Onboarding Training – The Essential Next Step After Hiring

Author Martin Oliva Date Jul 02 2020

This is part one of a two part series from EduMe on training, motivating and engaging new hires.

Hiring is made so easy with Fountain that no doubt you want to make sure a candidate’s next experience with you is equally intuitive.

When candidates are seamlessly making their way through the recruitment process, you need to ensure this success is sustained in order to overcome the elephant in the room when it comes to the on-demand hiring cycle – churn and loyalty. ‍

Without strong onboarding, your hiring effort was in vain. If people aren’t equipped with the information and skills they need to excel in their role, frustration and lack of confidence grows.

Unmotivated, unengaged, unhappy new hires leave. Across industries, 20% of new hires leave within their first 45 days. But the on-demand sector faces a significantly trickier time. Some on-demand companies suffer a staggering employee turnover of 500% a year.

It’s for this reason that onboarding training needs to be part of your funnel. These first moments are make or break – they give candidates a snapshot into how they can expect to be trained, engaged and motivated in the weeks, months and years to come as part of your workforce.

This is where onboarding training comes in – and it starts on Fountain straight after hiring.‍

Why do new hires churn in on-demand?

Churn is a multifaceted issue, and has many contributing factors. These include…

1.  Insufficient guidance and lack of just-in-time learning 

Let’s take the example of ride-hailing and on-demand wellness. Though a new recruit may be a skilled driver or massage therapist, this might be their first time picking up a stranger, or going into someone’s home who they know only as an image on their smartphone. On top of this, they may not be particularly tech savvy, or have English as a first language. Experiences like these can be daunting, and require a certain level of digital handholding to make sure new hires are confident in themselves and empowered to be able to deliver the best service they can.

   2.   Barriers to earning

This overlaps with insufficient guidance and lack of just-in-time learning. A new recruit’s main interest is how fast they can start making money, and whether their path to earning through you is easier than through your competitors’. If a new recruit experiences too many obstacles to earning – which could be something as basic as difficulty inputting card details – they will churn. Their perception of you is based on the ease with which they can earn, and how quickly they can earn. In other words, ease of earning and time to earning.

3. Switching to competition is easy 

The ease at which people can sign up to provide services through your app is, on one hand, great – it means you can recruit quickly, and at scale. But it’s a double-edged sword – this ease also means it’s equally as easy to provide services to competitors. 25% of freelancers are able to find work within 24 hours. Because of the nature of on-demand work, there are also no contractual obligations tying them to you – they don’t have to inform anyone of their choice to leave, or continue providing services for an agreed upon period.

 4. No feeling of community

On-demand workers operate entirely alone, day-in, day-out. They may have fleeting interactions with different customers, but nothing that parallels the inevitable human interactions of 9-5 office work. There are thousands carrying out the exact same role, but they’ll never cross paths. Their chances –  of in-person interaction with anyone at HQ through the hubs is also very low. Lonely workers are less engaged and productive, and think about quitting their job twice as often. So you have to create the feeling of them being part of something digitally.

5. Millennials have fewer qualms job-hopping

By 2025 75% of the workforce will be made up of millennials. In on-demand, more contractors fall into the millennial age bracket than any other generation – 24% of Millennials have worked as independent contractors, vs. 15% of Gen Xers and just 9% of Baby Boomers. They have also been termed the ‘job-hopping generation’ because they are less likely to stay in the same job for an extended period – 60% are actively open to other job opportunities, which is 16% higher than any generation before them. As they grow to make up the largest portion of the workforce, their habits – which include lower loyalty – will follow.

Before we get onto how to inspire loyalty through creating a seamless user experience, a feeling of community and sufficiently differentiating yourself from competition, let’s take a look at onboarding’s objectives.

What are the objectives of onboarding?

  1. To reduce churn – you have a crucial initial 2-4 week window in which to set new joiners up for success by equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need to start earning quickly through your platform.
  2. To save time and cost – by reducing the number of support requests from new joiners.
  3. To improve customer satisfaction ratings – ensure that all new joiners know how to deliver excellent customer service.

If you don’t capitalise on the opportunity to get people earning money quickly, you run the risk of losing them – most churn in the on-demand sector happens within the first 2 to 4 weeks.

On the other hand, if you master onboarding you’ll put yourself on a trajectory to success. How? Firstly you save money and time you’d otherwise lose to churn (strong onboarding improves retention by up to 82%).

Secondly, when new hires know everything they need to be able to deliver outstanding customer service, they will be able to delight customers. Good onboarding improves customer satisfaction by 53%. A topical example would be dispersing COVID-19 related information – upskilling new hires on relevant health and safety best practice – no-contact deliveries, how to wipe vehicles down in between rides, and so on.

