As a manager, ensuring a positive experience for new hires is one of your top priorities. A smooth onboarding process helps new employees become productive quickly and builds a foundation for their success and longevity with your organization. However, manually onboarding each new hire requires a significant time commitment and is prone to inefficiencies or oversights that could negatively impact their experience.
Streamlining your employee onboarding with an automation workflow is an effective way to provide a consistent, comprehensive onboarding experience for each new hire in a scalable manner. By integrating tools like N8n, an open-source automation platform, and Slack, a popular collaboration hub, you can automate key onboarding tasks to save time while also enhancing the experience. With a well-designed N8n and Slack workflow, you can automatically welcome new hires, provide them with important resources, assign access, notify relevant team members of their start date, and more.
Set Up Your N8n Instance
To set up your N8n instance, you will first need to deploy N8n. This can be done in a few ways:
- Self-hosted: You can download the N8n application and host it yourself. This requires managing your own server and infrastructure.
- Cloud hosting: N8n can be deployed to various cloud hosting providers like DigitalOcean, AWS, GCP or Azure. These services handle the server management for you.
- Managed hosting: Some services offer managed N8n hosting where they deploy and manage the N8n instance for you. This is the easiest option if you want to get started quickly.
Once your N8n instance is running, you will need to configure it for your Slack workspace. This involves:
- Creating an app in your Slack workspace. Select the ‘Incoming Webhooks’ and ‘OAuth & Permissions’ features.
- Adding the Slack app credentials to N8n. This includes the Client ID, Client Secret, Signing Secret, and Verification Token. These credentials allow N8n to access your Slack workspace.
- Choosing the Slack node in N8n and entering the app credentials. The Slack node allows N8n to send messages and automate other tasks in Slack.
- Selecting the ‘OAuth v2 API’ for the Authentication method. This will open a browser window to authorize access to your Slack workspace.
With the Slack app configured in N8n, you are ready to build automations between N8n and your Slack workspace. You can now create workflows to automatically send welcome messages to new employees, notify team members about a new hire, provide onboarding resources, and more. Leveraging this simple but powerful integration between N8n and Slack will ensure a streamlined onboarding experience for all your new employees.
Create the Onboarding Slack Channel
To streamline the onboarding of new employees using Slack, you will need to create a dedicated Slack channel for onboarding where the workflow will be initiated.
- Name the channel “#onboarding” or something similarly descriptive. This channel will serve as the hub for the onboarding process.
- Customize the channel topic to provide an overview of the onboarding process. For example, “This channel automates the onboarding of new employees. The workflow provides access, resources, and guidance to help new team members get up to speed.”
- Set the channel to private to keep onboarding discussions contained. You can add all current employees as members so they are aware of the new hire's onboarding progress.
- Integrate any relevant Slack apps into the channel that will enhance the onboarding experience. For example, add the N8n app to activate the automation workflow, and any other team collaboration tools your organization uses.
- Once the channel is created, you will configure the N8n workflow to detect when a new member joins the #onboarding channel. This will trigger the onboarding workflow to commence, automatically sending the new hire welcome messages, important resources to review, and notifications to appropriate team members to provide access permissions.
With a dedicated Slack channel in place to facilitate the onboarding workflow, you have the foundation set up to streamline the onboarding of new employees using N8n's automation capabilities. The new hire will receive guided support to ramp up quickly, and staff will have visibility into the process to ensure no critical steps are missed. Overall, this Slack and N8n integration will make your organization's onboarding more efficient, cohesive, and enjoyable for all.
Build the Welcome Message Workflow
To welcome new employees and provide them with resources to get started, you will create an automation workflow in N8n to send an introductory message in Slack.
Build the Welcome Message Workflow
The welcome message workflow will send a direct message from your company's Slack bot to new employees on their first day. This message should contain:
- A warm welcome to the team. Express how excited you are to have them join the company.
- Important resources, such as links to the employee handbook, internal wiki, and any training materials. Provide login credentials for any systems and tools they will need access to.
- Their manager's contact information as well as the contact info for HR and IT support. New team members may have questions as they onboard, so giving them resources to get answers will help them feel supported.
- Any necessary next steps, such as setting up a one-on-one meeting with their manager or scheduling new employee orientation. Clearly communicate expectations so they understand what they need to do to get started.
