Do you remember your first day at a new job? Probably HR accompanied you on a quick tour of the office and introduced you to a few colleagues. Perhaps you were among a group of new hires initiated into the new organizational culture by a few senior managers. Maybe you had to sit down alone at a desk and complete a pile of paperwork.
Most organizations hold an orientation session for newly hired employees. It's usually a part-welcome, part-introductory session to start a new employee's first day at the office. However, if we think about a new employee's prospects of long-term success within the organization, a feel-good welcome or an administrative check-in is not enough to settle a new hire into an organizational structure.
Employee onboarding is a lot more than an orientation session. Yet, surprisingly, many organizations don't have a structured onboarding process for new employees.
Employee Onboarding: First impressions count—and how!
Robert Half, a specialized recruitment consultancy, commissioned a study of 9,000 candidates in 11 countries across four continents. They found that more than a third of candidates worldwide make a decision about a job within the first five minutes – or even sooner!
As Matt Weston (UK Managing Director at Robert Half) put it: "Recruitment is a two-way street. It starts with providing candidates an efficient and timely recruitment experience and extends throughout the onboarding process to ensure new hires are motivated, engaged and quickly contributing to the business."
Employee onboarding prepares new hires to start off on the right foot. When done well, employee onboarding can reduce turnover and create positive employee engagement. A bad initial start or a poor onboarding experience on the job can cause newly hired employees to quit within days of being hired. Recruiting skilled, talented workers is an expensive proposition. High turnover, especially in newly hired employees, is a monetary and opportunity loss for the organization.
The Robert Half study showed that about 36% of new employees surveyed say that the reason for leaving the job during the first month was a lack of proper onboarding.
Common challenges in employee onboarding processes
The onboarding process includes activities from when new employees formally accept a job offer until they begin functioning in their new role. According to research by Gallup, only 12% of employees strongly agree that their companies have a strong onboarding program.
Let's look at some of the typical onboarding challenges that HR departments across organizations face:
- Relying on manual, paper-based processes for onboarding: HR teams have been slow to adopt digitization and automation. Many HR processes, including employee onboarding, still follow manual, paper-based workflows. Recruitment and onboarding are document-heavy processes. Personal, professional and financial information is received, recorded and stored during the onboarding process. Paper processing is a slow and inefficient activity. Paper forms filled in during onboarding are prone to errors which can invite fines from regulatory agencies.
- Lack of interdepartmental cooperation: While the HR team usually drives the onboarding process, other departments such as IT, facilities management, finance, and other business units related to the employees' job role play a role. Any misinformation or lack of coordination between departments can leave new employees waiting for a briefing and result in a frustrating onboarding experience.
- Rising employee expectations: Did you know that 9 in 10 new hires leave a job that fails to meet expectations within the first month? Top talent is not easy to please! Skilled job seekers expect more from the hiring organization. Just as job seekers compete to prove their worthiness for a particular role, organizations too need to sell themselves as worthy employers! If the onboarding experience fails to live up to the new employees' expectations, they could reverse their decision to accept the job offer.
- Lack of visibility into an end-to-end view to measure onboarding success: What is not measured cannot be improved! Most organizations do not collect data about the success of their onboarding programs. Thus, they lack visibility into the complete process, so they cannot improve their onboarding processes and reduce new employee turnover.
Eventually, employee churn proves expensive for the organization.
HR automation solutions allow you to streamline back-office HR processes such as employee onboarding. HR managers who don't capture onboarding information electronically spend several hours more per employee manually collecting and processing the data.
There are many benefits to switching to an automated onboarding process:
- Better employee engagement: Automation streamlines the onboarding process, making the workflows simpler and more efficient and reducing the time taken for the process, leading to a better onboarding experience and more engagement with new hires.
- Reduce paper and eliminate paper-based workflows: Moving to an HR automation system digitizes all data and documents used in HR activities such as onboarding. Eliminating paper leads to speedy processing, reduced errors and a greener office environment!
- Improve interdepartmental collaboration:Automated workflows remove redundancies, streamline interdepartmental processes and improve collaboration as data and documents reside in a central repository and not in siloes.
- Reduce manual work, process documents faster: Automating time-consuming manual processes means faster processing and more accurate results.
Choose DRS for HR and onboarding automation
Talk to DRS to transform your HR onboarding process and mitigate the risks around poor onboarding. Eliminate paper, reduce costs and errors and enhance productivity with HR process automation. Ultimately, onboarding automation reduces employee turnover and helps you retain top talent.
Get in touch with our HR automation experts today.