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PeopleSoft Spotlight Series: PeopleSoft OnBoarding


A recent PeopleSoft Spotlight Series video walked through PeopleSoft OnBoarding and provided a feature overview and walked through how to set up OnBoarding, manage OnBoarding activities. The video also provided a demonstration of how to complete an OnBoarding process.

PeopleSoft OnBoarding Overview

Employee onboarding is an HR process that helps new hires integrate into the organization and become productive team members. It provides the tools and information that new hires need to succeed at the start of their employment.

PeopleSoft OnBoarding lets you set up your organization’s onboarding process using the Activity Guide Composer Framework. You can use the framework to define templates that guide new hires step-by-step through the onboarding process in a central location.

PeopleSoft OnBoarding also provides administrators with the ability to view the status of new employees as they progress through the onboarding process. In addition, administrators have access to documents that new hires provide during the process.

Managers can access the status of their direct new hires from Related Actions from the Manager Self Service homepage. New hires can be employees or contingent workers who are added to the system with one of these job data actions:

  • (Employees) Hire, Additional Job, and Rehire
  • (Contingent workers) Add Contingent Worker and Renewal

When a job data row is saved, the system kicks off an event called AssignmentAdded. This event creates an onboarding process for the new hire based on template assignment in setup.

How to Access PeopleSoft OnBoarding

New hires access their onboarding activities using the OnBoarding tile. The OnBoarding tile is system-delivered on the Employee Self Service homepage. Select this tile to access the onboarding dashboard.


The dashboard includes tiles that provide direct access to transactions that are important to new hires, including the onboarding process itself. You can set up PeopleSoft OnBoarding to notify new hires when their onboarding process becomes available. When they click notification links to access their activities, the system takes them directly to the OnBoarding dashboard. You can modify this dashboard to meet your organizational needs.

How to Set Up PeopleSoft OnBoarding

The OnBoarding feature includes several setup tasks, including:

  • Activity Guide Composer
  • OnBoarding installation
  • Document configuration
  • Event handlers and triggers

Activity Guide Composer Framework

PeopleSoft HCM uses the Activity Guide Composer Framework to build the onboarding process for new hires. The framework consists of a number of components, categories, and templates, which represent both the technical and functional aspects of building business processes, template assignment, and other utilities.

A category contains the technical definition of all of the building blocks necessary to create templates. It is typically set up by a technical resource in your organization. A category should have all of the properties, contextual data, user actions, images, and process steps that can be used in any of its associated activity guide templates.

PeopleSoft delivers the ONBOARDING category to support the OnBoarding process. You can modify the category to make it more in line with your needs. For example, if you want to add extra steps, you can do so by adding a new effective dated row or by cloning from an existing category. PeopleSoft will continue to update the ONBOARDING category in future Update Images. Changes will be reflected in the system-delivered effective dated row.

The image below shows a list of steps that are delivered for the ONBOARDING category, including some that are specific to US and Canadian employees. You can choose from these steps when you create templates for your onboarding activities. It is a good idea to work with your technical resource early on to evaluate whether these delivered steps fit your needs and make changes as needed.


If you’ve decided to create a new category to support the onboarding process, be sure to always use the employee ID (EMPLID) and employment record number (EMPL_RCD) context key fields. The system makes the assumption that an onboarding process is created for a job assignment.

An activity guide template identifies the steps that a user takes to complete a transaction or a process. It includes configurations for the layout and banner display of its activity guides, user security, user actions, steps, etc.

PeopleSoft HCM delivers three templates for OnBoarding as system data.

  • OBDCAN1 – Onboarding for CAN
  • OBDSTND – Standard OnBoarding
  • OBDUSA1 – OnBoarding for the USA

You can review these delivered templates and see if they align with your organization. Use them as a starting point and add modifications by inserting a new effective dated row or create new templates by cloning from existing ones. One point to note is that you cannot change the layout type and category for a new template when it is created using one of these two methods. If you created your own category to support the onboarding process, you need to build the templates from scratch.

A few reminders for when you configure templates for onboarding include:

  • Always include the Summary step as the last step in activity guides
  • If there are documents that new hires must read, sign, or provide as part of the onboarding process, mark the corresponding document steps as required when configuring their attributes
  • Include the new step to conduct employee surveys about your onboarding process

The Activity Guide Composer Framework provides an assignment engine to assign activity guide templates to the right users based on rules. For instance, if you have multiple onboarding templated defined for new hires in different geographical areas, you can set up the system to assign templates to new hires based on their regulatory region. Template assignment is not needed if you use one template for the entire organization.

In the template assignment definition, enter the category of the onboarding templates that will be included in the assignment and specify the search keys that you will use to define assignment rules.

PeopleSoft delivers search key source tables and the search keys in the image below for defining template assignment rules. Add custom ones if needed.


The Template Assignment page is where you set up assignment rules. If your organization has multiple templates, review your requirements and prioritize the templates accordingly.

In the example below, there are three templates set up in the system.


The first one is for new hires who work in the U.S. and for the GBI company. The second one is for new hires who work in Canada. The third is for all remaining new hires.

PeopleSoft highly recommends that you specify a template that has the lowest priority and no criteria defined. This template serves as the default template that everyone uses if no other match is found. It’s important to prioritize templates properly because the Assignment Engine goes for the first match it finds with the highest priority.

