I recently took over onboarding duties for our biggest client, whose goal is to hire hundreds of new employees over the course of the year. My onboarding duties include writing and sending out the offer letter, sending the initial welcome after their acceptance, initiating the background check, acquiring the HR paperwork, and answering any questions the new hires may have. Basically, I’m handed candidates who have accepted their offers, and it is my job to get all the required documents in and ensure the candidates show up for their first day.
When I stepped into the role in January, I wasn't sure what to expect. Can someone in my position make a big difference in the number of hires who decide to show up or not show up for orientation? And also, why would someone who just accepted a job not want to start the job?
I quickly discovered two main forces at play in onboarding that are responsible for the challenging environment: people and process.
On the people side, the main issue I encountered most often is a lack of the urgency that you’d expect from someone who wants to start a new job. There are a number of documents new hires need to provide before their first day (i.e., medical records, university transcripts, diplomas, etc.). Instead of simply receiving these documents from the new hires, I am often chasing documents and reminding the new hires about their missing paperwork.
On the process side, I inherited a predominantly manual process that isn’t linear, which makes it difficult to follow. The process was roughly outlined from start to finish, but many key components and procedures were left out and undocumented. It took me a month to learn the process, and three months in, there are still pieces that I do not fully understand and/or feel completely comfortable with.
Given the challenge with people and process, how can I engage new hires, encourage them to submit all the necessary documents on time, and get them excited to start their new journey? Well, true to our mantra of people, process, platform here at Argosight, we turned to platform to bring some order to the onboarding madness!
So far in 2018, we have initiated the following changes that leveraged platform:
- Automated communications through our ATS
- Offer letters
- Welcome emails
- E-signature software for documents needing signature
- New hire communication plan to better nurture new hires
These changes have streamlined the process and have allowed me to create some efficiency, which will be crucial when I’m onboarding new hires each month! I’m still spending a lot of time chasing documents, but I know the systems will ramp up shortly to support my onboarding activities.
When automation and the right tools are in place, I can spend less time on paperwork and more time on engaging candidates and getting them excited about starting their new job. In this competitive talent market, I know that the high-touch experience I'm providing in the onboarding process can be the differentiator that puts our client ahead!