Onboarding Best Practices, part 1

A common question we’re asked is “what should I automate with my onboarding system?”  Sometimes it’s not the easiest question to answer, but we always start with establishing the customer’s objectives: are the goals related to Transactional Onboarding, or Acculturation Onboarding?  As I blogged once before (https://chuckros.wordpress.com/2008/08/06/onboarding-process-vs-onboarding-system/) the onboarding process should be considered as a whole and the system used to automate those aspects of the process that can be automated.  But having made the investment in an onboarding system (or preparing to make such an investment), it’s natural to ask “what else can I do with it?”  So we also wrote a brief (like a miniature article: http://www.emeraldsoftwaregroup.com/News/20090317_OnboardingBestPractices) that lists out the tasks that we are most commonly asked to automate, but I’m going to discuss them here in my blog–feel free to request a copy of our brief if you don’t want to wait for me to do my blogging 🙂

Let’s start with Transactional Onboarding (for a definition: http://www.articlesbase.com/human-resources-articles/employee-onboarding-an-hr-technology-seeking-a-definition-501760.html).  We actually break TO into three categories: automating paperwork and forms, automating the flow of data, and ensuring compliance.

Automating paperwork and forms is probably the first thing someone who’s been tasked with implementing an onboarding system thinks of.  A good TO system will replace paper forms with electronic data collection, sometimes completely eliminating the forms in lieu of strictly electronic data collection (sometimes referred to as “virtual forms”).  The ability to electronically sign forms is important for many documents, and there are several ways to implement electronic signatures (if you’re interested, we have a whitepaper on legally defensible, evidentiary quality standards for electronic signatures: let us know if you’d like a copy http://www.emeraldsoftwaregroup.com/Contact).

The following is a sampling of the forms we are typically asked to automate in an onboarding system:

o   Application for Employment (if not collected by other systems)

o   Employee Demographics Form

o   Offer Letter (if not generated by recruiting technologies)

o   Offer Letter Acceptance

o   IRS W-4

o   INS I-9

o   IRS 8850 (Work Opportunity Tax Credit)

o   State W-4’s or equivalent and accompanying forms such as affidavit of non-residency, alternative tax elections, certification of military status, etc.

o   Policy Acknowledgements and Acceptance:

o   Drug Testing Policy

o   Background Testing Policy

o   Harassment Policy

o   Acknowledgement of Job Description

o   Receipt of Employee Handbook

o   Receipt of Employment Contract

o   Intellectual Property and Invention Assignment

o   Non-Compete

o   Chain of Custody

o   Release of Information, Particularly for Licensure

o   Minor Work Release Forms

o   Intern or Work-Study Release Forms

o   Benefits, including group health and voluntary benefits

o   Special Industry Forms

o   Department of Transportation

o   Department of Homeland Security

o   Department of Defense and National Security Related Forms

o   Food Services Training & Certifications Release

o   Gaming (casino) Training & Certifications Release

o   Healthcare Licensure & Safety

If you know of any other forms that might be collected as part of an onboarding system, let me know!

In my next blog we’ll move on to the automation of data in the onboarding system.

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