What do a 57-storey skyscraper and the average manual onboarding process have in common? They both take 19 days to complete – 19 days! And that’s not including weekends and Bank Holidays, people.

Yep, that’s right. In the same time it takes to onboard just one new employee, China built the J57 Mini Sky City in Changsha. Impressive, right? For the construction workers of China anyway. Perhaps not so much for the onboarding process.

And that’s not the end of it either. In a recent study conducted by webonboarding, almost four in ten people admitted to having problems or issues during the onboarding process or when starting a new job.  The manual process can be slow, important tasks can be delayed or neglected along the way and the risk of new starters turning up to find they’re without basic equipment or training is very real. A whopping 42% of people surveyed said there was no computer or laptop ready for them when they started – and 26% of people didn’t even have a desk!

I don’t know about you, but I ain’t doin’ no work without a desk. And I’m probably pretty hacked off and disappointed about it too.

Because you just would be, wouldn’t you?

Onboarding is a crucial time, starting from the moment a job offer is made and continuing through to the start date and induction period. Until now, however, it’s often been overlooked. With unemployment rates currently so low, resulting in fewer jobseekers and more choice for those who are looking for a new role, retaining talent is becoming a tough challenge for employers – and one we all need to face up to.

Increasingly, to ensure new employees are given the best possible experience, HR teams have been turning to onboarding technology to efficiently and effectively manage their processes.

But can automation really make that much of a difference? We sure think so.

Hitting the big time

Bringing a new employee into your business can be a big strain on both time and resources. Onboarding technology can help you nail the transactional parts of the process, from automatically sending out contracts to ordering new equipment – meaning you can operate more effectively. Why not use your time to create a positive, personalised experience for your new starters instead? Not only that, but it’s a great way to ensure there are no unnecessary delays. So, that’s more time for you to do your job – and less time for your new starter to feel frustrated.

On the right track

Onboarding isn’t carried out by just one person or department – it’s a collaborative effort. And, while we’re all for collaboration, it comes with its risks. Anyone who’s ever worked on a group project will know this. Did Marc remember he has to do this today? Is this my job or did Holly say she’d take care of it? Has that already been done? With onboarding tech, you’ll never be in doubt. It’s quick and simple to set up processes that identify exactly what needs to be done, at what point, and by whom. What’s more, everyone – including your new starter – can be kept in the loop as everything can be easily tracked.

No mistake about it

We’re all human, and human error is, unfortunately, a part of life. The ability to set up standard communication templates (and automatically schedule tasks!) not only means you can carry out bulk onboarding easily, but it also cuts the risk of typos – and the distribution of communications that really don’t reflect your business. The better your communication, the more considered that it seems, the more likely your new starter is to feel engaged on that important first day – and all the days after that, too.

Getting it just right

What’s worse? Being left in the dark, or being knocked for six by an avalanche of information and forms? Honestly, we think both are pretty bad, and neither give the best impression of your business’ practices. With your onboarding technology ensuring the right details are fed through to the right people, at the right time – in manageable, bitesize chunks – your processes will seem slick and professional. Your new starter also isn’t going to turn up on their first day feeling prematurely fatigued by said avalanche of information, or feeling like you’ve forgotten about them altogether.

Happy to be here

If you can give your new starters the best possible onboarding experience, it acts as a super introduction to your business. After all, it’s the first real experience that they’ll have with you – it can say a lot about who you are as an organisation and how you operate. The better your process is, the more likely your employees are to be in it for the long haul with you – and the sooner they’ll be on course for success.

Sprucing up onboarding can make a measurable difference – and save you money in the long-term. That’s why we’ve now added an onboarding module, developed alongside real HR teams, to our Octo FirstClass offering. Drop us a message if you’d like to find out more about what it can do for you.

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