From Spreadsheets to Automation—How Cloudreach Transformed Its Onboarding Process

July 26, 2016

Did you know that 90% of new hires decide within the first 6 months whether they’ll stay with a company for the long-term? That’s why you want to make sure you’re giving your new hires a solid first impression. Implementing a structured onboarding program is crucial to this process.

Just ask Estelle Roux, Global Head of People Operations at Cloudreach, an international cloud enabler. We recently sat down with Estelle to learn how the implementation of our onboarding solution Greenhouse Onboarding has transformed Cloudreach’s onboarding process, taking it from a manual nightmare to automated bliss—and providing the added bonus of a stronger new hire experience.

There has to be a better way

Previously, Estelle and her team relied on spreadsheets to document their onboarding process and share information with one another. But in onboarding approximately 15-20 new hires per month worldwide, this approach was cumbersome and took vital time away from other activities. Cloudreach was already finding much value in using Greenhouse to automate and streamline its recruiting process, so Estelle thought, “Why can’t our onboarding be automated, too?” That’s when they made the decision to get Greenhouse Onboarding, and have never looked back!

Getting the team on board

With rapid organizational growth, Cloudreach had seen its fair share of new software brought into the company. So Estelle knew that if Greenhouse Onboarding wasn’t just going to be viewed as “another” platform that everyone had to learn, she had to find a way to get people excited and feel like their employee experience had the potential to really improve because of it. The key step her team took was in providing a “benefits” sheet to all employees, revealing the values of the product and listing out the ways it would positively impact them. The sheet explained Cloudreach’s intention in implementing Greenhouse Onboarding, how it would be used, and why it would help alleviate the challenges brought on by manual processes.

Because of the team’s strategic approach to easing Greenhouse Onboarding into the company, employees were amenable to the idea which helped with change management processes.

Streamlining internal processes

Almost immediately, the impact of Greenhouse Onboarding was felt by everyone, both inside and outside the People Team, and with new hires themselves, too.

Here are 5 features of Greenhouse Onboarding that have helped take Cloudreach processes from manual to automated and as a result, given everyone involved a much more efficient and enjoyable experience:

1. Task Lists: Previously, their task-tracking process was very manual. Team members constantly emailed each other onboarding to-do items back-and-forth. With tasks like having a new hire complete a certain piece of paperwork or setting up their new company email address often separated into different emails—or even separated into different email threads—the entire process was disorganized. The team could only hope that they wouldn’t miss something. Now with Greenhouse Onboarding, they are able to create one list of tasks and allocate them to team members, enabling them to know exactly what the tasks are, who is responsible for each one, and the deadlines for each. As an added bonus, the system sends out regular reminders to ensure that no task slips through the cracks.

The added benefit here comes from the perspective of the new hire. Cloudreach has been able to improve its new hire experience by seamlessly moving the new hire from one task to the next and ensuring they’re in contact with the right member of the People Team at the right time. As soon as a new hire signs their offer letter, the system automatically moves them into onboarding and sends the employee an automated notification and log-in to the platform. Cloudreach has gotten positive feedback from new hires, saying they love that they can start engaging with other employees and the company before their official first day. This makes new hires feel important and appreciated, and easily carries them from the recruiting process into the onboarding process without lapse. This is how Cloudreach has been able to strengthen its new hire experience and give employees a solid first impression that conveys “we’re glad you’re here!”.

2. New Hire Emails: Greenhouse Onboarding enables Cloudreach to send weekly emails to all staff introducing the new hires. With a handful of new hires per week, this helps simplify the process from sending one email per person to being able to send one email synopsis altogether. Now, employees are more inclined to read the email since it’s not misattributed as spam.

On the same note, the team also encourages employees to bookmark the Meet the Co-Worker section of Greenhouse Onboarding, so that they can read up on the fun facts and interests of all their colleagues in their own time. This creates a sense of togetherness and enables employees to find similarities and common ground with others from around the organization, which fuels conversation and engagement.

3. Featured Pages Section: The team uses the Featured Pages section of Greenhouse Onboarding to communicate to employees about HR benefits. Since Cloudreach spans the globe, there is a separate page for each of the company’s locations, so that employees in each one only have to read information that pertains to them; benefits vary by region. The team also provides a copy of the employee handbook here, so that it’s always within easy reach and never gets “lost.” In the past, employees had to email Estelle and her team to ask for these documents and for links they needed to this or that. Now, fewer emails and questions have to travel back and forth, as employees have everything they need in one place instead of in numerous separate emails.

4. Props Feature: The team’s previous HRIS product had a “give thanks” feature but it was difficult to access and thus wasn’t readily utilized. Now with the ease of Greenhouse Onboarding’s “props” feature, employees are regularly giving kudos to one another, helping to shape the company culture into one built on mutual appreciation and admiration.

5. Social Clubs Feature: Prior to Greenhouse Onboarding, if anyone felt like participating in fun activities together, they just emailed each other directly. But this method made team-building difficult to scale as the company grew, as not everyone necessarily saw the email in their inbox or perhaps not everyone were sent the email in the first place.

As a solution, Greenhouse Onboarding’s Social Clubs feature facilitates employees hanging out with one another and has made peer bonding more of a “thing.” Now, Cloudreach employees look forward to engaging with one another in groups like Keep It Foody, in which one member of the team organizes a new restaurant experience every month, and Board Games Club, in which members participate in an evening of fun board game play.


Making a strong first impression with new hires through structured onboarding has helped Cloudreach achieve a higher retention rate, resulting in happier, more productive, and more successful employees. Cloudreach hopes this fact reflects on its employer brand and helps to attract more prospective candidates into its recruiting process.

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