Based on the setup in the example above, a new hire who works in Canada would be assigned to the Canadian-specific onboarding process in the second priority. If the standard onboarding template would have been listed as the second priority and the Canadian template had been listed third, the Canadian employee would get the standard onboarding process instead.

OnBoarding Installation

On the OnBoarding Installation page, the user role is defined when job data is saved for a new hire and the AssignmentAdded event is triggered.


This event adds the user role to the new hire’s user profile. New hires need this role to access the OnBoarding tile and other related components. You can use the delivered OnBoarding Employee role or update this page with the one that you created. Make sure that it is the same user role that is specified in the end user security of the templates that you define for OnBoarding.

The email templates defined on this page are used to send initial and reminder notifications regarding the onboarding process. System-delivered templates are available, or you can create custom ones and enter them on this page.

The URL Identifier is the location where documents and attachments are stored. The Activity Guide category is used for onboarding, and the Template Assignment method is used to auto-assign templates to new hires if there are multiple templates. Use the default template if you only have one template for everyone. Select from the values that are associated with the selected category.

Lastly, set the administrator options that allow administrators to complete and delete onboarding processes that are being reviewed on the OnBoarding Status page.

Document Configuration

You can include documents that are needed in the process. For example, you may want new hires to get a copy of the employee handbook and acknowledge that they have read and understood certain agreements or sign consent forms and upload them to the system. The OnBoarding category includes steps that work with documents. When you set up or update a template that includes documents, make sure to add a document step to the template. This step is where the documents are going to be displayed. When you set up a document, select what new hires can do with the document and the templates where it can be displayed. Use a Configure Documents component to set up documents for the onboarding process. On the Documents page, provide a name and an effective date of the document. A new hire sees the version of the document that is effective as of their hire date. PeopleSoft recommends that you enter a future-dated row when you roll out a new version of the document. That way, people starting on or after that date get the same new version.

Select an action that new hires need to take after downloading the document. Selection options are:

  • “None” if no action is required
  • “Acknowledge Document” if the new hire needs to click a button to acknowledge that they read the document (the system captures the date and time of the acknowledgment)
  • “Upload Document” if the new hire needs to upload the document after it’s been updated

If a mobile device is used, the new hire can upload files using the camera feature. Uploaded documents are stored at the location of the URL Identifier entered on the OnBoarding Installation page.

On the Template page, list the templates where the document is displayed. You have the option to assign the document to a document group. A document group represents a document step in the template. By linking documents to document groups, you arrange for various documents to be displayed in different document steps within the onboarding process. This is useful if you have multiple documents in the process and you want to manage them separately. The system delivers two document groups and two document group steps in the OnBoarding category. If you do not specify a document group for the document, it appears in the generic document step.

Event Handlers and Triggers

Earlier we mentioned the AssignmentAdded event that gets triggered when job data of the new hire is saved. PeopleSoft OnBoarding delivered two event handlers for two job assignment related events:

  • The CreateTriggerOBD handler in the AssignmentAdded event
  • The DeleteTriggerOBD handler in the AssignmentAdded event

When a person is hired or rehired as an employee or added as a contingent worker in job data, the action triggers the AssignmentAdded event, and the CreateTriggerOBD handler in this event performs several tasks. First, it creates an onboarding process for the new hire. The administrator can manually add or delete the process or change the template that the process uses if needed. Then, it adds the user role that is specified in set up to the new hire’s user profile. This gives the user access to the OnBoarding tiles and components. With that said, user profiles should be created before job data rows are added for new hires. Next, it sends a notification about the onboarding process to the new hire’s email address. If a new person is terminated in job data, it triggers the AssignmentTerminated event, and the DeleteTriggerOBD handler in the event deletes incomplete onboarding processes created for the new person.

These onboarding event handlers are inactive by default. To implement the OnBoarding feature, you will need to activate them.

How to Manage OnBoarding Activities

PeopleSoft OnBoarding provides utilities for administrators and managers to work with onboarding processes. Administrators can review the documents that are uploaded by new hires, review and onboarding process status, and manually add, change, or delete processes as needed. Administrators use the Employee Documents page to review documents that have been attached, uploaded, and acknowledged by new hires. They can also review the onboarding process status for new hires, such as the summary of steps that are visited, completed, not started, and overdue. They can send email reminders to a new hire if there are steps that are overdue or not started.

The “Delete Complete” and “Mark Complete” button appear if administrators are given the authority to delete onboarding processes and complete processes and steps in the setup.

On rare occasions where a new hire is assigned to a wrong onboarding process or a process is missing for a new hire, an administrator can make manual updates on the Manage OnBoarding Event page. Administrators can change the template used for the onboarding process. If the existing process has started, the system issues a warning that it will delete the existing process and create a new one using the new template. If the process is not started, its template is updated without warning. Delete the existing process when this happens. The new hire will no longer have visibility to that process from the OnBoarding Activities tile.

Managers can view the onboarding process status of their new direct reports if the process has started. The status is available from the Related Actions menu on pages such as My Team, Company Directory, Employee Snapshot, and Total Rewards.

To learn more about PeopleSoft OnBoarding and see a demonstration of the feature, check out the video below.

Additional Resources

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If you’re looking for more PeopleSoft content, join us next year at RECONNECT 20, the premier deep-dive PeopleSoft focused event of the year! The event will take place July 21-23, 2020 in St. Louis, Missouri. Keep an eye out for more information on this event!

PeopleSoft Spotlight Series: PeopleSoft OnBoarding