This is in your mutual interest – high ratings correlates to more rides and higher earnings for them, and this translates to a stronger brand image for you.

Well onboarded new hires also become productive 60% quicker, which means they are able to make money for themselves – and you – sooner. This is because through the quality of your onboarding, you’ve removed all potential barriers, and quashed teething problems before they have the chance to arise. They are engaged, motivated and empowered to perform at their very best from the get go.

But how do you achieve this?

We’ve come up with a foolproof four step onboarding formula specifically designed for the on-demand workforce, that’ll inspire loyalty and reduce churn.

1. Lesson 1: “Welcome”

Now’s the time to build up the motivation and get people engaged, and happy to be part of your story. So, tell them your story.

Address questions like:

  • Why does your company exist?
  • What problem does it solve?
  • What’s your vision, mission and values?

Replicate the human touch by adding short videos where your senior leadership welcome new joiners, and thank them. Talk about what your contractors can expect from you – focus on how you’re different from the competition – what are your unique selling points? – as well as what you’re expecting from them.

It can be lonely as a contractor, so be sure to create a sense of community through use of video where possible. In “Welcome” this could be as simple as a video where peers share their experience and why they love your platform, to elevate and leverage existing internal voices. This is another personal touch that builds community, which leads to loyalty. 83% of workers believe knowing team members would make them more engaged.

2. Lesson 2: “How to use your platform”

The objective of Lesson 2 is to run new hires through how they can get up and running (and – earning!) as quickly as possible, while ensuring they know how to use your platform correctly.

You want to stick to the essentials here. In total, these four lessons should be no longer than 20 minutes.

Address things like:

  • How to download your app
  • How to sign up
  • How to start earning by accepting a trip/appointment/delivery

As well as other basics, such as safety. Safety is of particular importance currently, with COVID-19 guidance from public health authorities on use of PPE and how to social distance on the job. This may seem obvious, but nothing is too obvious when it comes to upskilling someone on how to use an app that is unfamiliar to them. Remember – new hires may not be tech savvy.

3. Lesson 3: “Customer service”

Lesson 3 is all about setting a gold standard of expected level of service and etiquette, and to lay out what contractors need to do to achieve and maintain this standard.

But before you get there, you’ll need to help them understand how your feedback system functions. Is it a star-rating system? Are reviews given? Can a contractor follow-up on negative ratings with their own responses?

Then you’ll want to address:

  • What a 5* trip/appointment/delivery looks like
  • What behaviour customers expect from contractors (e.g. how much talking is appropriate)
  • What behaviour contractors should expect from customers (e.g. sobriety)

A good format to address the above in, is video. Record customers sharing what constitutes a 5* trip to them. Not only does this ensure the essential human touch is replicated digitally, but it allows contractors’ to be put in customers’ shoes by having a customer share their personal insights and unique perspective.

4. Lesson 4: “FAQs”

Last but not least, we have FAQs.


  • How to set up payments
  • How to input bank details
  • Payment frequency
  • Any other frequently asked questions

Our advice to clients is to go to the team that handles internal queries from drivers, couriers or riders, and ask “what are the three most frequently asked questions new hires ask you, over and over again?”. Be sure to include what they tell you in Lesson 4.

If you effectively anticipate new recruit questions and answer them upfront, you will impress new hires by providing them with a seamless, on-demand learning experience, and decrease the burden on your support team in one fell swoop.

Following the simple steps outlined above will dramatically improve your onboarding success and supercharge your workforce, so they are ready and motivated to succeed. Remember – the moment new recruits in the on-demand sector experience roadblocks to earning, loyalty wanes.

EduMe is a Workforce Success platform used to train, inform and motivate the modern workforce at companies like Uber, Airbnb and Deliveroo. It integrates seamlessly with Fountain meaning your new joiner can be onboarded as soon as they are hired and put on a path of continuous learning to ultimately improve loyalty and reduce churn. You can find out more about the EduMe and Fountain integration here.

As critical as onboarding is, the story doesn’t end there. Continued success isn’t a destination, but a journey. After all, facilitating your peoples’ path to success in a sustained way over time is what will secure your own success.

So watch out for part 2 of this series, where we’ll focus on the next prerequisite for ongoing success – upskilling and motivating your workforce through Continuous Learning..


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About the Author

Chief People Officer

Martin Oliva

Martin Oliva leads the People function at Fountain. His experience ranges from startups to Fortune 500 companies, where he has been instrumental in searching for creative ways to develop teams and effective strategies that allow the business to thrive.