Onboarding. Many will shudder at the word.

It can be a complex, tedious process with serious consequences for errors and oversights.

$4,000 average cost to a US employer to hire a new worker

The average US employer spends $4,000 and 24 days hiring a new worker. Bad onboarding increases both of those numbers. First, good candidates drop out of the process, then you’re faced with the cost of vacancy, the loss in productivity, and the impact on morale. Bad onboarding can be a greater drain on your company than it might initially seem.

73% of workers have abandoned a job opportunity because the process took too long, and 31% report time-consuming onboarding as a top challenge.

Get Compliant with Technology.

Every staffing firm has their own definition of compliance, driven by whatever risks they’re most concerned with. And these risks can be plentiful.

Between state and federal laws, tax documents, timelines, security, and customer needs, there’s a lot to stay on top of, and the consequences of non-compliance are serious.

Non-compliance can also grow out of the smallest mistakes at the beginning of the onboarding process, which tend to grow into huge problems further downstream. Happily, technology can help you to avoid such mistakes, by making the process as clear and as simple as possible. 

How Technology Can Ensure Compliance


Trade paper forms for digital, mobile-optimized onboarding forms that understand what each piece of information should look like, and that doesn’t let a person move forward until they give an appropriate answer. This can fix a large portion of drop-off and compliance issues overnight.

“76% of paper I-9 forms have at least one fineable error” 


Decrease error rates through integration and automation. When your software solutions share a single source of truth, it minimizes the risk of human error (while also greatly increasing operational efficiency.)

“Single-keyed manual data entry results in 400 errors per 10,000 entries. Automated data entry results in <1 error per 10,000 entries.” 


Integrating an onboarding solution with your ATS means information will only need to be keyed in once by the candidate (with checks and balances to ensure the data is correct.) From there it forms a single source of truth that is automatically shared within your systems – no double entry required!

Get Recruiter and Candidate Buy-In

Your onboarding and compliance improvements will go nowhere without buy-in from your recruiters. They need to understand the ‘why’ behind compliance to feel motivated to do it, and to explain its importance to candidates.

“Integrated, automated compliance helps recruiters (and firms) make more money. period.”

Begin by coaching your recruiters on the importance of compliance.

Make it tangible, by explaining how noncompliance affects their ability to earn.

Finally, explain how your technology investment removes the need for them to do the boring stuff, and allows them to focus on the fun and high-value stuff.


It’s Time to Adapt and Adopt

Where compliance was previously an in-person affair, many firms have pivoted to offering mobile-accessible forms. As it turns out, most candidates prefer this option, and many now expect it.

Track Progress with Onboarding KPIs

Numbers don’t lie. Where exactly do the opportunities for onboarding improvement lie for your firm? And how might you track that improvement?

Understand Your Current Onboarding Process

Build on this simplified view to map out your entire hiring journey; from the recruiter and candidate touch points to all the technology involved. This complete picture allows you to better identify issues, inefficiencies, and missing pieces.

You should then work to find your north stars – the long-term goals that guide your business – and create KPIs designed to overcome issues, and work your business toward those objectives.

Top Funnel

You begin with a broad opening, as you aim to attract a large amount of talent.

Middle Funnel

As the funnel narrows, you move through talent engagement – all the steps taken to match talent to jobs and ultimately convert them to applicants and submittals.

Bottom Funnel

At the very end of the funnel you move into redeployment/retention.

Real-World Onboarding KPIs

Every staffing firm has different KPIs, but the following examples might offer some inspiration.

Document completion rate

The ratio of onboarding documents sent to completed forms received.

Time from request to initiation

How long does it take a candidate to complete the onboarding process.

User experience feedback/NPS

Allow candidates to rate or review their onboarding experience.


How many errors were made over a certain period of time?

Credentialing expirations

A major focus in healthcare (and other specialist fields.)

Cost per onboard

This metric calculates the average cost your company spends on new hires during the onboarding process.


Don’t Set and Forget

As you improve your onboarding experience your goalposts will shift, and you’ll need to find new KPIs that better reflect your evolving situation. Update your onboarding KPIs regularly based on your ‘north star’, though remember that even this main objective can change.

So let’s look at how to deliver just that.

Onboarding as a Competitive Edge

Your new secret weapon. The idea is to improve the candidate experience while reducing recruiter workload. It might sound too good to be true, but technology can make it happen.

Technology: Good for Recruiter and Candidate

The most effective way to elevate the candidate onboarding experience: using smart tools to elevate the recruiter onboarding experience. Identify pain points, and use technology to remove them.

These simple improvements reduce the need for a recruiter to act as the ‘middleman’. With technology simplifying and streamlining the complexities of the process, candidates can self-navigate, and recruiters can instead do what they were employed to do: recruit.

Automate background checks

Digitize the Form I-9 process

Streamline all processes through a single candidate portal

Integrate your systems with E-Verify

Make candidate portal with the ability for self-service

Key Traits of Great Onboarding

You can’t just slap a tech solution on an onboarding or compliance problem and expect it to be fixed. What exactly does a great onboarding process look like?


Modern candidates are unwilling to put up with long and complex onboarding and application processes. Both must be able to be completed on a smartphone, ideally in minutes.

A Single Portal

Your onboarding process must be simple and streamlined for both recruiter and candidate. A single portal should solicit every piece of necessary information, and in an intuitive way.


Your firm should challenge itself: what are we doing manually today that we could automate tomorrow? What are some of our most labor-intensive tasks, and can they be automated?

70% of Tech Implementations Fail. To have the best chance of success:

  • Understand the issues
  • Carefully consider your options, and identify the best solution
  • Develop an implementation plan
  • Inspire recruiter buy-in
  • Invest in in ongoing enhancement and training

The Surprising Perks

The benefits of enhancing your onboarding processes stretch beyond candidate and recruiter experience, and even beyond increased efficiency, productivity, and revenue.

If you choose the right solution, and implement it in the right way, you can turn onboarding and compliance pains into serious gains.

“Enhancing onboarding comes down to one thing: technology”

The staffing industry struggles with retention .

1 in 4 account managers/recruiters will leave their company in any given year.

Enhancing the recruiter experience can see you beating those odds.

You free your workers up to focus on what matters most: building relationships and making money. Do it well, and not only will you retain the best, you’ll attract the best.

Future-proof your business with onboarding.

Investing in your onboarding processes also serves to future-proof your business, and can make it more resilient in turbulent times.

Everyone Deserves a Great First Day

Bullhorn allows recruiters to simplify and automate the hiring and onboarding processes that prevent new employees from getting to work, so employees can start doing what they were hired to do sooner.