Onboarding is one of those things that can be an absolute nightmare or a total cakewalk. So how can we get more “cake” for onboarding? You can start with a comprehensive onboarding portal, the virtual cookbook of simplified onboarding.

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What is an Onboarding Portal?

An onboarding portal (or employee portal) is the online platform where employees can complete many onboarding processes such as learning about the company, signing up for benefits, completing training, docu-signing digital paperwork, and much more. Without a doubt, a quality onboarding portal is the bread and butter of a streamlined onboarding process.

Benefits of Having an Onboarding Portal

In addition to giving your new employee autonomy (which increases the feeling of being valued), an onboarding portal is one of the first impressions a new employee will have of your company. Moreover, a portal can:

  • Streamlines processes. The more you can automate your onboarding process without losing the human element, the more efficiently your new employee can move through it.
  • Enables employee independence. An onboarding portal enables the employee to do more for themselves. Not only does this lighten HR’s workload, it also helps the employee feel more in control and less pressured. They can take their time in an onboarding portal in comparison to traditional onboarding. This includes things such as training, doing their own research into benefits and policies as well as selecting benefits.
  • Increases engagement. A natural result of making onboarding features more accessible and less frustrating for an employee is increased engagement. A well-designed portal does just that.

Features to Look for in a Great Onboarding Portal

Most onboarding portals are customizable for the employer to meet the needs of each organization individually. Depending on the program your company uses, they may have more or fewer options. The most commonly utilized onboarding portal functions include:

1. Secure Document Storage

Most onboarding portals offer an encryption service for employees to upload private information securely. This often includes online docusign options as well. This means employees can fill out applications for benefits in totality and upload them digitally to the employer without cyber security concerns.

2. Training

Through the form of plain text, slide shows, video, audio, and quizzes, providing training through a digital portal saves the effort of planning, printing, and scheduling in-person sessions and allows employees the freedom to complete training at their own pace whenever they decide to do it.

3. Updated Content

Since every employee has active access to the portal functions, this is the ideal place to post newsletters and announcements.

4. Access to Benefits

When an employee has a life-changing event, an online portal provides them access to apply for benefit changes without the involvement of HR. The same is true for open enrollment!

5. Policies and Information

An online portal is a mini-database containing all of the company’s policies and additional information. With the ease of access offered by keyword search functions, this makes questions an employee may have easily answerable… all at the employee’s fingertips!

6. Communications

Many portals offer a social aspect as well. This can include message boards, group chat options and even an anonymous, digital suggestion box. These functions encourage employee comradery and collaboration.

Popular Onboarding Portal Platforms to Consider

There’s a virtual goldmine of quality platforms to choose from. Here are some good options to start your search.

Keep in mind that each portal option has their own pros and cons. It pays off to do your research to see which provider is the best fit for your company.

Questions You’ve Asked Us About Onboarding Portals

If your company has a programming and development team, you can absolutely create one from scratch in house. However, it might be a bit unnecessary with the extremely personalizable onboarding portal platforms out there. In fact, there are portal platforms whose primary focus is to be user-friendly and completely customizable. The best part is you don’t have to know any code or even be very tech savvy to set up a portal all on your own.
Absolutely. Having a solid onboarding portal helps eliminate frustration, streamlines normally mundane processes and training as well as assists time management. An onboarding portal is key to having a strong onboarding process which has been found to improve new hire retention by 82%. (https://b2b-assets.glassdoor.com/the-true-cost-of-a-bad-hire.pdf)
Kayla Farber
Kayla Farber

Kayla is the Chief Innovation Officer at Hero Culture, where the passion is to create company cultures of retention using the power of personality.

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