HR + IT = Seamless Employee Onboarding

Few people will argue that the hardest part of starting a new job is, well, starting a new job. The excitement of a new professional challenge often gets overshadowed by the struggle of getting the tools and resources needed to do the job.

According to Namely analytics, growing companies onboard 30 new employees, on average, each month. However, inefficient onboarding processes lead to lost productivity, costing the company money and creating friction.

The two departments that are primarily responsible for new hire onboarding are HR and IT. While HR strives to lay the foundation for a new hire’s success, IT is responsible for creating accounts in applications and assigning physical assets, like laptops and phones, to the new hire. To do this, IT must get the new hire’s information from HR - ideally in an automated, seamless and secure manner.

Yet at many organizations, HR and IT are misaligned and use manual processes to communicate with each other. IT typically requests personal or job-specific data about the new employee from HR. HR often transmits data in manual ways: email, file extracts, or tickets.

A recent poll of HR and IT professionals during a webinar hosted by Okta and Namely on aligning HR and IT to streamline employee onboarding revealed that while 61% stated that HR and IT partner in the onboarding process, 44% of those have no automated process.

The Risks of HR and IT Misalignment

Low data integrity
To err is human. Manual processes (e.g. copying and pasting data from an email or spreadsheet) inherently produce incorrect and missing information. As IT admins create new accounts for new employees, errors get propagated in many systems.

Unsecure employee and company data
Communicating a new hire’s personal information via email, file extracts, or tickets is risky. Is that info transmitted securely or purged after use? Granting employees incorrect access rights to applications and systems puts company data at risk. When an employee leaves an organization, failure to quickly offboard his/her access creates significant security gaps and risks.

Reduced and delayed productivity
Time spent by HR and IT going back and forth to correct mistakes creates lost productivity for themselves and employees. Recent IDG Research on user lifecycle management found that IT departments commit 30+ combined staff hours per week to manage user systems, devices and app access. For companies with 2,500+ employees, that number increases to as high as 60+ hours per week.


Aligning the Misaligned for Improved Employee Onboarding and Security


These risks can be nearly eliminated by directly connecting HR and IT systems with Okta. Doing so allows organizations to automate the management of their employees’ lifecycles by triggering workflows through changes that originate in the organizations’ HR Information System (HRIS). How this works:


  • HR admins add new hires into the HRIS like they normally do.

  • Okta finds the new user in the HRIS and imports the relevant user data.

  • Okta creates accounts in the right apps (with proper entitlements).

  • Okta assigns SSO access.

  • The new employee is ready to go on Day 1 with all the apps he/she needs.

Changes after day 1:

  • An employee undergoes a personal (marital status) or professional (new title) change.

  • Changes, particularly professional ones, often result in different access to apps or different entitlements to the same apps.

  • HR admins note the change in the HRIS system like they normally do.

  • Okta finds the updated user in the HRIS and imports the relevant user data.

  • Okta modifies the user’s access to apps (with proper entitlements).

  • Okta syncs the changes to downstream apps, so data integrity is maintained.

  • The employee is updated in all systems.


  • HR admins terminate an employee in the HRIS system like they normally do.

  • Okta finds the terminated user in the HRIS.

  • Okta terminates the user’s Okta account and downstream accounts.

  • The former employee cannot access systems, and the organization is secure.

More than ever, enterprises must be in full control of the user lifecycle to ensure productivity, security and data integrity. Okta’s pre-built integrations between IT and HR systems automate the time-intensive, error-prone manual lifecycle management processes.

Learn more about Okta solutions that can help with HR-driven IT provisioning. You can also download a useful guide on how to automate the identity lifecycle to streamline IT operations.

Watch the video: Automate Onboarding and Offboarding with Okta