Inside the Industry

The Key to a Better Onboarding Experience Is Better Software

A recent Gallup study asked workers whether they thought their organizations did a great job of onboarding new employees. The result? Only 12 percent really believed that they were excelling in this regard. If you’re in an industry with high turnover or a complicated onboarding process, you likely fall into the 88 percent that know they could be delivering a better onboarding experience.

So how do we go about making a tangible improvement to onboarding? One major way is to look at the tools you’re using to bring new employees onboard.

To a certain extent, the quality of your work depends on the tools you use. You wouldn’t cook with a dull chef’s knife, build a house with a broken hammer or clean your carpets with an antique vacuum; Staffing professionals can wrack their brains for minor process improvements, but ultimately, better onboarding experiences are enabled by better software.

Do I really need to pay that much attention to onboarding?

Yes! Onboarding a new hire is their first impression of your company. Making a bad first impression is a surefire way to scare off high-quality candidates. For professionals in the staffing industry, driving away candidates is clearly undesirable. But every industry — tech, healthcare, professional services — needs the best employees possible. Delivering a better onboarding experience is your best way to prevent drop-off and gain access to a larger pool of qualified candidates.

How exactly does good software impact onboarding?

If you’re using the right tool, one of the most significant improvements you can expect to see is less ambiguity.

Your new hires won’t know what’s expected of them when they start their onboarding process. They rely on HR administrators and other staffing professionals to tell them the next form they need to fill, the next check they need to pass, the next document to upload. The more complicated your onboarding process, the easier it is for your candidates to get lost.

But if you’re using the right software to streamline the onboarding process, then there should be a single portal where candidates can see what they need to do next and where to find the relevant documents or take the relevant actions.

This leads directly to the next benefit of using better software to onboard candidates: faster time-to-start. The less emailing back and forth and chasing down forms that you and your candidates have to do, the faster they can learn the company culture, begin functional training, start delivering value and earn a paycheck

Good onboarding software also enables you to deliver your onboarding to your candidates through their devices. Today, offering a more mobile-friendly onboarding experience is critical. More than 80 percent of Americans own a smartphone, and a full one-fifth of Americans use smartphones as their primary means of getting online.

If you’re in an industry with high turnaround that relies on having access to as large a candidate pool as possible, catering to the mobile-centric is a must. In these cases, making the onboarding experience painless, simple and accessible is the best way to ensure that fewer candidates are dropping-off during the onboarding process.

What’s good for your candidates is good for your HR admins

The reasons to deliver a better onboarding experience are, of course, directed towards the candidate first. But better onboarding also means your HR administrators can do their work better, too.

Without the right tool, HR administration can devolve into an endless time-suck of tracking down information, sending follow-up emails and follow-ups to those follow-up emails, checking in on credential statuses, alerting people when credentials expire and a million small, laborious tasks.

Spending all of your energy on tedious but routine tasks means that any exception or minor change can force your HR administrators into emergency mode. If their entire day is taken up by tedious tasks better suited to software, then they’ll be forced to scramble to accommodate any exceptional circumstance.

But with the right tool, administrators can spend the time that these exceptions deserve. Candidates with challenging circumstances, little technical expertise, or who otherwise represent a unique situation can be given the attention they need in order to get that high-quality candidate in.

Most impactfully, having the right software tool means that you can avoid disaster if a critical team member is suddenly unavailable. It’s not uncommon for one team member to be the only person with the knowledge of how a necessary aspect of your onboarding process works. If they’re unavailable, their absence could grind the whole hiring process to a halt. Instead, quality onboarding software can store that process information, ensuring that the business can run even if expert team members aren’t around.

All together, good onboarding software makes for a better business. Your business will be able to hire new employees when it needs, meaning your existing employees won’t be overworked. This includes HR, who, without needing to take on every onerous aspect of onboarding, will be able to spend as much time on a problem as it deserves. Ultimately, a better onboarding experience makes for happier employees who understand their jobs faster and are ready to work from day one.


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