It’s your new employee’s first day of work. You’re excited because you’ve finally filled that vacant accounting role. He’s excited because he gets to work for a small business with a purpose he stands behind. Both of you are looking forward to starting your journey together…once you finish all the paperwork, right?

According to ThinkHR, 70 percent of your budget is spent on your people. And U.S. employers spend $5.5 billion annually on onboarding. So you want an onboarding program that actually engages your employees and helps to set them up for success.

Fact: No one likes forms. Part of your role in human resources (whether you do it yourself or are fortunate to have an expert on staff) is to make the process human. If possible, try not to make the first day ALL about forms.

Further, why not consider taking your onboarding to the digital side? Here are a few reasons why your small business could benefit from this.

It’s less work for you and the employee.

When the paperwork is moved online, there’s less physical paperwork to keep up with and less room for human error. Simple enough. Electronic forms take less time to fill out and you can skip that step of having to scan them into your database.

Some platforms could also sync certain information up with other necessary parts of HR management, like payroll. Of course, be sure to do your research like you would when brining on any new type of new technology to make sure the system you choose works with your needs and will keep you compliant.

It helps with compliance.

Another huge benefit of going digital is that it can help you with compliance on forms like the I-9. It’s easy to mess things up with this form and thus, get hit with huge fines. So doing it online ensures that every required box is checked (or else you can’t submit it). It also usually links to e-Verify to make life even easier.

The same goes for the tax forms. People often forget to fill out certain boxes or sign off on the W-4, but the electronic process requires the necessary boxes to be filled in before it can be submitted. Your new employee can do all of this from the comfort of his or her own home and take as much time as needed.

It can potentially be cost-saving.

Depending on the platform you choose, you could end up saving some money by implementing digital onboarding. While the fancy packets with information printed on expensive paper probably worked for a while, getting rid of that paper trail could save you money in the long run.

Oh yeah, and say goodbye to filing cabinets. With everything online, you can open up some space in your office and space in your budget for something else that will help make your processes more efficient.

It’s more personal and engaging.

Think about it. By moving everything online, you’ll free up time otherwise spent on mulling through paperwork to have more personal discussions about your organization’s culture and dynamics. It also provides the opportunity to easily track the progress and status of the training since it’s all in front of you online.

Digital onboarding also gives you the option to incorporate interactive video or games that will help engage your employees. By having them interact with the information you’re providing, there’s a good chance they’ll remember what you’ve presented. Not only that, but they’ll remember the experience. 

And you want to make the onboarding experience memorable, right? Engaged employees are happy employees and happy employees tend to produce their best possible work. This journey to happiness starts on day one.

To learn more onboarding tips, and even download a new hire onboarding checklist, you’ll want to explore our HR Advisory solution. Learn more here or fill out the form below.