How to manage onboarding paperwork

How To
May 27, 2022

Your company hired someone new: awesome. So what comes next? 12 PDFs and Word docs attached to an email. What could be simpler?

Whether you’re a candidate or a hiring manager, onboarding paperwork can be a real stumbling block. In this guide, we’ll explore why this process often causes friction and delay, and look at solutions that can help make onboarding frictionless for everyone. Let’s go!

What are onboarding documents?

Onboarding documents are the collection of paperwork that new joiners to a company have to read, acknowledge and often sign in order to start their employment. It’s an administrative step that, while burdensome, is important to set an employee up for success.

They range from informational materials about benefits, pensions and the office building, to compliance touchstones like data security policies and an employee confidentiality agreement. They also usually include at least one contract (the full employment agreement, though there may be more).

This collection of paperwork is presented to candidates after they’ve accepted the job by signing the offer letter, usually by the Talent team, or by the manager who made the hire. It might arrive via email, initiating the back-and-forth email tennis which we all know and love.

Juro onboarding paperwork 1

Why is onboarding paperwork important?

Onboarding paperwork might seem bureaucratic, and often overwhelming, depending on the size and profile of the business you’re joining. But the collection of documents you need to work through are key parts of the process that enables things like getting paid, getting a pension, accessing benefits like health insurance, and satisfying the regulatory requirements dictated by your country’s employment laws.

Without it, the business willstruggle to integrate the employee into its systems, procedures and facilities. Perhaps more importantly, the candidate will start their new role on unsteady ground, without signed, official documents underpinning their contractual relationship and employee status.

This is particularly true in industries and business verticals that hire large numbers of employees at a time - for example, food delivery apps, ride-sharing companies and the various other types of marketplace that connect large numbers of individuals or small businesses with consumers.

If the process for onboarding documents in this kind of environment isn’t smooth and frictionless, for both sides, it can create a bottleneck that affects business growth, as well as customer experience.

Delivery marketplaces all over the world trust Juro to manage their onboarding documents, from Gopuff in the US to Deliveroo in the UK, Wolt in Eastern Europe and Takealot in South Africa. 

Find out why Juro is the most scalable solution for onboarding paperwork in this Gopuff case study, or hit the button below to find out more. Otherwise - read on.

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What are typical onboarding documents?

The onboarding paperwork you receive will vary depending on the company and the role, but typically includes:

  • Full employment contract
  • Payroll and tax information
  • Employee handbook
  • Detailed role description and responsibilities
  • Benefits information
  • Any essential training materials (i.e. data security)
  • Software checklist (i.e. logins you’ll need)
  • Equipment checklist (laptop or other devices)

These will usually be a mixture of brochures and leaflets in some cases, and binding agreements or essential regulatory requirements that need acknowledgement in others. You can check out this onboarding checklist for more details, or this guide to remote onboarding.

Once the offer letter is signed, it falls to the People team to help the new joiner to work through this list of onboarding paperwork until everything is complete.

Juro onboarding paperwork 2

How is onboarding paperwork typically managed?

HIstorically, this bundle of documents is managed using an unholy mixture of Word, email, PDFs, electronic signature in some cases, and in-person meetings where printouts are circulated. 

People teams will work through the documents using a manual checklist, perhaps in an arbitrary document on a shared drive, or in either your applicant tracking system (if you manage contracts with Greenhouse) or HRIS (if you manage contracts with Workday).

Once complete, all this information can be uploaded ideally into the People & Talent system of record - often Workday. This helps the People team to have a complete picture of their employee at every stage in the lifecycle.

Can you manage onboarding paperwork manually?

If the process of chasing a bunch of different documents, in different formats, via email, processing them through disparate workflows and eventually collating them in some kind of arbitrary storage system seems painful - that’s because it is. 

Juro customer Gopuff faced this challenge when it came to onboarding riders for their $15bn grocery delivery marketplace. Luke Hextall, their Head of People Operations, said “Our process had around 18 administrative steps, which meant it took up to 20 minutes to onboard one rider.”

“One of the biggest concerns that we had was that we wouldn’t be able to keep pace with the business. We had several points of failure, and if we didn’t resolve the problem, it would’ve been a perfect cocktail of disaster”

This is a common problem for scaling businesses, where signing and processing a handful of documents through an approval workflow works fine in the early stages, but doesn’t scale with an injection of capital and headcount.

This can lead to delay, friction, and in the worst cases, disengaged new joiners - who are still vulnerable to competitive offers until they actually start their employment.

It also creates risk for the business if onboarding paperwork is patchy or incomplete, with a whole host of consequences down the line if contracts remain unsigned or policies unacknowledged. So what can you do about it?

How can you process onboarding documents faster?

Reducing the number of systems you use to process your onboarding paperwork will help to speed up the process. 

Not every element of your onboarding bundle will need a signature, but for those that do, instead of pushing your new joiner between email, Word, PDF and an eSignature provider, you can unify the process in the browser with Juro.

Juro onboarding paperwork 3

What’s more, time-crunched People teams at high-growth businesses can mass-generate onboarding paperwork like HR contracts, option agreements, non-disclosure agreements and more from legally watertight templates in a few clicks. Here’s how Deliveroo uses Juro to mass-generate employment documents to enable their lightning-fast growth to IPO.

Which parts of onboarding paperwork can be automated?

Agreements and contracts can be automated at scale using an all-in-one contract automation platform like Juro. But other onboarding documentation can be streamlined too. 

For example, by building a dynamic employee handbook in Notion, with structured checklists for the people team to follow, businesses can simplify onboarding paperwork to the sharing of links, which can be unified in one email chain and tracked centrally. There's still some friction involved in this workflow - but it's way better than losing control of a bunch of Word documents.

Ready to automate your onboarding documents?

If the sheer volume of paperwork is proving offputting for candidates, and time-consuming for your People team, then get in touch below to find out how Juro enables you to put contract on autopilot - so you can focus on hiring.

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