time saving strategies for employee oboarding

Time-Saving Strategies for Employee Onboarding

“I need more hours in the day to get everything done,” is something I used to constantly think. For Human Resources professionals, this thought often comes to mind during the onboarding phase of a new hire. There is so much to do, and so little time to do it.

The only way to get more hours in a day is to shed current “time-consumer” activities or to sleep less–and let’s be clear, my sleep hours are protected like Fort Knox. That leaves shedding current time-consumers, and even that doesn’t seem like a logical solution because those things still need to get done. So what’s the solution?

You need to have a strategy for approaching your work and optimizing your time. My two favorite time-saving strategies are called “One Touch” and the “4 D’s”.

One Touch

The One Touch strategy is something that most frequently applies to paperwork. It’s a way to cut through clutter. When you encounter a piece of paper, your goal is to touch it once. I like to think about it like my mailbox: when I get an item, I either toss it into the trash before entering the house, put the mail in the “to be paid” tray, or take action on it immediately. Same thing can be said for the papers that land on my desk or in my inbox.


Most people consider “4D’s” and “One Touch” the same strategy, but whichever strategy works for you, and whatever you would like to call it is a-okay by me. Here are the 4D’s:

  1. Do it. These are typically important and urgent items with short-term deadlines. Take care of it and mark it DONE. Think of someone who brings you a completed I-9. That’s a “Do It” task.
  2. Dump it. These items are unnecessary clutter and unimportant. Think of sales fliers for items your company will not partake or purchase. Take that to the trash.
  3. Delegate it. If someone else possesses the skill set to handle an item, pass that item on. Think of an IT competency questionnaire that will result in the IT department training a new employee. Delegate the submission and scheduling of the IT training directly to the IT department.
  4. Defer it. This is an item that you need to do, no one else can do it, and the deadline is not soon. Make sure that by deferring an item, you do not become a bottleneck in the process. Think of a new hire that submits an apparel form, but you only order new hire apparel once a month. You defer this item until the regularly scheduled moment.

To help manage your employee onboarding process a bit better, implement one of the above strategies. Whichever strategy you choose will be better than none at all. For extra assistance in implementing these strategies, consider investing in technology as part of your total time-saving solution. Onboarding Software can help with workflow and reminders, and it will require fewer touches of virtual pieces of paper.


ExactHire works with small- and medium-sized organizations to help them leverage technology in hiring. For more information about our employee onboarding software, try our pricing estimator and/or schedule a live demo with us today.

Image credit: Clock on East Montague by North Charleston (contact)

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