Challenges In HR Candidate Onboarding & How It Can Be Simplified By Workflow Automation
All over the world, employee turnover is a major concern for organisations. It has added significance for organisations that depend on innovation and productivity to achieve overall profitability. Turnover significantly expands the cost of operations because it requires additional training and ramp-up time.
An in-depth analysis of the factors causing employee turnover reveals that the duration and quality of the HR onboarding process have an outsized impact on employee turnover. Studies indicate that most new hires decide to either stay on or search for other opportunities within the first six months in a new job - based on their experience with the candidate onboarding process.
Considering the extremely intense competition for top talent among organizations, organizations must have a planned, comprehensive strategy to support new hires beginning with the moment of their joining and extending through the entire first year of their tenure.
Streamlining the HR onboarding process shortens the ramp-up time and helps new hires settle in and become productive sooner. Shoddy onboarding increases the likelihood of attrition during the first year, and the cost of recruiting and training that has already been expended can never be recovered.
Employee Onboarding - The Traditional Approach
Every organization has its unique work environment and organizational culture. Onboarding is the process of familiarizing new hires with the organization’s unique work environment and culture.
The duration of the onboarding process varies between organizations. It can be a brief one-day process or even an extended year-long process. Onboarding begins the instant an offer letter is mailed to the new hire.
The traditional onboarding process holds the view that onboarding is limited only to the paperwork that the new hires are required to fill in. The more progressive approach to onboarding - that enables greater retention and engagement emphasises the complete period from the issue of the offer letter to the time the hire becomes an active and productive contributor. The progressive approach to HR onboarding considers the processes of employee orientation, initial training, KRAs/KPIs, and the feedback mechanism as comprising onboarding.
Typically, the traditional approach is characterised by the persistence with manual processes. Even though most business processes, such as core operations and customer relationship management, have been automated - in many organizations, the onboarding process remains manual and reliant on paper-based workflows.
In the traditional approach, communication between HR personnel, the candidates, and the hiring managers is a confusing mix of emails, texts, and phone calls. Managing the process through spreadsheets and checklists breeds inefficiencies, and the digital conversion of paper forms is inherently prone to errors. Also, the lack of performance data precludes the possibility of identifying areas of inefficiency to recommend remedial measures. Together with rising employee expectations, all these challenges make it imperative to undertake a reformation of the traditional onboarding methods.
The Case for HR Workflow Automation
Automating the HR workflow reduces turnover, improves organizational efficiency/effectiveness, and enhances employee engagement. Business process automation software, for the onboarding process, helps streamline mundane tasks, brings organisation-wide uniformity in the onboarding process, delivers a superior experience to the HR personnel/employees, and helps position the organisation for success. The key benefits of using an HR workflow management system are:
● Improved Efficiency - Automated workflows help streamline the onboarding process. Consequently, new hires are integrated into the system faster, and they begin contributing to the organisation sooner. In addition to streamlining onboarding, the workflow management system frees up HR time to devote to other strategically critical functions. Also, automated processes help in the efficient management of transfers, appraisals, promotions, and offboarding.
● Enhanced Data Security - HR and onboarding processes require the collection and retention of the employees’ personal and professional data. Employee record management software eases the collection and secure retention of employee data.
● Remote onboarding - Workflow automation enables remote employee onboarding. Document management solutions provide remote access to the onboarding processes and training materials.
● Greater Flexibility - The workflow management system enables the employees to learn and be onboarded at their own pace. The greater flexibility helps pick a comfortable learning pace and time preferences.
● Customized and Engaging Employee Experience - The document repository software makes it easy to customize onboarding material to meet the specific requirements of the various departments/teams. Department-specific information can, therefore, be disseminated efficiently. This leads to greater engagement among employees. Workflow automation increases the uniformity of the onboarding experience, enhances bonding opportunities, and reduces the overall time required to complete the process.
● Greater Efficiency, Lesser Stress - Automation using the employee file management system empowers the HR teams to focus on their primary job functions. Automation frees HR personnel from routine worries and empowers them to ensure a better long-term fit for both - the employees and the organisation.
● Higher Retention - Workflow automation, by providing superior employee experience, increases retention. Workflow automation helps deliver superior employee experience, which increases retention and reduces hiring costs.
Implementing the Automated Onboarding Process
As a first step in automating employee onboarding, it is important to identify the various processes and materials required for the onboarding process. It is equally important to, simultaneously, identify the strengths and weaknesses of the existing process. This helps design the automated process such that the weaknesses are eliminated, and the experience is improved for everyone.
● Employment Document Delivery - The hiring process, typically, involves a lot of documentation. Automating this step, using the HR file management software, helps deliver noticeable efficiencies. The software system provides new hires with direct access to all the necessary documents. Additionally, the software provides an easy means to measure, trace, and ensure delivery and sign off on all the requisite forms and agreements.
● Benefits Enrollment - Automating the onboarding workflow frees the employees and HR personnel from having to worry if their benefits have been applied correctly. They can then concentrate on important job-specific functions. Automating benefits enrollment eases its documentation, record-keeping, and administration.
● Automate Data Entry into HR Apps - Automation of the onboarding process requires the transfer of onboarding materials into a central repository. The employee database management system enables the automatic entry of employee data. The HR personnel can use the time saved to focus on core HR functions.
● App Accounts & Logins - Automated onboarding includes providing automated access to the requisite apps and technologies for the employees to function efficiently. Employees are provided direct access to login and accounts. Additionally, the access can be tracked and managed for maximum data security and process efficiency.
● Faster HR Paperwork - Even in automated onboarding, some minimal, unavoidable paperwork might be required. In the automated framework, the paperwork can be processed more efficiently and accurately.
We can help!
At WeP Digital, we help you transition from being a people-driven to being a process-driven enterprise. WeP Workflow enables you to automate your work processes and sets you up to maximize organizational productivity.