Digital Employee Onboarding: Radically Transforming the New-Hire Experience

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Employee on-boarding

Picture this: This is your first day at work. As you walk into the office, you hear a digital voice welcoming you by name. The screen near-by flashes your picture with a welcome note. The face recognition attendance system automatically unlocks the door for you. An app on for mobile throws you an alert and guides you to your new seat. It also dynamically populates your agenda for the day and the people you need to meet that you can chat or voice/ video call. There is no paper involved, no waiting time, nor getting lost in the new surroundings. Now, how cool is that?

Onboarding an employee starts the moment the employee is made an offer and continues all the way through until the employee is considered to be productive on the job. Conventional wisdom would say that the process should last anywhere between 90 to 100 days – and there are organizations that stretch the on-boarding process to a full year. However, a recent survey by CareerBuilder found that 25% of the employers reported that their on-boarding process took a day or lesser while 26% spent a week, 21% over a month, and 11% said their on-boarding process extends over three months or longer.

The reason for variations seen in on-boarding process across businesses, business units and locations is of course, the human element of the on-boarding process that inhibits its scalability, consistency and effectiveness. Leverage the “digital” aspect of on-boarding, it will help you to make the on-boarding process more scalable, deliver consistent superior services to new hires across the board, and more importantly track and monitor its effectiveness for continued improvement.

Islands of data in the HR ecosystem from recruitment to on-boarding and from on-boarding to learning and development results in compromising the effectiveness of any employee onboarding program. The advent of cloud and along with it the rampant use of APIs allows for easy integration amongst systems to deliver an integrated and effective onboarding program. Employee Experience is now not just about the “WOW” factor but more about onboarding effectiveness as a whole. Digital is mostly about leveraging data to deliver a superior employee onboarding experience. Outlined below are the six key tenets to support it.

  1. 1. Integrate employee information from recruit to on-board and deploy

Nurturing islands of data is a disaster. It is important to integrate systems across the cycle to ensure that the monitoring and engagement of the new hires remain consistent through-out the onboarding lifecycle. These systems can include ATS, recruitment system, background verification system, onboarding system, core HRIS and allied systems, performance management system and most importantly learning and development systems.

  1. 2. Leverage digital, social, and mobile to elevate the employee experience

Social and mobile is very much a given while leveraging digital in this era. It reduces the need for support while at the same time encourages self-service. This will grossly improve employee support efficacy while reducing dependencies on HR at the same time.

  1. 3. Engage new-hire better before his/ her day of joining

Employee onboarding starts not just on the day the employee joins the organization. It is important to keep the employee engaged much before that by keeping the candidate engaged while at the same time initiating a slow process of integrating the employee into the organization. All of these results in an improved offer-to-join ratio.

  1. 4. Provide learning and knowledge retention tools on-demand

Every person has his/ her style of learning and retaining information. Gamification, on-demand videos, live chats, virtual assistants, and many more forms of interactive self-paced learning tools are required to aid the onboarding process. Leveraging social-media to provide a robust peer support system is equally helpful.

  1. 5. Reduce the learning curve and accelerate the time-to-competency for new hires

Learning is indeed the key to making the employee productive. It is important to establish expectations and set clear goals for the new-hire and have it monitored on a consistent basis.

  1. 6. Cut costs drastically

Last but not the least, leveraging digital helps reduce costs drastically across the onboarding cycle. It eliminates the manual element (very often high-cost interventions) and time-consuming (very often frustrating) paper-work.

True digital is the advent of Artificial and Machine Learning. HR Big Data and advanced analytics are ushering in an era of what we can call “digital plus”.

Want to know how you can take the first step towards transforming your employee onboarding leveraging digital? It is easy, just click here!

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