What’s the key to getting a new employee up and running, productive and settled into a role?
It often comes down to successful onboarding, according to Riges Younan, Avature’s vice president – APAC.
“We believe onboarding is a strategic process due to the impact it has on a company’s performance by increasing employee engagement and reducing time to productivity,” he said.
“It can have a tremendously positive impact on your employment brand.”
However, lots of organisations are still struggling with an ad-hoc approach to onboarding, marred by outmoded systems and a lack of consistency and cohesion between departments.
“With no structured onboarding process, it’s impossible to manage or even improve the experience,” said Younan.
“Organisations may well be losing a lot of people for subtleties they may not even know about.”
These “subtleties” may seem small, but they make a significant impression on someone new to a company.
They might include things like a missing laptop on their first day, a cancelled welcome meeting by their hiring manager, or missing out on an invitation to an after-work activity.
If employers are not tracking the process, the interactions, or don’t have a system that allows them to take the pulse of new hire engagement and happiness, they will never know what happened, at what point, with whom, and so on, said Younan.
“It’s relatively simple really – make onboarding easier to manage by structuring the process – and importantly make it more human, more employee focused. It’s not a big idea, it’s more common sense,” he said.
Younan added that it’s hard to implement common sense when you have 100,000 employees, especially when everything has to be done electronically for compliance and ease.
“It’s very easy to fall into company-focused processes rather than human-orientated approaches,” he said.
Many organisations have ramped up their efforts in other steps of the recruitment cycle.
For example, they are more sophisticated about the way they execute their talent acquisition strategy. If they are doing this right it means the new hire has experienced positive touch points throughout the whole process, from shoulder tap to hire.
However, once the first day of work rolls around, it falls apart. Younan calls it a “massive let-down or anti-climax” when the employer drowns them in a pile of forms to be completed.
“I think little consideration is given about the way the ‘service’ is delivered at this very crucial time,” he said.
In fact, bad service delivery at this stage of the process gives the candidate many opportunities to consider ‘am I making the right decision?’
“Losing candidates at this stage in the process is not only costly financially but has a negative effect on brand, employee perception, and future hiring ability – for example, when people turn to Glassdoor to share their experiences,” Younan said.
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