HR's guide to digital onboarding

As we navigate the murky waters of COVID-19, employers are stuck between a rock and a hard place

HR's guide to digital onboarding

As we navigate the murky waters of COVID-19, employers are stuck between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, employers need to err on the side of caution when it comes to rushing back our old normality – on the other hand, talent it still talent, and HR leaders need to maintain regular company operations.

Onboarding is still a core component of HR, pandemic or no pandemic. As such, it’s never too late to brush up on your technique.

HRD Canada spoke to Jeremy Viault, marketing director, Canada at DocuSign, who revealed the common pitfalls employers fall into when it comes to welcoming new hires.

“After spending a lot of effort and money in hiring, a large number of companies are doing a poor job at onboarding,” Viault told HRD.

“However, this is a crucial step in the HR process because sought after talents may decide to leave you pretty soon if the experience is not on par with their expectations. According to Glassdoor, only 12% of workers are fully satisfied with the employer’s onboarding process.

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“The number one onboarding challenge is paperwork – that’s asking new hires and HR to re-key the same information in different systems or forms. It opens the door to errors and a potential a negative candidate experience.

“Among the varieties of onboarding pitfalls, we are also seeing a lot of companies not being prepared to welcome new hires on the logistics side (computer, IT accesses, badge, desk etc.) or missing a clear onboarding process to set them up for success.

“When companies had to pivot their hiring and onboarding to remote at the begging of the year, most simply turned online their in-person processes online. It didn't exactly work - as some activities such as identity verification can't be performed the same way in-person or remotely, exposing companies to great legal and compliance risks.”

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This room for human error can be a killer for candidate experience. As Viault pointed out, tedious paperwork is a massive turn off for potential hires -especially the younger candidates who already expect everything to be virtual and paperless.

“Millennials are no longer looking for a ‘nine to five’, or a bland pay check when looking for a job,” continued Viault. “They’re looking for a mission that aligns with their lifestyle. They are masters of digital communication, and they expect a hyper-connected company that aligns with this lifestyle. A recent survey revealed that 93% of millennials cited modern and up-to-date technology as one of the most important aspects of the workplace.

“Of course, they are looking for a job in which the company aligns its purpose and values with the ones that are driving them. But the work environment is playing a critical role, and most of them are enquiring about that during the hiring process. In the recent time, the company attitude towards work from home can also be a deal breaker.”

These high expectations are nothing new, with tech-savvy candidates expecting the very best in high-res, digital candidate experience. And though it may sound expensive, the little changes smaller companies make can actually be the most effective.

“The first dimension is to reduce reliance on paper, which is usually slowing down processes, costly and doesn't allow for visibility in the process,” continued Viault.

“The second aspect companies are working on is the transition of the hiring and onboarding experience to mobile. More than 90% of Canadians own a smartphone, which is becoming the most natural way for candidates to enter in contact and exchange with brands, even in hiring.

“Finally, companies are investing to become equipped with data-driven HR, with a holistic tracking of all information allowing better informed decisions. This level of sophistication enables them to track new trends early in order to remain attractive in a complex job market.”

To read more on how to improve your onboarding experience, download DocuSign’s free resource here.

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