Looking for a Better Way to Handle Employee Onboarding?

Handling new employee onboarding can be tricky to get just right. There’s likely a better solution than what you’re using right now!

Employee onboarding is a critical first step for getting new hires welcomed into any company. You want everything to run smoothly. It’s one of the biggest first impressions of your business! There’s a million and one things to do though, and as many opportunities for chaos. New equipment, scheduling, communicating payroll information, immersion in company culture. All things that are extremely important to get right.

All this can present a significant challenge to manage just the way you want it to be done. Getting the right information to the right people, communicating the right things in the right order, handling all the technical details… it can be chaos. And chaos is probably not the first impression you want to communicate!

It’s something we struggled to get just right for quite a while. We’ve finally settled into a solution that we love, and we’d love to share it with you!

How We Use WordPress Forms for Employee Onboarding

Yep, we use forms to handle all of our onboarding! Shocking, isn’t it? Bet you can’t guess which form solution we use 😉

On a serious note though, using WordPress forms for employee onboarding is a much more powerful tool than you may realize. We have an extranet (an internal network site) for our company where we house all our documents and administrative necessities. It’s where employees submit purchase receipts, log expenses, make requests for extra activities like continuing education, and more.

When a new team member joins the company, they get graduated access to this extranet. They’re first led through introductory materials, registering accounts, ordering office equipment, and so on until they begin on Day 1. This process is powered almost entirely via WordPress forms.

Step 1: The company tour

saturday drive logo, employee onboardingIt will vary from business to business, but the first step in employee onboarding for us is a tour of the company. We want to be able to effectively communicate our office culture, expected office hours, how payroll works, etc. Basically all the get-to-know-us and administrative things that are critical to communicate to anyone new to the team.

For all of this, we use a single form. It’s a Multi-Part form that’s about 10 pages long, and when a new hire begins with us it’s the only thing on the extranet that’s accessible to them. This step comprises the first 8 pages, each of which the new employee interacts with. They’re presented material and offer feedback. Sometimes that feedback is a simple acknowledgement that they’ve read and understand material on a given page. At other points they can upload administrative documents to us via File Uploads.

Step 2: Getting the new office set up

We still haven’t figured out a way for WordPress forms to physically set up the office for us. I strongly suspect that one of our devs might be tinkering with a VR headset solution to pull that off eventually. On the other hand, he may just be playing a JRPG again. It’s hard to tell sometimes 😉

Seriously though, page 9 and 10 of that Multi-Part mentioned above is dedicated to letting the new hire choose the equipment they want for their physical office space. They’re also walked through setting up accounts in Github, WordPress, and other relevant places.

For ordering equipment, we use a Multi-Select field with a bit of Conditional Logic applied. At first it’s a simple choice between a Windows or Mac platform. The choices cascade from there. Options for your preferred device, display, mouse and keyboard, headset, and more appear or disappear based on your initial selections. A Magic Mouse and keyboard aren’t going to appear for a new hire who’s chosen a Windows environment, for example.

Step 3: Getting all this new employee onboarding info to the people that need it

On submission of the form, a slew of notifications go out. Most are by email using a standard email action. Others ping key team members via a Slack integration. Our CEO James gets the office equipment info so he knows what orders to place. Our CTO Kevin gets all the user account info to put on file. Our office admin/accountant gets all the administrative documents to file. All this on the click of submit!

The final stage for the new employee is to get familiar with the rest of the extranet. Up to this point they’ve registered via User Management as a Subscriber. On submission, they’re upgraded to a Contributor. That opens up the rest of the extranet to them as a full employee where they get access to our handbook, Holocracy documents, team profiles, time-off requests, and all the rest of what they need.

Beyond Onboarding: A Fully Form Powered Extranet

Employee onboarding is the beginning, but our extranet handles essentially every aspect of employee to company interactions that don’t require a personal touch. WordPress forms power it all. Here are a few other uses:

  • Submit a travel request to attend a WordCamp or other function. File Uploads handles the supporting event documentation, email notifies the folks who need to know.
  • Submit receipts for reimbursement. Receipts are submitted via File Uploads and an email notification pings our office admin.
  • Requests for continuing education. Conference or class documentation is uploaded and a request is sent to our CEO.

There are a lot more uses, but that’s a pretty good synopsis of the flexibility forms provide!

How do you use WordPress forms internally?

We’d love it if you share with us how you’ve leveraged forms for internal uses in your business! We’ve been talking to a lot of customers lately, listening to their stories about how they’ve been able to use a form to tackle difficult tasks. Take this story about the VHS Band and their annual fundraiser that brings in $200k… and is run by teenagers!

We’d love to hear your story! You can reach us in the comments below, or drop us a line in our support channel. What are some of the clever uses you’ve found for WordPress forms internally?