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Employee Onboarding: Why Days at Work are Critical for Success

The second half of 2022 saw the emergence of one of the most challenging labor markets the world has ever seen. To a degree, the labor market started transforming at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic with employees being laid off or asked to work from home. Asked to return two years later, many cited changed priorities as their main reason to quit their jobs. 

The Great Resignation, as it became known, put employers in a difficult position. A far higher-than-usual volume of resignations left key positions open for long periods of time. Service delivery suffered across numerous industry sectors. As we are entering 2023, the labor market has been projected to slow its growth trajectory, but that does not mean employers can relax just now. 

Successful onboarding remains one of the critical points of the recruitment process. Getting this stage right can determine whether a new employee leaves within a few months or stays with the company for years. 

How the Human Resources (HR) Landscape Has Changed

Aside from the Great Resignation and a general labor shortage affecting many industry sectors, there is one more major development that has influenced the HR landscape recently. That change is the advent of advanced technologies and automation. 

HR used to be firmly a people business, where human resources teams handled applications, scheduled interviews and testing days, as well as handled employee contracts. Once the new hire arrived for their first day or week at work, they would likely be greeted by yet another HR adviser for their induction. 

Much of this work is now done by software and has at least in part been automated. Leading software packages track key aspects of employee management, including training and performance management. Many packages also handle parts of the recruitment and onboarding process. 

As with most automation in any area of business, the goal is not to replace HR professionals. Instead, HR software aims to automate repetitive parts of complex processes, streamline record-keeping and help with data analysis. Advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are already outperforming humans when it comes to data analysis. 

Performing employee background checks, for example, is a task that can be extremely time-consuming for humans. A machine, on the other hand, can search databases for hours without losing interest and focus or starting to overlook critical information. Putting these checks in the context of the entire recruitment process, it becomes easy to see the time-saving aspect. Whilst a computer performs background checks, human HR professionals can concentrate on other tasks. 

Why Onboarding is Critical

Employee onboarding is one of the most critical aspects of the recruitment process. Once a new team member has successfully cleared the hurdles of the process, including interviews and tests, and has now signed their contract, it would be easy to assume that HR can take a step back and relax. 

However, statistics show that between 30 and 40% of new employees leave with their first year at a new job. About one in five leave within the first 45 days of joining a new team. Granted, it is possible that the job simply wasn’t what they were looking for. But in many cases, the problem lies in the onboarding process rather than the position itself. 

Getting onboarding wrong can become costly for employers, especially if it happens more than once. Onboarding happens at the very end of the recruitment process. With the average cost per hire in the United States exceeding $4,500, that means the employer has already spent several thousand dollars on one employee. In reality, that number could be far higher, as some estimates say that hiring an employee with benefits costs the equivalent of 40% of their base salary. 

Plus, finding a suitable replacement is likely to take more than a month. Getting them up to speed tends to take another 12 weeks. Without citing even more numbers to make the mind boggle, one thing is becoming obvious. Whilst recruitment may be pricey, failed recruitment leads to expenses of replacement that few businesses can afford. Imagine the costs in the convenience store sector where turnover for hourly workers used to exceed 150%. In fact, the industry celebrated companies that managed to push their turnover below 100%. 

How to Create an Effective, Engaging Training Process

Creating an effective training process that keeps new hires engaged and excited is one of the critical parts of employee onboarding. Great onboarding can increase retention by more than 80%. Think of it as getting another chance at making a first impression on new team members. 

You could argue that the company already left that first impression during the interview process. Theoretically, that is correct. On the other hand, prospective employees may have been too focused on leaving a great impression themselves. Plus, interviews and other parts of the recruitment process tend to be fairly limited in terms of time.

Once employees join the company and start the onboarding process, they gain much better insight into the company culture. They experience the dynamics between employees and management first-hand and over the course of hours and days. It is far harder to keep up a charade for that amount of time. 

Analog vs Digital Onboarding

Traditional, analog onboarding processes often suffered from significant downtimes. Between meeting with different departments, employees may have been left to familiarize themselves with extensive intranets. They may also have been asked to review documents. All of those were steps that later needed to be signed off by HR or by the new employee’s line manager. 

One thing these examples have in common is that they don’t encourage engagement. Depending on how new employees learn, these types of onboarding may leave them bored and disengaged before they even started working. 

Today’s most exciting, engaging onboarding processes rely on a combination of technology and face-to-face interaction. The process is rooted in digital technology which takes care of administrative tasks and delivers engaging, relevant information. Of course, new employees are also looking forward to meeting their colleagues. Even if they will mostly work remotely or follow a hybrid working schedule, allowing enough time at work is critical in the beginning. This is when lasting work relationships are forged. These relationships can then transfer more easily into a world of video meetings and Slack messages. 

Utilizing Digital HR Software to Make Onboarding Smoother

Digital HR software has become a must-have for state-of-the-art onboarding. This type of software makes it easy to personalize the information being delivered to a new employee, keeping it relevant to their position. Digital onboarding also allows companies to make onboarding interactive without putting additional pressure on staff time. Interacting with content, for example by answering questions rather than simply reading, supports retention. 

Image by pressfoto on Freepik

Last, but not least, Digital HR software makes it easy to keep track of the individual steps of the onboarding process. Rather than tracking information on spreadsheets, HR professionals access a convenient dashboard to check what has been completed and what remains outstanding. 

How Usetiful Can Help

Let us take a closer look at how onboarding software like Usetiful can help your business streamline your onboarding process and make it more engaging.

Great software starts with something as simple as a clear employee onboarding checklist that lets all involved parties see what has been completed and what remains outstanding. Employees benefit by being empowered to follow their own progress. Managers and HR teams gain easy access to relevant details without needing to sift through mountains of paper. 

Introducing new employees to the software products they will be using is one of the biggest stumbling blocks of effective, engaging onboarding processes. Not everyone enjoys using software, and some new hires may be seriously apprehensive. Platforms like Usetiful allow you to create no-code tours that allow employees to familiarize themselves comfortably with the tools they will be using.

Personalised Onboarding

Usetiful makes it easy to personalize the onboarding process and make it meaningful to the new employee’s role without losing sight of the bigger picture. Apart from intuitive design, simple step-by-step guides to onboard employees on 3rd party applications can avoid confusion.

Employees receive information that is pitch-perfect for their existing experience, intended job role, and more. They also learn more about the company’s goals and brand guidelines which are relevant to everyone. 

Onboarding becomes interactive, and employees learn by using the tools they will need later. They can also provide feedback, allowing the company to understand where the process can be improved further to increase engagement even more. 

Compatible with any 3rd party software

Usetiful supports any existing SaaS or cloud-based HR product, keeping processes simple for the company’s HR team. HR professionals will save time they would have needed to devote to onboarding administration and other repetitive tasks. 

The results speak for themselves. Usetiful users have noticed that their tech support teams receive 50% fewer support requests when it comes to new hires getting to know their tech tools. Training can also be reinforced twice as fast with the help of step-by-step instructions. Employees are engaged from the moment they join the company. 

Try Usetiful for free today and see for yourself how we can transform your onboarding process. 

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