How Online Document Management System Streamlines Onboarding

Author: Eugenija Steponkute
Published: 06/01/2020
online document management for onboarding

The topic of today’s article is onboarding. It’s a process often overlooked in digital transformation strategy. We would like to talk to the founders about why it should be among the highest prioritised procedures. More specifically, we will be talking about how can you optimise it by adopting an online document management system.

When speaking of onboarding new hires, most envision nothing other than admin work. Sending the contract, collecting vital employee information such as bank details, then passing them on to the accountancy department and so on. In other words, most companies don’t view the employee onboarding process as anything but tedious back and forth. It eats up time yet cannot be avoided.

While the information collection aspect remains the core of the procedure, it’s the lack of automation that makes it time-consuming. A simple solution like designated online document storage can make all the difference in the world. It makes the process intuitive, secure and highly beneficial even after the employee has passed the initial business integration period. In this article, we will be speaking about why the onboarding procedure matters more than you give it credit for. And how to optimise it. 

A Secure Way to Store Information

The key benefit of an online document management system is its advantage from a standpoint of security. Not only are digital documents immune to accidental physical damages such as spillages, they are also much less accessible for malicious tampering. The onboarding process involves collecting private legal information about the new hire, and therefore the employer is fully responsible to keep it safe. By having your personnel’s documentation available in a physical form, you take on many risks that can carry huge consequences. 

How Does Online Document Management System Streamline Onboarding?

To summarise, an online document management system streamlines onboarding in the following ways:

  1. It collects and stores documents in a centralised location

  2. It helps you stay compliant and up-to-date with documentation

  3. It contributes to a hands-off process that requires minimal human involvement

  4. It helps you design unique experiences aimed at bringing new hires up to speed

  5. It improves communication and collaboration 

  6. It makes it easy to recover lost documentation.

While we won’t go into all of these points separately, we want to touch upon some of the most important ones in greater depth. 

Effective and Streamlined Onboarding

Cloud storage is most praised for its security, but let’s dig deeper into additional benefits. We will next be talking about how can it be used for more than creating a layer of safety to the process of staff onboarding. It can also bring your new starters up to speed more quickly.

Easy Centralised Access

Depending on the size of your company, the information provided by the new starter will be needed by several departments. Instead of sharing it around via email, potentially forgetting to hit send, there are better ways. It also reduces the risk of the other party accidentally deleting the mail or other nuances that cause delays. Simply use cloud storage where every party involved will be able to access the document at their convenience.

In the cloud, every file is given a unique link to the file that can be shared. Although personnel with the access will be able to find it within the platform manually. Some platforms even integrate with the operating systems, making online files accessible by using the computer’s file navigator.  In other words, having the documents in a centralised location will save a lot of footwork and add a layer of accident management.

Improved Disaster Recovery

Loss or damage of important documentation can lead to horrible consequences, ranging from financial to legal. In some cases, there are no ways to restore the document. And in others, it can jeopardise someone’s if not your business's wellbeing. Even if nothing as severe happens, it can, at best, be a source of inconvenience. For example, it can become another instance in which you waste time re-doing something.

When your documents are digital, accidents such as document deletion can be easily reverted. It can also be traced back to who was the person to implement the changes or remove the files. Both these factors make it much easier, less time-consuming and absolutely free to recover the correct versions of your documents.

Benefits of Online Document Management System

The above-described advantages of centralised storage ensure the onboarding of new hires is handled smoothly and securely. But there’s more to add. When utilising cloud storage in building the process of welcoming new starters into the company, you are also playing a long game. Some benefits won’t become evident at once, but your efforts will pay off further down the line.

Smoother New Starter’s Integration

When the process of onboarding is optimised and designed to run smoothly, the new hire will be drip-fed information. It covers the company values, operations, structure and their direct duties in a controlled and thought-through way. While this ensures the newest team member receives the essential information, it is also meant to prevent them from being overwhelmed.

The quicker the hire understands all aspects of the business, the quicker they get up to speed. A smooth onboarding process is essentially you setting them up for success by providing the resources they need when they need them. Instead of relying on yourself or other team members to send the new hire relevant documentation and potentially forgetting to share vital information - automate the process. You can upload all relevant business documentation on the storage platform and give the new hire access the moment they activate their email account. Or you can be more sophisticated and set up an automated email that shares relevant documents and assigns them tasks on a daily/weekly basis. You can find some great onboarding practices in this article.

Eco-Friendly Approach

By opting out of a paper-filled office environment you won’t just make the place tidier. You will add a layer of protection to document security and appear more tech-savvy. Most importantly, you will also be contributing towards preserving the earth. It was found that shocking amounts of office paper trails go to waste by simply being forgotten in a printer or disposed of over minor mistakes. We are talking about smudges and other small errors.

Going paperless makes a single document copy accessible to everyone at any time. It can be viewed simultaneously, collaborated on in real-time, and any changes to it won’t be overwritten. Most importantly, no tree will suffer throughout any operations bestowing the document. A good example would be contract signing. Most legal documentation involves multiple pages outlining the deal proposed as well as the consequences if any of the parties don’t follow through. Although all that is required is often the date and the signature, the entire document needs to be printed. Using cloud storage that has an e-signing integration, on the other hand, saves you from having to waste all that paper. Additionally, once the document is signed, it will be saved and stored in a safe digital environment right away. 

Uses Beyond Onboarding

Onboarding is not the only process that benefits from having centralised online document storage. In fact, while it’s a hub helping you tailor the primary experience of the new hire and smoothly integrate them into your business, it doesn’t mean that the platform can’t aid in their success moving forward. The best-of-breed solution will be growing alongside your staff. From being the platform for onboarding it will then become a platform for their employment management. 

Employee Dashboard

The key benefit of having an onboarding platform that becomes a control panel is cost, shortly followed by convenience. Instead of employing and paying a subscription for separate solutions like holiday management software, onboarding platform and expense claims system, they could all be part of the same program. This can truly reduce the cost, minimise switching between the apps and ensure a consistent experience across these processes.

Smoothly transitioning from onboarding into a personal web cabinet gives more control to the employee. It is additionally signalling your trust in them by allowing to customise their own dashboards moving forward. With their essential employment information already there, this also keeps your staff automatically informed if their documentation needs to be updated instead of tasking you with chasing them. 


Although often neglected in digital transformation strategy, employee onboarding is among the top processes to innovate. Your company’s success depends on the people who work with you.  Therefore it’s in your best interest to bring them up to speed as soon as possible. Thankfully, the onboarding process is also among the easiest to optimise. Especially if you aim to have clear, straightforward and smooth workflows for each new hire to go through. Once those are established, you will be in a great position to start customising the process with personalised and unique experiences.

The only tool truly needed for giving an effective digital twist to onboarding is an online document management system. It will bear instant results in terms of security and access. It will also deliver long-term gains, further bettering business procedures and providing your staff with seamless, ongoing and consistent support throughout their time within the company.

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