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Home / Blog / Are Organizations Onboarding Employees the Wrong Way? — How HR Tech Can Help

Are Organizations Onboarding Employees the Wrong Way? — How HR Tech Can Help

How Tech can Help you Onboard New Employees....

Phil Strazzulla
HR Tech Expert, Harvard MBA, Software Enthusiast
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New job, day one! What does the onboarding process look like? Who am I reporting to on my first day? Which of my coworkers do I need to connect with in my first week? What is the culture like? 

These are just some of the many questions new hires have on their first day at work. Unfortunately, more often than not, at the end of the day, they're still left with more questions than answers. In fact, according to Gallup, only 12% of employees are fully satisfied with the onboarding process at their organization. 

While recruitment processes across industries and businesses have evolved over the years, onboarding has been virtually the same for at least the last decade or two. So how can organizations use tech to build an effective onboarding process in 2021? 

In This Article

Is Tech the Answer? 

Not long ago, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) discovered that new hires were underwhelmed with their onboarding process. In an effort to switch things up, they turned towards technology and developed their very own digital, employee-centric solution, Embark. 

Embark is a website and application that connects new hires with personalized content, knowledge about RBC's history, values and mission, career paths, and all the pending onboarding tasks that are common in an employee’s first day. After Embark was rolled out, RBC saw a significant increase in their new hire satisfaction rate and a drop in employee turnover. That's what the right technology can do for you. 

A person using a mobile onboarding app

What Can Employee Onboarding Software Help You With?

At the bare minimum, using onboarding tech can help business owners and HR pros optimize the process of welcoming and training a new hire. However, many onboarding applications offer a broad set of tools, including recruiting, pre-boarding, and tools that can measure the employee experience. Going deeper, here are four primary aspects of effective employee onboarding that tech can help you with: 

1. Paperwork 

58% of organizations say their onboarding process is focused on paperwork, with the average new hire expected to complete at least 54 activities during the entire onboarding program. Using a feature-rich employee onboarding software or HRIS can help you simplify this process to a large extent. 

For example, workflows like accepting the job offer, signing a contract, or delivering an employee handbook can be automated and set to the start date. Most platforms also have a new employee onboarding checklist. This can be sent by human resources to the new hire’s email account, getting the process started with just a few clicks. 

2. Training

According to a LinkedIn survey, 77% of new hires who accomplished their first performance milestone attended formal onboarding training. It's a crucial step that takes the new team member from a state of uncertainty to taking ownership of their role. 

Learning management systems allow HR teams to create training materials and offer sessions so new hires can get up to speed on everything from company mission and values to core work functions. You can even administer simple tests to increase accountability and ensure everyone is on track as they transition into their new role.

 Of course, some onboarding software have LMS-like features embedded. Others integrate with an LMS, in case you already use one for corporate training beyond the employee onboarding process. 

3. Automation

Employee onboarding software can help streamline a lot of the workflows vital to your job that also take up a lot of your time. From calendar syncing to automated emails and text-to-apply functionalities, they do it all. The result? A 50% increase in employee retention. That's a huge number, given that as much as 20% of staff turnover occurs within the first 45 days of employment. 

4. Performance Management

Some employee onboarding software platforms are equipped with performance management and OKR systems that allow you to set goals for individual team members and map them to the broader team and company goals. From there, you can track progress, note successes, and discuss lessons learned so new hires have a clear path for growth. 

Onboard New Hires With Software

Getting the new hire onboarding process right is critical for any organization, big or small. Today, spending time, effort, and money on employee onboarding software makes more sense than ever, given that 25% of businesses lose up to 60% of their workforce within a year. 

With the right tools and processes in place, you can maximize success for new employees and the company, reduce attrition, and build a welcoming work environment and company culture. 

Naturally, if you have other HR and employee engagement needs in mind beyond the onboarding experience, you can also look into broader tools like an HRMS or HCM. These tools can manage the whole onboarding plan while also providing tools for every other core HR need.

Phil Strazzulla
HR Tech Expert, Harvard MBA, Software Enthusiast
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Phil is the founder of SelectSoftware Reviews, a website dedicated to helping HR and Recruiting teams find and buy the right software through in-depth, expert advice. He has bought over $1 million worth of HR and Recruiting tools. Additionally, as of 2023, nearly 3 million HR professionals have relied on his advice to determine which business software they should buy.

Phil studied finance at New York University and started his career working in venture capital before getting his MBA from Harvard Business School. His in-depth understanding of the Saas landscape, especially HR Tech, stems from nearly a decade of researching and working with these tools as a computer programmer, user, and entrepreneur.

Featured in: Entrepreneur Harvard Business School Yahoo HR.com Recruiting Daily Hacking HR Podcast HR ShopTalk Podcast Employer Branding for Talent Acquisition (Udemy Course)

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