How effective onboarding helps businesses attract and retain the best talent

Too many companies are still failing to deliver on candidate and employee expectations when it comes to recruitment and onboarding processes, and this is costing those businesses both in terms of money and in terms of the quality of talent they can attract.

Reactive recruitment is a dated approach, especially in an era where there is so much competition for outstanding employees. Potential employees are judging organisations from the first interaction. Proactive, organised businesses with smooth, streamlined processes are more likely to snap up the best talent. This means many organisations need to change the way they attract and onboard new staff.

Companies with engaging onboarding programs retain 91 per cent of their first-year workers, and new employees who went through a structured onboarding program were 58 per cent more likely to be with the organisation after three years. Not only that, but organisations with a standard onboarding process experience 54 per cent greater new hire productivity. 20 per of staff turnover happens in the first 45 days of employment and half of all senior outside hires fail within 18 months at a new position. Lost productivity due to new hire learning curves can cost up to 2.5 per cent of total business revenues.

These numbers demonstrate just how important it is to get the recruitment and onboarding process right. Leaving recruitment to manual email and phone-based processes delivers a less-than-optimal experience for candidates. Businesses need to automate and track processes so setting up interviews and call-backs happen seamlessly, and so managers know who they’ve talked to and who they need to follow up with. And this process should be visible to all relevant staff, including the manager and team that will work with the new recruit; not just the HR team.

When it comes to onboarding, the rise of business-focused social media such as LinkedIn means employees can see who they know at an organisation and start to get a feel for the culture even before they start work. This gives employees and managers a head start in terms of fitting in. Similarly, processes such as provisioning equipment and setting up training sessions should happen automatically based on the company’s onboarding parameters.

Businesses need things like training to be automatically set up in people’s diaries, taking availability into account. This avoids the endless back and forth as people try to find a time that works for everyone. The necessary equipment should be automatically requisitioned based on the new recruit’s job role, along with access permissions and passwords. Automated onboarding results in 16 per cent higher retention rates for new hires. To win the race for the best talent, businesses need to enlist the help of smart HR solutions that eliminate silos and streamline and automate the onboarding process.

Onboarding isn’t just for new employees. As people change jobs and progress through their career path, a form of onboarding is likely to be appropriate to help them manage the transition to the new role, even when it’s in the same company.

To do this effectively, businesses need a single source of truth about that employee’s time at the organisation including the training they’ve done, certifications they’ve achieved, awards they’ve received, and any other relevant information.

Steve Scarbrough, General Manager – Dynamics solutions, Intergen

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