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4 onboarding processes that improve a company’s employer brand

Published on :
15 May 2024
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As onboarding is the starting point for the employee experience, it has a direct impact on a company’s employer branding. Unfortunately, with 45% of resignations taking place in the first year (Workelo study), we can see that the integration processes deserve to be rethought.

In concrete terms, how can onboarding improve the employer brand? Let's look at 4 concrete examples to illustrate this.

Onboarding, a key driver for the employer brand

Onboarding is an important stage for the employer brand, as it allows the new employee to assess whether the image conveyed by the company during the recruitment process matches the image that is generally perceived after hiring is confirmed.

The way in which he or she is integrated has an impact on company image, internally and externally. From the point of view of the internal image, sloppy onboarding has a negative effect on teams’ working conditions. This is the case, for example, when the goal of the recruitment is to reduce the employees’ workload. In the event of a premature departure, the team finds itself back at square one, which can lead to employee disengagement and make them want to leave the company.

In terms of external image, if the company does not pay attention to its integration process, it can expect new recruits to share their negative experiences with their network and on review sites such as Glassdoor. The result? The company's attractiveness is compromised!

4 onboarding examples that improve a company’s employer brand

Structured onboarding: the example of Axa

As a step between the moment the new employee accepts the job offer and the first official day of work in the company, pre-onboarding is important in that it sets the tone for the future working relationship. It is during this period that the new employee will form his or her first impressions of the company.

In practice, pre-onboarding is a time to handle administrative tasks (employment contract, health insurance, etc.) and launch the introduction to how the company operates, its values, history, teams and company culture. In short, a structured pre-onboarding process reassures the future employee and supports the company brand image.

Among the pre-onboarding initiatives that have a positive effect on the employer brand, we can mention the one used by Axa France. The company has created an onboarding process called “Welcome @Axa” that includes various in-person and digital approaches:

  • Welcome pack e-mails”. A welcome e-mail is sent informing the employee that a tree is being planted in partnership with Reforest Action in honour of their recruitment. Another series of e-mails follows to help them find their markers within the group;

  • An appointment with the IT kiosk where they collect their badge, computer equipment and a Welcome Box:

  • A digital welcome meeting intended to introduce the group (governance, history, etc.) and dialogue;

  • Etc.

With a satisfaction score of 9.25/10, the Axa onboarding journey has been given the seal of approval by the new employees!

Client focused onboarding, an initiative that strengthens the employer brand: the example of Automattic

What if employees were onboarded in the same way as customers with product onboarding? Wouldn’t this be an appropriate way to strengthen the employer brand? For some companies that place customer satisfaction at their core, the answer is yes.

This is the example offered by the company Automattic. At this software publisher, the integration process begins with a visit to the WordPress customer support department for three weeks, before you even get close to studying your role and the business objectives. From the marketing team to the production team, not forgetting the administrative team, all employees take part in this immersion. For new arrivals, this stage of the onboarding is an excellent way to appropriate the product offered by the company, and therefore to embody it in their future missions.

Company culture at the heart of onboarding: the example of Zappos

Company culture is a key element in the organisation’s identity. As this is a (very) important criterion for talent, there are companies willing to build an integration journey focussed on company culture. This is especially the case with Zappos.

For Zappos, recruiting new employees does not just consist of attracting the best talent. The goal is also to build a strong community and brand image. Zappos considers the way its employees feel about the company to be the best advertising it could possibly share with the outside world. Its integration process contains one 5-week step in which the new employees are made aware of the 10 company values.

At the end of it, if the new recruits are not aligned with the company culture, its values and way of operating, then Zappos offers them the chance to leave the organisation for the sum of $2,000. This strategy appears to work, because just 1% of new hires accept the offer! So, it is no surprise that the company's brand image is much appreciated.

Fun and educational onboarding for a stronger employer brand: the example of Société Générale

The integration process is not always boring or tedious. To create a strong employer brand that looks to the innovations of tomorrow, the bank Société Générale decided to break the conventional image of the banking sector and set up a mobile application named WelcomeSG intended to introduce the company in a fun way to new employees.

Throughout their integration journey, the company offers new arrivals the chance to perform challenges, quizzes and role-playing games in which the employee is the hero of their own integration. Each game brings them closer to the company.

In concrete terms, the games tackle all the key onboarding topics (history, values, careers, key figures, diversity and inclusion, work/life balance, etc.). This initiative is an excellent way for the company to remain true to its values of innovation and to stand out from the competition.

Would you like more inspiration to take your onboarding strategy to the next level? Read our article “7 best practices to integrate your new recruits well”!

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