Did you know the average cost of hiring a new employee in the US is roughly $4,000?
This figure can increase even further depending on your onboarding process. Some new hires leave their jobs after only a few months because of poor onboarding. As a result, companies have to incur additional costs to replace them.
Can you imagine incurring $4,000 every few months? Not the best way to run a business, right? That’s why HR managers are increasingly automating the onboarding process.
This can be daunting, especially if you’ve never automated tasks before. So, we’ve prepared a detailed step-by-step guide aimed at helping you. But first, let’s understand what onboarding automation is and why it’s essential.
What Is Onboarding Automation?
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Onboarding automation involves using software or apps to conduct onboarding tasks. Common automated tasks include sending emails, generating documents, and routing data.
Onboarding automation is crucial in today’s job space. Remember, your onboarding process determines how new hires perceive you. Losing their confidence in this stage of the recruitment process is risky.
You’ll need to offer the best experience; nothing does that better than automation.
Why Should You Abandon Manual Onboarding?
Granted, manual onboarding has been effective in the past. But it’s ineffective today because of changing employee demographics and preferences.
Gen Z, the future working generation, is 32% more likely to leave a job than millennials. They won’t think twice about quitting if you don’t offer quality onboarding. Here are reasons manual onboarding may fasten their resignation:
Provides a Poor Employee Experience
New hires have many questions during their first months of joining an organization. Not having an automated system that provides answers makes working difficult for them.
They’ll likely spend a lot of time looking for answers. This is time they’d have spent performing tasks to improve your bottom line.
Increases the Risk of Mistakes
Documentation is a crucial part of the onboarding process. Your HR team sends documents to new hires for signing. Then, the new employees send them back having filled in all relevant information.
Unfortunately, delivering these documents manually increases the risk of making errors. They may prove costly, as you’ll have to redo the paperwork, consuming valuable time.
Onboarding is Impersonal
Meeting with future colleagues is essential to having a successful onboarding process. Most companies arrange lunches between new hires and existing employees.
However, doing so is difficult if you still rely on manual onboarding. Your HR team will be too busy dealing with paperwork to introduce hires to the employees and vice versa. This makes organizational assimilation difficult.
How to Automate the Onboarding Process
You may find automating the onboarding process challenging if you don’t know how. Luckily, we have all the information you’ll need to ensure smooth onboarding. Here are the steps to follow:
Identify Processes Needing Automation
The first step in automation is listing your organization’s manual onboarding processes. That’ll be everything from meeting new hires to planning their first day.
After listing them, identify the repetitive tasks you want to streamline. This is essential if you don’t have the budget to streamline all your processes.
Prioritize the processes based on their impacts on new hires and your company. Focus on tasks that’d make onboarding smoother for your new employees.
But that shouldn’t be your only consideration. Also, consider costs and expected profits. This will give you a clear picture of what you should focus on in the initial automation stages.
Find Automation Software
After prioritizing tasks, the next step will involve choosing onboarding software. You’ll come across hundreds of options, all of which appear perfect. But not all will meet your needs, so you need to be careful.
The ideal solution should be a one-stop solution, streamlining various tasks. Such solutions ensure uniformity among different groups of hires.
This isn’t to say that you’ll find software that can tackle every onboarding task. But you can find one that handles most processes. They’re cost-efficient since you won’t need to shop for individual solutions.
Other factors to consider when choosing a solution include ease of use and pricing. You don’t want to make onboarding even harder for new hires by selecting a complex system. For the best pricing, shop for offers before making your final choice.
Sure, automation streamlines processes, making work easier for your employees. But then, they may not see the value of automation if they don’t receive proper training.
So, train your HR staff on how to use your onboarding software. During training, explain the value of automation to reduce resistance to change.
Also, train other employees, especially those you foresee taking the role of ‘buddy.’ Remember, they’ll be responsible for showing recruits the ropes. They can’t do that if they don’t understand how your new system works.
HR teams send employees welcome letters and other vital papers for signing. Unfortunately, it can take weeks for the documents to reach the employees and for them to sign them. Small mistakes can take you steps back, making you lose valuable time.
You can now invest in form I-9 compliant software to eliminate errors. The software helps new employees fill out their paperwork.
It also verifies information automatically, making work easier for HR managers. And it ensures compliance by scanning onboarding documents for errors.
Automate Hiring Approvals
Unfortunately, onboarding struggles don’t end with sending documents to the new hires. HR managers also have to approve them, which can be challenging for large companies.
Sending the signed onboarding documents by mail is too slow. Besides, sending by email is risky since they may get lost in the mountain of emails companies receive.
The best way to prevent this is by using onboarding software to send documents for approval. You can create a portal to ensure fast communication between HR managers and new hires.
Engage New Hires Remotely
Just because an employee has accepted an offer to join your company doesn’t mean they will. Remember, most candidates apply for multiple jobs at once. They may choose more enticing offers if you don’t engage them before their official dates.
Lucky for you, there’s no shortage of options for keeping new hires engaged. You can automatically send them welcome videos highlighting your workplace culture.
Or, you can set up remote meetings to mimic face-to-face interactions. Platforms like Zoom allow HR personnel to meet with new employees remotely.
Assign a Buddy
You can customize your onboarding software to assign a buddy for every new hire. This is more efficient than doing it yourself since the software does it in a more data-driven way.
The right solution will analyze current employees, looking for those like new hires. It’ll look for employees who’ve worked in the roles you’ve recruited for and match them with the new employees.
This way, new hires will have an easier time transitioning to their new roles. And, they’ll have people to help them integrate into your company culture easier.
Automate First-Day Planning
Did you know that 20% of turnover occurs 45 days after joining a new organization? How your new hire perceives their first day will determine whether they quit. This makes automating first-day planning a crucial step in your automation journey.
The simplest way to automate first-day processes is by creating a checklist. The checklist should automatically check off tasks the new hire does. This way, they won’t overlook vital processes that may ultimately affect their work.
Develop a Feedback Loop
Let’s take you back to the shocking turnover statistics companies record. Most don’t foresee the turnover because they don’t keep in touch with their new employees.
With the right tools, you won’t have to keep a manual track of your new hires. They’ll send employee surveys asking them to rate their experiences. You’ll be better positioned to solve problems that may affect your retention rate.
Monitor Your Automation
Constant evaluation is crucial to finding and eliminating loopholes in your automation journey. So, keep a close eye on how your new software performs.
Does it make onboarding more cost-efficient for your organization? Does it ensure uniformity among your recruits? Does it make it possible for them to start their jobs faster and ensure productivity?
If so, you can consider your automation journey a success. If not, go back to the beginning and identify what you’d have done differently for better results.
Follow These Steps to Automate Your Onboarding Process
The manual onboarding process isn’t popular because of its many inefficiencies. It leads to poor employee experiences and increases onboarding errors. You can’t risk facing these problems with today’s workforce.
Automation streamlines onboarding processes, allowing your HR team to focus on other matters. So, consider adopting onboarding process management systems. Follow the steps outlined in this guide to increase the chances of success.
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