Onboarding and Orientation Compliance: First Things First

Starting off on the right foot is imperative for maintaining onboarding compliance throughout your workforce.  HR professionals understand the importance of accurately completing all federal, state, and local forms and notices required during the new hire process, all of the “technical” elements of onboarding a new employee. However, that’s only the tip of the iceberg of the work required, as the new hire also has to be assimilated into the company culture, understanding his or her role, while also being given all that is needed to be fully productive in as little time as possible.


A study by Glassdoor found that organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82 percent and productivity by over 70 percent. Glassdoor is certainly not alone in their findings, as numerous studies and surveys have yielded the same type of results over the last several years. The bottom line for onboarding, now matter what the percentages show, is that it works. Think of recruiting as the front door to your business. Onboarding (include pre-boarding) is what your employees experience as soon as they walk into the “house”, your business. An effective onboarding program increases engagement, productivity, and ultimately, retention.

The communication required for effective onboarding is a massive undertaking that requires human effort, processes, and tools. But onboarding compliance requirements in all phases of the onboarding process compound the amount of work needed to mitigate risk in processes that could lead to major fines and lawsuits.

By leveraging technology into HR processes, integrating E-Verify and background checks streamlines the process of complying with US work authorization and workplace safety and security requirements. By leveraging this technology, more work can be done with less effort. Records of possible candidates can be verified, making sure that they are cleared to work legally. I-9 forms can be filled out, collected, and stored digitally, and by using intelligent automation, these forms can be verified for accuracy required for onboarding compliance. Health benefits administration for new employees is time consuming, but that process can be guided and assured for compliance by utilizing technology.

The numerous elements in the onboarding process that require timeliness and accuracy for onboarding compliance can be processed and maintained with the help of today’s HR technology.


The orientation for a new hire is a part of the overall onboarding process, but this portion is dedicated more to the integration and assimilation of an employee into their new job and company.

Aside from the paperwork that needs to be filed, the elements of orientation vary from company to company. Processes that allow for employee feedback on onboarding, and communication regarding early issues with management can be critical to retaining top talent long term. Technology comes into play by tracking communication, as well as maintaining regularly scheduled reminders for communicating with employees. For example, it’s critical to get feedback from employees as they are going through the onboarding process, as well as after they have completed the process. This communication is a critical component to their overall orientation, assuring that they understand what the expectations are, what their development and training looks like, and it gives them a space to ask questions or gain clarity on anything related to their job or the company.

Each business and niche has its own safety standards and security requirements. How new employees are oriented into these standards and requirements, makes up their employee-experience, the very thing that gives them the “feeling” of how they will like their new company. For instance, how companies handle sexual harassment training today requires a greater sensitivity, as well as more comprehensive training than it did just a few years ago, and rightfully so. But these trainings show the employee what is important to the company, detailing the specific requirements and expectations that make up the culture and expected norms.

By leveraging technology, the trainings that occur during the onboarding process, as well as during the ongoing tenure of an employee, can be assured to meet onboarding compliance standards, revealing both completion and comprehension by employees on specific topics. Not only does this protect the company, but it also gives employees a clear path to understanding the expectations for their professional behavior required for the job.


Make sure you take the steps from before day one to assure that your processes are in place to maintain compliance throughout the onboarding and orientation phase of your new hire. Not only will it protect your business from potential fines and lawsuits that come from non-compliance, but it will also give your new employees a great employee experience that will dictate the feelings they have toward your company for years to come.