How Two Companies Built Simple, Scalable Onboarding Processes with Zenefits

November 20, 2015

When your business is growing fast, implementing an onboarding process for new hires is probably the last thing on your list of priorities. But as it turns out, building a solid foundation for new employees could dramatically boost employee retention, engagement, and increase productivity. In fact, research indicates that organizations with structured processes for onboarding increase new hire productivity by 70% and new hire retention by a whopping 82%powerful evidence that business growth starts with better HR practices.

Better onboarding, better HR

Despite those impressive figures, most small businesses struggle with implementing onboarding programs because, quite simply, there’s too much going on. That was the case for Total Access Urgent Care, and their Director of Development, Jacob Dinkel. When the company started in 2008, they had a few employees and just a couple of locations for their health centers. But when growth spiked two years ago, and there were new employees starting each week, it became impossible to ignore the need for a more orderly onboarding and HR process. That’s when they discovered Zenefits.

“We were so far down the rabbit hole with mounting HR work. Zenefits was the foundation we needed to make onboarding—and basically all of our HR—easier,” Jacob explains. That included making the switch to Zenefits from their traditional broker, getting health insurance, and unifying all of their HR activities like compliance and vacation tracking through the platform.

Now, having grown to almost 200 employees, Jacob and the team at Total Access Urgent Care see Zenefits as an important factor in their growth. They rely on Zenefits to onboard new hires as well as manage a multitude of activities related to onboarding, like health clearances, ID badge distribution, and more.

Says Jacob, “Even the simple act of transitioning to Zenefits gave us a chance to actually look at our onboarding processes and identify how many unnecessary things somehow got added to the process along the way.”

Scaling HR and business growth

Luxe is an on-demand valet-parking service on a mission to eliminate the frustration of parking in the city. After an initial launch in San Francisco, the company expanded to eight additional cities across the United States in just one year. As the startup’s customer base grew rapidly, so did their total employee headcount. Faced with scaling hiring, benefits, and onboarding as quickly as they scaled their business, Luxe turned to Zenefits for help.

“Initially, we were a small ten-person startup without health benefits, no onboarding process—we did everything on paper,” explains Senior Director of Operations Eva Khoo. A year later, the company has grown from ten to eighty-five employees and, with the help of Zenefits, has sidestepped the HR bottlenecks typically associated with that kind of high-speed growth.

Eva and the Luxe team now regularly leverage Zenefits to onboard new hires. “Once candidates progress to the hiring and onboarding stage, we rely on Zenefits to manage our offer letters, our benefits preview, and the rest of a new hire’s onboarding process,” she explains.

So, when should you build an onboarding program?

When it comes to running a business, people management and HR should never be an afterthought. After all, hiring outcomes and HR metrics like employee turnover, retention, and productivity tie directly to your bottom line.

“It’s important to build a proper onboarding process for legal purposes as well as to establish a baseline of protocols that will help guide your company infrastructure and culture,” Eva explains.

In general, as soon as your business hits five people or more, it’s time to start thinking about how you onboard new hires, as well as important factors like compliance and reporting. Fortunately, with an HR platform like Zenefits, growing businesses like Total Access Urgent Care and Luxe have a robust tool for implementing an onboarding program as well as managing all of their HR, all-in-one place.

“For us, Zenefits isn’t just an HR tool, it’s a business tool,” Jacob says.

Want to learn more about leveraging HR for business growth? Start by downloading The Executive Guide to Growing Your Business, packed with 20 tips from business leaders on how to make tough decisions on everything from hiring to onboarding, to culture and beyond.



Sonja writes on company culture, employee engagement, and growth. With an M.A. in sociology and a background in business, she's fascinated by people, art, and social movements.

Category: Small Business Success Stories

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