How Technology Can Help Improve Your Onboarding Process

In September, I attended iCIMS’ customer advisory board and was incredibly impressed by the level of discussion around strategic talent acquisition and the best practices shared during the two day event. Below is a recap of my session on creating a positive new hire experience.
 
Year-after-year, onboarding remains one of the most popular topics we cover in our HCM research at Aberdeen. One reason is that onboarding is something that impacts everyone. As employees or managers, we have all had a positive or negative new hire experience and we understand the impact that experience can have on productivity, retention, and engagement efforts. In fact, we found that 90% of organizations believe an employee makes a decision to stay at an organization within the first 6 months. During this presentation, we examined the challenges facing organizations when onboarding new hires, the strategies they implement to drive business outcomes, and the technology they leverage to achieve success.

Why is Onboarding so Difficult?

Despite the enthusiasm for onboarding, only 37% of organizations have had a formal program in place for more than 2 years. Most often, organizations fail to connect onboarding to business objectives. Yet, when we asked organizations to identify their top pressures for onboarding- productivity and engagement were top on the list. These are business pressures not HR pressures- a clear indication that onboarding impacts the bottom line.

Another reason that onboarding is so challenging is that many organizations have not established a clear owner. For many organizations, onboarding as a process is shared between recruiting, HR and learning functions. As a result, there is little standardization or accountability for the success of these programs. By identifying an owner for onboarding, organizations can begin to mature in their onboarding efforts and make sure they can measure the effectiveness.

How Can Technology Help?

Technology can have a dramatic impact on an organization’s onboarding initiatives. Not only by automating the collection, management and tracking of new hire forms but also by improving productivity and engagement. In fact, nearly 50% of organizations plan to increase their onboarding investment in 2013 compared to 24% in 2012. Organizations looking for a comprehensive onboarding solution should consider:

• Forms management: Organizations will be able to store all forms in a central repository, handle digital signatures, track all forms, and synchronize users and groups.
• Tasks management: Organizations will be able to better manage all internal and external tasks related to new hires. They can easily notify various departments and send out frequent communication.
• Socialization: Through new hire portals, organizations can effectively engage new hires and keep them up-to-date on activities to acclimate them in the company culture.

If you have any questions on how companies are using technology to improve and innovate their onboarding process, please feel free to email me at madeline.laurano@aberdeen.com.

Madeline Laurano is the Research Director, Talent Acquisition Solutions, within Aberdeen’s Human Capital Management research practice, and is responsible for leading and collaborating on Aberdeen’s research coverage across a range of HCM topics, including contingent workforce management, talent mobility, workforce planning, sourcing strategy, recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), employer branding, onboarding and talent acquisition.

Additionally she is responsible for delivering research findings via published works, speaking engagements, on-line events, and Aberdeen’s annual Human Capital Management Summit.

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