Employee onboarding can be tedious if your team doesn’t have an efficient process in place. It often involves employees sitting in an HR office for hours during their first day on the job filling out administrative paperwork. This not only leads to lost productivity but can also cause employee engagement to take a hit among new hires. 
Rather than waiting until the first day to begin employee onboarding, you can kick off the process by tapping into digital onboarding from the moment an offer letter is signed. If your organization has an integrated hiring and employee onboarding process in place, you can make the transition from candidate to new hire seamless. 
Employee onboarding tasks that can be completed digitally before the first day include: Signing the employee handbook, filling out direct deposit information for automated payroll, completing tax forms, submitting benefits paperwork, and more. This enables new hires to get started sooner rather than later with their day-to-day responsibilities, boosting productivity and engagement. 
Are you looking to improve your employee onboarding process? Below, we’ve highlighted a few well-known technology companies that have engaging onboarding programs in place, along with lessons you can learn from each. 

LinkedIn 

LinkedIn understands the importance of embracing employee onboarding not only to complete required paperwork, but to ensure all employees seamlessly acclimate and feel a sense of belonging at the company. As highlighted in a post on the LinkedIn Talent Solutions blog, onboarding has a significant impact on how quickly employees reach their full potential and productivity, as well as driving overall engagement and employee retention. 
In addition to a general congratulatory email informing new hires of their start date, LinkedIn puts in the effort to get as much information in the hands of its new employees as possible – before the first day. After signing an offer letter, each new hire receives a lengthy, interactive PDF outlining what to expect during their first day and week. This document helps new hires mentally prepare for joining the team. 
Before the first day, new hires also receive a detailed SlideShare on the LinkedIn Culture Code, which helps excite these employees about joining an organization that is committed to having a strong company culture. 
Once the first day on the job arrives, LinkedIn ensures new employees have all essentials they need to get started, including a laptop and other technology, relevant paperwork and an overview of benefits. LinkedIn also holds hiring managers accountable to ensuring onboarding efforts continue far beyond the first day, so employees have everything they need to succeed and feel a sense of belonging on your team. 
Not only does LinkedIn ensure employees are engaged from the moment they become a new hire, but the company focuses on continuously supporting a great onboarding experience in each new employee’s first days and weeks. This helps keep employees motivated and makes new hires truly feel like part of the culture at LinkedIn.

Twitter

Twitter has branded its employee onboarding program with the name “Yes to Desk.” The goal of this program is to make the time period between when an employee says “yes” to a job offer and the employee arrives at their desk as productive as possible.

While many employees across industries are working remotely at this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic – and Twitter recently announced that employees can work remotely indefinitely – the goal of this onboarding program doesn’t change. Ultimately, it means being prepared for an employee’s first day whether they’re working in your physical workspace or remotely. 
Twitter’s employee onboarding program includes 75 different touchpoints between the new hire, recruiting, HR team, IT, and more.  
Before each employee arrives at his or her desk – or otherwise starts on the first day –  they have their email address, a T-shirt and bottle of wine waiting. And on the first day, new hires receive customized training on the tools and resources they’ll need to succeed in each of their roles. To ensure new employees integrate well into the company, Twitter also hosts rotating presentations each Friday, so employees can learn about projects across teams. 
If your team doesn’t kick off employee onboarding right away, you risk engagement declining in the waiting period between when an offer letter is signed and a new role is accepted. And, perhaps worse, if your employees don’t have the tools and materials needed to perform their roles waiting for them on the first day, they will likely become frustrated and won’t be as motivated to drive results for your team.

By taking a similar approach to employee onboarding as Twitter, you can ensure new employees hit the ground running and are excited to contribute great work at your organization. And your HR team will also save time that would have otherwise been spent on administrative tasks each time a new employee begins. 
Given the recent impact and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, many employers have either paused hiring or have to run the hiring process remotely. By tapping into digital onboarding before the first day – similar to LinkedIn and Twitter – you can ensure new hires have everything they need to excel in their roles.
Even in the absence of these unusual circumstances, the last thing any new employee wants to do when they get started is spend the entire first day filling out paperwork. Your top, motivated employees will be eager to get started right away with their day-to-day responsibilities. With the right onboarding technology in place, you can easily kick off onboarding with employees before they even get started.
For additional tips on improving your employee onboarding, read our Digital Onboarding Playbook.