hr management systems and payroll.

This integration helps automate tasks like setting up direct deposit and benefits enrollment, making the process faster and reducing the chance of errors.

Customizable onboarding workflows

Automated onboarding systems offer customizable onboarding workflows to fit the unique needs of your company. For example, if your company has a specific onboarding checklist for different departments, you can create personalized onboarding workflows for each.

This allows new hires to go through the onboarding stage at their own pace, ensuring they get all the information they need. Customizable workflows also help in providing a consistent onboarding experience for every new hire.

How to automate onboarding in your business?

Onboarding new employees is crucial for their success and satisfaction at work. Automating this process can save time, reduce errors, and improve employee engagement from day one.

Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to effectively automate employee onboarding in your business, ensuring that you can replace or complement the manual onboarding process with more efficient methods.

Step 1. Understand your current onboarding process

Before automating, assess your current manual employee onboarding procedures. Identify the steps that require human intervention and those that can be automated. Understanding what currently works and what doesn’t will help you integrate automation smoothly.

Step 2. Set clear onboarding goals

Determine what you want to achieve with automation. Common goals include reducing the time it takes to onboard new employees, improving the consistency of the onboarding experience, and enhancing overall employee engagement. Having clear objectives will guide your decisions throughout the setup process.

Step 3. Choose the right technology

Select an applicant tracking system (ATS) and other onboarding software that align with your goals. The ATS should support features like automatic sorting of applications, scheduling interviews, and sending out offer letters. For onboarding, look for software that can handle tasks such as distributing company policies, collecting signed documents electronically, and automating training schedules.

Step 4. Automate administrative tasks

Start by automating simple, time-consuming tasks such as filling out forms, verifying personal information, and setting up work tools. Automation can ensure these tasks are completed quickly and accurately, allowing HR staff to focus on more strategic aspects like employee engagement.

Step 5. Implement self-service systems

Self-service portals can empower new hires by giving them control over their onboarding experience. Through these platforms, employees can complete paperwork, access training materials, and update their personal details at their convenience. This reduces dependencies on HR and accelerates the overall process.

Step 6. Develop automated training programs

Automated training programs allow new employees to learn at their own pace. Use online modules and virtual workshops that new hires can access as soon as they start. This not only standardizes training across the board but also tracks progress without manual oversight.

Step 7. Regularly update and personalize onboarding content

Automation doesn’t mean a one-size-fits-all approach. Regularly update onboarding materials to reflect changes in company policies or job roles. Additionally, use data from your ATS to personalize the content based on the new hire’s role, department, or previous experience.

Step 8. Monitor and measure success

To ensure that your automated system is effective, regularly check its impact on new hires. Use metrics such as time to productivity, employee satisfaction scores, and retention rates. Feedback from new employees can also provide insights into areas that may still need a personal touch or further automation.

Step 9. Ensure compliance and security

Automated systems must protect personal employee data and comply with employment laws. Choose software that offers robust security measures and is updated regularly to meet legal standards. Always have clear access controls and data encryption in place.

Step 10. Continuously improve the process

The world of HR is always evolving, and so should your automated onboarding process. Stay informed about new technologies and methods that can enhance your setup. Regularly solicit feedback from both HR teams and new employees to keep refining your approach.

By moving from a manual onboarding process to a more automated approach, you can not only streamline administrative tasks but also boost new hire engagement and retention. The key is to choose the right tools, tailor the process to meet individual and organizational needs, and continually adapt to feedback and new opportunities.

Dos and dont's for automated onboarding process

Automating the onboarding process can significantly enhance efficiency and employee experience when done correctly.

However, it's essential to approach this transformation with a clear strategy to avoid common pitfalls. Here are some crucial dos and don'ts to keep in mind when implementing an automated onboarding system in your business.


1. Do tailor the experience to individual needs. While automation standardizes the onboarding process, it's important to personalize the experience. Use data from your applicant tracking system to customize training and resources according to the new hire’s role, skills, and background.

2. Do integrate your systems. Ensure that your onboarding tools are well integrated with other HR systems like payroll, benefits management, and the applicant tracking system. This reduces data entry errors and provides a seamless transition from candidate to employee.

3. Do keep communication lines open. Automation should not replace human interaction. Maintain open lines of communication and provide personal check-ins with HR or a direct supervisor to ensure new hires feel welcomed and valued.

4. Do provide clear instructions and support. Automated systems should be user-friendly and intuitive. Provide clear instructions and support for navigating the onboarding software. This could include tutorial videos, FAQs, or a dedicated helpdesk for technical questions.

5. Do monitor and adjust based on feedback. Regularly collect feedback from new hires about their onboarding experience. Use this information to refine your automated processes and address any areas where employees feel the system may be lacking.


1. Don't automate everything. Avoid the temptation to automate every single aspect of the onboarding process. Elements like personal introductions, team bonding activities, and one-on-one meetings should still have a personal touch.

2. Don't neglect training on the new system. If your team doesn’t understand how to use the new automated onboarding tools, they can’t help new hires effectively. Ensure everyone involved in the onboarding process is trained and comfortable with the new technology.

3. Don't overlook data security. Handling personal employee information through automated systems requires strict data security measures. Ensure your onboarding software complies with privacy laws and is equipped with robust security protocols.

4. Don't forget to set clear expectations. Automated messages and workflows should clearly outline what new hires need to accomplish during their onboarding process. Lack of clear direction can lead to confusion and disengagement.

5. Don't stop improving the process. The initial launch of your automated onboarding system is just the beginning. Continuously look for ways to improve and update the system as technology advances and your company’s needs change.

Tools for automated onboarding process

When it comes to automating the onboarding process, several tools can make this transition smoother and more effective. Here are some of the key tools that can help:

  • Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS): Tools like Greenhouse and Lever not only help in recruiting but also in automating parts of the onboarding process such as document collection and task assignments.

  • HR Management Software: Platforms like BambooHR and Gusto offer comprehensive onboarding solutions that include electronic document signatures, employee database management, and automated task reminders.

  • Learning Management Systems (LMS): Tools like SAP Litmos and TalentLMS enable companies to automate training processes. They provide online courses and track progress to ensure that all new hires receive necessary training efficiently.

  • Employee Self-Service Portals: Platforms such as Workday or ADP offer self-service options where new hires can fill out their details, sign documents, and complete their onboarding paperwork independently.

  • Communication and Collaboration Tools: Slack and Microsoft Teams can be configured to send automated welcome messages and resources to new hires, and integrate with other tools to keep everyone connected.

Using these tools not only streamlines the process but also ensures a consistent and compliant onboarding experience for all new employees.

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Automating the onboarding process not only enhances operational efficiency but also improves the experience for new hires, setting a strong foundation for their journey in your organization.

By utilizing tools like ATS, HR management software, LMS, and self-service portals, businesses can ensure a seamless, effective, and engaging start for their employees. Embracing these technologies will help your company stay competitive, reduce manual errors, and build a committed and satisfied workforce.

Topic: Procedures
Rinaily Bonifacio

Written by:

Rinaily Bonifacio

Rinaily is a renowned expert in the field of human resources with years of industry experience. With a passion for writing high-quality HR content, Rinaily brings a unique perspective to the challenges and opportunities of the modern workplace. As an experienced HR professional and content writer, She has contributed to leading publications in the field of HR.


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