How HR automation improves the employee onboarding experience

12 October 2020 - Reading time: 6 Minutes

HR management

Hiring new recruits is a costly business. Just how much depends on the role, but according to Glassdoor the average cost per hire is £3,000.

That doesn’t tell the whole story though. It takes time to get new starters to the point where they become fully effective team members. In the meantime, you’re looking at weeks of lower productivity while you also invest your internal resources into providing the necessary training and development.

Of course, that investment, along with the initial cost of the hire and the salary paid to the employee, could all be wasted if your new recruit leaves before they reach that point of productivity.

That’s why it’s so important to have an efficient onboarding system in place that addresses all of those concerns. When done properly this will ensure new starters hit the ground running and their early experiences of working with the business are positive.

Successful onboarding increases time to productivity by 60%

According to the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), successful onboarding systems improve retention rates (52%), increase time to productivity (60%) and heighten the satisfaction of new recruits (53%).

As we move into the post-Covid era, with more people being onboarded remotely, the need to have consistent processes that guide new starters through the early days of employment has never been more necessary.

Surprisingly though, SHRM’s research reveals that just 20% of organisations have adopted a systematic approach to onboarding. So, what are the remaining 80% missing?

Just 20% adopt a systematic approach to onboarding

Well, a systematic approach means implementing a hiring strategy with steps that can be reviewed and enhanced to improve retention rates over time. For example, while it’s standard to screen and vet candidates at the interview stage and through background checks, organisations can also give potential employees an introduction to the company’s culture to ensure they are a good fit for the organisation before they start.

These steps can also include communications processes that ensure the right people know who is starting and when – IT, for example, will then be able to furnish them with all the necessary equipment from their start date.

Recruits may also receive guidance documents or videos that can cover everything from corporate policies to information on the communication apps or productivity tools they may be required to use day to day – helping them to pre-prepare. The same goes for all the documentation pertinent to the individual’s job such as contracts, job descriptions, responsibilities and expectations.

With the right tools in place the onboarding process can be automated

With the right systems and tools in place most of these steps can be automated, so companies aren’t relying on individuals to remember what to do. For example, when the business needs a recruit to provide information such as bank details, P45s and P60s, this can easily be handled via an automated HR portal. This limits the potential for human errors that can delay a new employee receiving their wage or salary –leading to an early break down in trust.

Automating these tasks also reduces the administration involved whenever a new employee comes onboard – which, in turn, significantly reduces the cost to the company.

55% of job seekers abandon job applications if they read negative reviews

The big bonus, however, is that when new starters enjoy a slick process when they start work it builds confidence in their new employer from day one.
This all makes for an impressive employer brand experience which, when you consider that 55% of job seekers will abandon a job application if they read a negative employee review, means you’ll never miss out on the best candidates.

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