Workday is cloud-based software vendor for human capital management (HCM) and enterprise resource management (ERP) solutions that help organizations improve the efficiency, productivity, and performance of their core business processes.

In Workday, there are around 300 business processes (BPs), which range from the simple to the complex. At their core, BPs are sets of logic statements that determine how data changes to a specific data object instance (a specific “record”) are entered into Workday, the validation rules to ensure data quality, and any conditional business logic that is executed (“the code”) as the transaction is processed.

The BP we’re looking at today is one of the trickier ones, and one that every HR Manager will be glad to make a bit simpler: Workday Onboarding for a new team member.

Read on to learn more about Workday Onboarding and how it can optimize your onboarding and hiring process!

Workday Onboarding Phases

Onboarding processes in Workday are typically carried out in five distinct phases to organize the process of bringing new employees into the organization and help set these new hires up for success in the long run.

The five main phases of onboarding are as follows:

  1. Plan: This consists of project planning and defining roles and responsibilities.
  2. Architect: This typically looks like creating a business process design and update plan so it reflect this.
  3. Configuration Prototype: This is where you draft up your training strategy.
  4. Testing: Mostly end-to-end testing and testing the customer requirements after changes are made.
  5. Going Live: Training gets carried out and the project reaches a conclusion.

Workday Onboarding Checklist

When working with Workday Onboarding, your HR/Recruiting team will need to define in meticulous detail what the new employee experience should be and will include different paths for employees vs. contingent workers.

Here’s an example checklist to ensure onboarding processes run smoothly…

  • New Hire Paperwork: This consists of tax forms, offer letters, new hire forms, company handbook, etc.
  • Create a Training Program: Employers must create a Workday training program that educates new hires on any company specific information such as goals and culture.
  • Send a Welcome Email: Sending a welcome email will serve as an introduction to the new hires and restates his/her position with the company.
  • Create a Schedule: Creating a schedule will help the new hire(s) get into a good routine and understand their tasks the first week and beyond. This should be easy to follow for both the employer and employee.
  • Assign a Mentor: Introducing your new hire to another employee as their mentor can help the new employee learn new tasks, feel more comfortable asking questions, and feel less lonely.
  • Collect Feedback: As an employer, you want to ask your new hire for feedback on their onboarding experience. This will help to improve the onboarding process.
  • Create a Checklist of Responsibilities: Creating a checklist for a new employee, of all expected tasks they will be responsible for can limit confusion and confirm expectations.

What Makes Workday Onboarding for New Employees So Tricky?

Let’s take a closer look at a few of the main challenges of the onboarding process that are addressed through the Workday Onboarding solution…

The Number of Subprocesses Involved

Part of what makes Workday Onboarding so complicated is the sheer number of technical subprocesses involved.

For example, the first bullet on our list above (“Change legal name”) might be a separate process for someone who already works in the organization, but it’s also called from Onboarding for a new hire.

Onboarding will have branches of logic which are different for employees as opposed to contingent workers, and if your organization is multinational, there may be different steps required by different work locations.

Pre-hire System Access

Another thing that can make things more complicated is if your HR team wants or needs to grant new hires access to Workday prior to their starting date.

Often, this is because HR wants all the steps listed above to be completed before the person shows up to work, even to the point of electing benefits. This creates challenges for IT security, who generally speaking don’t want to provision an Active Directory account to be active prior to the start date.

If this is a requirement for your project, you’ll need to add time to the SOW and project plan to account for this deliverable.


Designing, building, and testing how even this one security feature (“Pre-Hire Date access to Workday”) will work can cause hours, days, even weeks, of effort. If this is something you’d like to set up, it’s important to do so early in the process to ensure that it’s handled smoothly.

Setting up this feature also causes challenges if the employee is a no-show and all the work has to be undone in such a way that there is no work history in Workday for that person, but that there is audit trail information showing the doing and the undoing of the hire. As you can imagine, that also adds to testing time.

While all BPs require thorough testing, our Workday consultants have seen cases where Onboarding started at 3 weeks of effort, then grew to a 6-8 week effort to design, build, test, remediate, re-design, update the build, re-test, add notifications, and sign off.

User Experiences

Onboarding sets the tone for what the new worker experiences with your organization—as is often said, you only get one chance to make a great first impression. Having an Onboarding user experience in Workday that’s robust and easy to follow will make your new hires feel welcome and cared for.

At the same time, a well-designed onboarding process will be thorough, compliant with all labor laws, communicates all your internal policies, and is auditable…and your back office staff will know that everything they need to meet the new employee’s or contractor’s needs has been captured in the system.

How We Can Help

Looking to simplify and streamline onboarding processes for new employees with Workday’s comprehensive onboarding solution? Our senior-level Workday consultants can help!

Whether you need help implementing the Workday Onboarding solution for the first time, integrating core onboarding processes with other internal and external systems across your enterprise, or simply creating a Workday Onboarding checklist to keep everyone on the same page, Surety Systems has you covered.

Getting Started with Our Team

And, clearly, there’s a lot involved when it comes to setting up Workday Onboarding for a new hire-which is why Surety is proud of our wide network of senior-level Workday consultants with years of experience in just this sort of thing.

With our senior-level Workday consultants, your organization can not only attract and hire the right employees for the job, but you can also ensure employees are onboarded and trained correctly, promoting better user experiences and improved employee productivity over time.

Get in Touch

Ready to start your journey with Workday Onboarding? Contact us today!