To set this up in N8n:
- Create a new workflow and select the Slack trigger "When a new user joins the workspace". This will activate the workflow when a new employee's Slack account is created.
- Use the Slack node "Send a direct message" to send the welcome message to the new user. You can customize the message using variables for the user's name, manager's name, start date, etc. pulled from your HR system or a Google Sheet.
- Add any additional steps needed, such as notifying the manager or HR contact that the welcome message was sent. Use the Slack "Send a message to a channel" node for this.
- Activate the workflow and test it with a new user account to ensure the welcome message is sent as expected. Make any necessary adjustments before new employees start to ensure a positive first experience.
With this workflow in place, new team members will receive an automated welcome and important information as soon as they join your Slack workspace. This helps to streamline employee onboarding and make new hires feel welcomed and supported from day one.
Assign Proper Access Permissions
Once the new employee has been onboarded in Slack and sent important resources, the next step is to assign them proper access permissions within your organization’s various tools and software.
Provision Accounts and Logins
New team members will require logins and accounts for all the services and platforms your company uses. Work with your IT department to provision access for:
- Email and calendar
- Project management software like Asana or Trello
- Cloud storage such as Google Drive or Dropbox
- Video conferencing tools such as Zoom or Google Meet
Be sure to provide the new hire with login credentials for all accounts created on their behalf.
Add to Relevant Channels and Workspaces
In Slack, add the new employee to all public channels, private channels, and workspaces relevant to their role and department. This ensures they have access to all important communications and resources right away. Consider creating a specific “Onboarding” channel where you provide helpful information and the new hire can ask any questions.
Review and Set Permissions
Once accounts have been created, work with team leads and managers to determine appropriate permission levels for the new employee. For example, they may need admin access in some tools but only commenter access in others. Be sure to clearly communicate permissions to avoid any confusion.
Automate Where Possible
For added efficiency, use an automation tool like n8n to automatically add the new hire to specific Slack channels and workspaces once their account has been created. You can also leverage n8n to automatically send a welcome message from the CEO or direct manager, provide links to important resources, and notify key team members about the new employee joining the team.
Automating basic onboarding steps frees up time for managers and team leads to personally welcome the new hire and ensure they feel supported. A smooth onboarding process facilitated by the right access and permissions sets the new employee up for success and productivity from day one.
Notify Relevant Team Members
Notify Relevant Team Members
Once the automation workflow has been set up and tested, it is important to notify any team members who will be involved in the onboarding process. This ensures everyone is aware of the automated steps that will be occurring and can properly support the new employee.
- Inform the hiring manager and any direct supervisors or teammates of the new employee about the Slack welcome message and channel access they will receive. Explain that this is an automated process to streamline onboarding and make the new employee feel welcomed on their first day.
- Notify IT staff that the new employee's access permissions and credentials will be automatically provisioned through the workflow. Provide the details of any systems or tools the new employee will be given access to. Request that IT staff double check that the proper access levels have been granted.
- Alert the facilities team that a workspace for the new employee will need to be prepared. Even though the workflow will automatically assign the employee to a Slack channel for their department or team, their physical workspace still needs to be addressed.
- Connect with HR to ensure any remaining hiring paperwork or requirements are completed. While the workflow automates many of the initial onboarding tasks, HR will still need to handle official hiring procedures and may have additional steps that need to be taken to fully onboard the new employee.
Notifying the appropriate teams and individuals involved in advance helps maximize the efficiency of the automated onboarding workflow. It allows any necessary manual tasks to be completed and helps avoid potential issues on the employee's first day. Overall, it leads to a streamlined and welcoming experience for the new employee as they start their role in the organization.
As you've seen, automating your employee onboarding process with N8n and Slack can significantly improve the experience for your new hires and reduce the workload on your HR team. By setting up a customizable workflow to automatically handle key onboarding tasks, you'll be providing new employees with a structured yet personalized welcome experience from day one. Your new team members will feel supported and gain access to important resources right away. Meanwhile, your HR staff will have more time to focus on high-priority initiatives knowing the basics are handled. For forward-thinking companies, an automated onboarding workflow is the future of how new talent is onboarded and engaged. Why not get started today?