Taking the pain out of User Onboarding with IAM

January 14, 2015

When a new employee is hired, setting up access to all files, applications, databases and so on is fundamental, because users cannot do anything without it.  And while you’re at it, don’t forget arranging for parking passes, cardkey access, and permissions to enter certain areas of the building. In short, there is a lot that has to come together before a new hire shows up on site for their first day.

Organizations face a common set of issues around onboarding, because manual processes often break down which leaves new hires frustrated and unproductive. Identity and Access Management tools offer a way to cut through this complexity and automate many of these routine provisioning tasks by integrating with HR systems. Here are some thoughts to get you started:


  • Document the onboarding process (end to end) and review all the handoffs between stakeholders (Recruiting, Human Resources, IT, physical security) and systems
  • Identify process bottlenecks (for example, the lead time required to configure a laptop)
  • Define objective metrics and goals (Time to create a new user account, for example)
  • Identify integration with key systems including Recruiting, HRIS, and IT


  • Define the minimum data set you need to create a basic user identity/account. Usually, this includes first name, last name, a Unique ID from the Recruiting and HRIS systems, among others.
  • Identify opportunities to get new hire data earlier in the onboarding process by integrating with your recruiting solution. This way, you can establish a baseline user identity and shorten the time to create accounts and provision assets.
  • Define a base role assigned to all employees that grants access to core IT systems like eMail
  • Identify what provisioning tasks can be automated easily, such as user account creation and email account setup, and eliminate unnecessary steps where you can


  • Data quality cannot be assumed! It is important to understand how reliable and complete the data for your employees are, otherwise you are automating a broken process and the end result will be “bad results, faster”.
  • Build a bridge to your HR and Recruiting teams. They own the systems and the data you need to build an end to end solution.
  • An Executive Sponsor is key to overcoming organizational barriers and mitigating political risks as you work to change core processes

With IAM, your new hires will get up to speed faster and spend less time solving set-up problems that they will never encounter again. The less time spent onboarding, the quicker the new employee can focus on learning the skills necessary to do the job and contribute to your team.

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