Digitalizing Recruitment - Part 6: Hiring and Onboarding

Viktor Nordmark
23 December, 2020

If you’ve followed through with our article series on how to digitalize recruitment, you’re probably very excited to read this, the culmination of everything; the signing of papers and, at last, onboarding. It’s the finalization of all your hard work and now that you sit there with your chosen talent up-front (online or face-to-face), how do you create the best conditions for her to do her best work?

That’s what we’ll look into today, how you, with the help of digital tools, create a smooth onboarding process. But first we’ll investigate what can be done to simplify the hiring itself.

Digitalize the last step of the hiring process

In all honesty, there’s not much that can be digitalized during the actual contract signing. The employee will negotiate her salary, which most likely will happen face to face. When the negotiation is done and dusted you’ll sign papers and make her employment definite for both parties. But as these times (do we have to mention the epidemic?) tend to have it, you might not be able to sign papers by hand, next to each other, but rather do it virtually.

Since the contract might contain an NDA of some sort and other company secrets, you want to use an e-signature service that is fully compliant with GDPR and other legislations which secure personal data handling. Do a simple Google search “e-signature service”, read reviews and choose the one that fits your budget and needs.

Now, let’s look deeper into digitalizing onboarding!

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Digitalizing the onboarding process

The onboarding experience is your new recruit's first impression of the business. It’s meant to engage, inspire and educate new employees. It takes them on a journey through team composition, educational materials, benefits management and more thereto. Making the onboarding process a pleasant and effective ride for the new employee is not only important for the employee, but also for the company as a whole, since a fully-fledged onboarding experience has proven to improve retention and set-up time.

Before it was possible to create a nicely designed onboarding experience online, people were thrown into the heat of the company immediately. At best, they would receive a pamphlet with information in their mail. But nowadays, with favorable digital technology at hand, we are more in tune with the needs of new hires and know that the best results come from making someone feel included and informed right from the start.

What is included in a great onboarding?

The onboarding experience and provider that you’ll eventually choose depends wholly on your needs (which we will go into later). But in general, to get the best results out of it, it should contain:

Culture

In order for new employees to feel comfortable right off the bat, it’s wise to introduce them to the team-members early on, even before they’ve started working. Coming into an already established culture is frightening for some and it’s a lot to take in. Help the employees out by letting them get a grasp of the people before they meet them. The onboarding process provider should therefore include a team section which contains short introductions of the people at the company, their hobbies, interests and which positions they have at the company. Knowing who to ask certain questions to is invaluable, saves up a lot of time and decreases stress for the new recruit.

Educational material


Which information does the new employee absolutely need to know? You can start with deducting which information, regardless of role, that every new hire should attain. This is usually important process and operational information that they should be aware of, along with news. Did you recently sign a new big client? Great! That’s something they should know about.

When it comes down to information that is more role-specific, you should consider which format is best to use. Will a powerpoint do? Or should you spend some time on creating videos that take them through, for example, an often used tool? Even though you might find it to be a hassle to create all of this content, it will be worth it in the long run and the biggest perk is that it can be used over and over again.

HR solution

Having all HR information compiled in a neat packaging makes it easier for both the HR manager and the new hire. The information provided should entail; benefits management, payroll and compliance oversight. By making sure the new employees are aware of your internal procedures you let them know where the line is drawn and what is okay, kind of like how a good parent would do it. That way you avoid unnecessary confusion and can instead reap the benefits of open dialogues.

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Advantages in using an onboarding software

An onboarding software is, in many ways, your personal HR assistant and should be regarded as such. It knows everything that is important to know about your company and your colleagues. Therefore it’s a time-saving angel because it relieves you from having to guide the new recruit through her first month, or two. Another benefit is the fact that you have all company details gathered in one place. And if you make organizational changes and the tool is adequate enough, you should easily be able to import those changes into the tool as well.

A small, albeit important, factor to take into account is that it’s proven that an employee’s experience of her first day at a new job lays the foundation for how long she will stay at the company. So by introducing the new employee to an onboarding tool on her first day equals a sense of relief for her and for you, because you know that you’ve done your utter most to create a long lasting relationship.

Do you need a digital onboarding?

What we’re really asking is, is it worth the investment? If you backtrack and think about your last hire, how much time do you think that you or another colleague spent on supporting that person? And, would you, with a digital onboarding be able to decrease the time spent? If it’s unclear to you how much time you would free up with the tool, ask the people providing it. They definitely have statistics on that query.

One thing is for certain though and that is if you;

a) are a big company

b) hire often

The ROI is definite, since you and your colleagues will free up a lot of time not having to onboard every new person yourselves.

Which onboarding service should you choose?

A suggestion is to begin with uncovering what your business actually is. What, in all that you are, is necessary for a new hire to know? Then move onto predicting which type of roles you need to be filled a year from now. With this information at hand you can more easily understand which tools to be looking for. If, for example, you need to educate managers, focus on finding a tool that provides an advanced e-education set-up. Or, if you’re working in med-tech/legal/finance with all its attached legal frameworks, find a tool that makes reading legal paperworks less boring. Perhaps a tool that uses gamification to encourage the user in moving forward through all the documents?

All in all, what’s important is that your own and your new employees’ needs are fulfilled. So by making a swift analysis of what those could be, you can move onto making google searches of onboarding service providers, write them down in a document, ask for demos and estimate which one seems to be the most valuable one in terms of price and functionalities.

One last thing, it’s not only the employees that should get feedback and be at their best, it’s equally important that you play your part and ask for feedback. With that said, include a short NPS (Net Promoter Score) survey into your onboarding process to find out how you’re doing on your side. Was there any information that the employee wished to have that wasn’t there? How could you do the onboarding process even better? By asking, you shall receive valuable information that makes all of you grow.

Viktor Nordmark
23 December, 2020

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