4 ways to improve onboarding

GARY TOWERS • 02 May 2022

Blog post updated in October 2023.

  1. Use a mobile-friendly candidate portal
  2. Have a 'New Starter Welcome Hub' to offer a candidate pre-joining information.
  3. Make it easy to upload documents pre-employment documents.
  4. Report back on candidate behaviour

You don’t need our 2023 Market Trends report to know that recruiting is tough right now. Attrition is fuelling vacancies. For 65% of businesses - the most common reason for recruiting is ‘replacement’ for a leaver. (JobBrain™, August 23)

With 988,000 vacancies (ONS) - there are simply more jobs out there than candidates.

Candidates are putting life choices first and making career decisions to fit, rather than the other way around as in the past. Nearly 60% are looking for flexible and/or home working. (Candidata™, August 23).

Reason for recruiting (1)

What is onboarding and why is it important?

Onboarding is the process for bringing a new employee into your organisation. Sometimes this is referred to as pre-boarding.

There are two key areas of focus the onboarding stage: 

  • Preparing and engaging the candidate to get them excited about their first day!
  • Checking the candidate meets your requirements through Right-to-Work checks, references, qualification checks etc.

This takes the form of completing essential new joiner paperwork, giving advance briefings – be it guidance, training, or policies. You want to engage them with the business, their future colleagues and build their excitement and enthusiasm.

This will mean that day one is a success! It will also ward off any counter-offers during their notice period! 8% (1 in 12) of candidates withdraw after accepting an offer prior to start (JobBrain™, Jan 22).

Use a mobile-friendly candidate portal

An online portal for candidates, usable on their mobile or tablet, is key. Over 50% of candidates now use their phones to apply for jobs. If you currently use an applicant tracking system, you will be technologically covered, but you must make sure your content is mobile-friendly too! 

If you are writing up onboarding information for your candidates, make sure it's well laid-out, with plenty of white-space, bullet-points, and gets straight to the point!

Our candidate websites are fully made for mobile, to ensure your adverts (and more) will automatically resize to fit perfectly on the device they’re being read on.

Use a New Starter Welcome Hub to get them excited

A Welcome Hub is a 'hub' page that the candidate gets access to once they've accepted an offer with you!

How do I use a Welcome Hub?

It provides the best onboarding experience available with videos showing off your company culture, images of the smiling faces of their future colleagues, and individual content relating to their role in your organisation.

Manage your new starters in a HR system? No problem, once you’ve hired your perfect candidate, you can also transfer new starter details direct to your HR system – all from within Jobtrain. We’re already integrated with most of the major HR software systems and we’re always adding more.

You can provide links to reviews of the companies, pre-joining information, and a "silly questions" section - like if there's a fridge for them to store their lunch!

Make it easy to upload pre-employment documents

If you use third parties for your onboarding – such as First Advantage for DBS checks and Yoti for Right to Work checks - integrate them with your online onboarding system. This will automate the process increasing efficiency, and make it an easier experience for the candidate too.

If there's lots of paperwork, provide an online checklist which is automatically updated with every submitted piece of information. It means you and your team can track the candidate's progress, and they can keep themselves right!


Make it easy for yourself too by generating automated offer and rejection letters. Our applicant tracking system offers this functionality.

Report back on candidate behaviour

Any good applicant tracking system should have a central tracking dashboard for you to see your candidate information at a glance.

Recruiters should have the ability to record progress on a candidate by candidate level, whilst tracking progress holistically for their batch of offers.

Tracking will indicate to what degree the required checks and information have been completed, any red flags for follow up, compliance to SLAs and much more. Time-based rules can be used to trigger alerts or reports to flag exceptions (gaps or issues). All of this will help with efficiency and compliance!

Person working on data on a laptopOnboarding is critical so don't forget it

If you lose that perfect candidate, you will have wasted a lot of time and money on the recruitment process. The same applies if the onboarding takes too long.

Candidates expect this process to be simple and online, and ideally swift.

After all, they will likely have applied via your slick online application portal and may have even undertaken a video interview. A slow paper-based process via the post or umpteen email attachments won't cut it!


Optimise your recruitment
Speak to us