Do You Really Need an Employee Onboarding Portal?

Posted in Talent & Onboarding

Imagine this:  You’ve just hired a bright, eager newbie ready to conquer the world —  or at least your industry. Their first mission? Navigate the Bermuda Triangle of employee onboarding portals. Is that a welcome… or a warning?

Let’s face it, the traditional employee onboarding portal often feels like a fossil from the dial-up era, offering a less-than-warm welcome to bright-eyed new hires. Sure, it checks the boxes, but does it really roll out the red carpet? Rather than an engaging welcome, a portal is more likely to feel like a clunky, hefty to-do list.

Onboarding portals aim to streamline the onboarding process, but they frequently end up being a bit of a maze of documents and checklists to be navigated — lacking the signposts and spotlights that let new hires understand what’s most important. And let’s not even start on the user interface challenges!  

So, why do we stick with them? Is it time to embrace a new era of employee onboarding that puts the human experience front and center.

At Enboarder, we don’t use onboarding portals. They just aren’t intuitive, interactive, or user-friendly enough. Depending on the provider, age, and functionality of your portal, most aren’t very pretty either. Do looks really matter? In the case of providing outstanding employee experiences, yes, they do.

What is an Employee Onboarding Portal?

An onboarding portal is a traditional digital one-stop shop for all things onboarding. It’s where new hires are supposed to find everything from HR forms to training modules. 

Imagine a virtual library packed with every conceivable form, instructional guide, and policy manual a new hire might need to start their journey within an organization. While it promises to be a comprehensive resource, navigating through its vast content can often feel more daunting than exploratory. 

The intention behind these portals is to consolidate all onboarding-related activities and resources in one accessible place, aiming to simplify what is inherently a complex process of integrating into a new workplace environment. However, without intuitive design and clear guidance, new hires might find themselves spending more time searching for information than actually absorbing it, turning what should be an exciting onboarding experience into a task akin to finding a needle in a digital haystack.

How Onboarding Portals Work

Here’s a typical journey through an onboarding portal:

  1. Sign the contract (Yay! 🎉)
  2. Receive a welcome email (So far, so good. 💜)
  3. Get bombarded with an avalanche of links and logins (Wait, what? 🤯)
  4. Attempt to conquer a mountain of tasks and modules (Send help! 🛟)

Surely we can do better than that?

The journey through a new hire onboarding portal typically unfolds in a series of steps that are meant to transition a new hire from an excited newcomer to a fully integrated member of the organization. After the initial thrill of signing the contract, the new hire receives a welcome email that’s intended to kick off their onboarding experience on a positive note. However, the enthusiasm can quickly wane as they’re inundated with a deluge of links, login credentials, and a seemingly endless list of tasks. 

Each click leads to another document, each document to another set of instructions, with the cycle repeating ad infinitum. The process aims to be thorough, covering every possible aspect of the new role and the company’s expectations. Yet, without a personalized guide or interactive elements, it can feel more like a solo expedition through dense bureaucracy rather than a structured journey designed to welcome and prepare them for their new role. 

The challenge in choosing onboarding software lies not in wrestling the quantity of information provided — but in finding a delivery method with the context, personalization, and engagement crucial for making the onboarding experience memorable.

The Limitations of Traditional Onboarding Portals

  • One Size Fits All Approach:  Imagine being handed the same, worn guidebook everyone else gets when you’re eager for a personalized adventure. Traditional onboarding software and onboarding portals often lack the flexibility to cater to the unique needs and learning paces of new hires. This one-size-fits-all model can leave employees feeling like just another number, rather than valued members of the team. 
  • Limited engagement and interactivity: Traditional portals frequently miss the mark on interactivity, offering up static pages of text that fail to captivate or inspire. Interacting with an onboarding portal is akin to talking to a brick wall. It’s a missed opportunity to spark genuine enthusiasm and connection with the company from day one. There’s no conversation, no engagement, just a silent exchange of information. Yawn.
  • User interface challenges: Navigating some onboarding portals can feel like being lost in a maze, with a clunky and outdated design that’s anything but intuitive. When your new hires need a map to get through their onboarding materials, it’s a clear sign that the user experience was an afterthought.
  • Lack of personal touch: Onboarding should feel like a warm welcome, not a cold introduction. Yet, many portals only offer a sterile, impersonal experience that does little to make new hires feel seen or valued. Without personalized interactions, the onboarding process can feel disconnected from the company’s culture and values.
  • Limited feedback and adaptability: Feedback in the world of onboarding portals is a one-way street, where feedback loops and two-way communication channels are rare or non-existent. This means the onboarding experience remains static, unable to evolve based on new hire insights or changing company needs, ultimately stifling improvement and innovation.
  • Information overload: Bombarding new hires with an overload of information right out of the gate is like spraying them with a firehose — overwhelming, impractical, and not particularly pleasant. This deluge can drown out the excitement of starting a new job, leaving employees struggling to sift through what’s truly important.

Enboarder’s Approach to New Hire Journeys

Enter Enboarder: Where we believe automated onboarding should be an engaging journey, not a paperwork scavenger hunt.  That’s why we’ve completely reimagined the onboarding experience, stepping away from the traditional portal playbook to embrace a more dynamic, web-based approach. Our philosophy centers on transforming onboarding into an engaging, interactive process that fosters genuine connections right from the start.

We understand that every new hire brings their unique story to the table, and our platform is designed to celebrate that individuality and invite employee engagement. By integrating personalized touchpoints, tailored content, and interactive tasks, we ensure that each step of the onboarding journey resonates with the new hire, making them feel truly seen and valued. Our streamlined onboarding process isn’t just about ticking boxes; it’s about building relationships, sparking enthusiasm, and embedding new members into the company culture with warmth and ease.

Beyond just simplifying administrative tasks, we’re about creating memorable experiences that leave a lasting impression. Through a blend of thoughtful communication, timely interventions, and meaningful interactions, we facilitate a sense of belonging and commitment from day one. Our approach leverages technology to eliminate barriers — not pile them up — encouraging open dialogue and fostering a supportive community around every new hire.

In essence, Enboarder’s approach is about creating a welcoming environment where new hires are excited to embark on their journey, feel supported throughout their transition, and are empowered to thrive in their new roles. Think of it as the “anti-portal.”


Embracing a New Era of Employee Onboarding

With Enboarder, it’s all about delivering an onboarding experience that’s as exciting as getting the job in the first place. We believe in:

  • Building genuine connections from day one.
  • Streamlining the process without losing the human touch.
  • Adapting and personalizing the journey for each new hire.
  • Collecting feedback to keep improving and adapting.


Ready to leave the portal behind and step into a world where new hires are greeted with open arms (and zero information avalanches)? Let Enboarder show you the way to onboarding bliss.

Tune into our on-demand webinar to learn how to: “From Stress to Success: Enboarder’s Onboarding Walkthrough.” Focus on creating a memorable onboarding process that is more productive, and isn’t weighed down by a clunky onboarding platform. Watch now and transform your onboarding journey!

So, are you ready to upgrade your onboarding process and make new hires feel truly welcome? With Enboarder, it’s not just about filling out forms; it’s about starting a journey. Let’s make onboarding memorable for all the right reasons.  

Become an Enboarder insider!