People make Businesses and Companies grow. Increasingly Companies are realizing that it is not just important to get the Right People but perhaps even more important to keep them Happy. Happy Employees make Happy Customers and Happy Customers make great Businesses. Add to this another trend – even in a tough economy Employees are no longer willing to stay in Companies that don’t take care of them and make them happy, thereby increasing churn. Now add the third trend - The ever-increasing pace of change in the business landscape with Technology, Competition and Customer preferences, all changing rapidly and simultaneously.
One of the key ways to respond to the above challenges is to aggressively deploy technology-enabled solutions across the Employee Lifecycle. Technology enables accuracy, speed and predictability in delivering HR services to Employees and at the same time frees up the time and space for the HR team to focus on providing what no technology can – a human touch and empathy.
This is the fertile soil which has enabled HR technologies to grow exponentially in the recent past. Present day HR technology space is more than $15 billion market and now encompasses almost all aspects of the Employee lifecycle. New tools to manage recruitment, core employee processes, employee communications, engagement, recognition, and workplace wellness; actively used by many organizations today.
These tools have gone way beyond mere automation and now employ new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and pattern recognition through Big Data analytics; thus bringing a human-like touch but at a scale and speed hitherto not possible. This has also brought new areas of the Employee Lifecycle into the ambit of technology. Recruitment and On-Boarding are two such examples.
Recruitment technology has moved beyond Tests and Applicant Tracking systems to sophisticated profile matching and even interviewing and selection processes. At the same time On-Boarding processes and technology now encompass the end to end experience – right from Offer management to joining formalities to the Day 1 employee experience, thus offering an opportunity for organizations to create an engagement with the employee from even before the employee has stepped on to the office premises.
An effective employee onboarding process includes a lot of moving parts such as:
- Welcoming the new employee
- Joining Formalities
- Asset Allocation
- Employee orientation
- Introduction to available resources
- Expectation setting, etc.
Employing onboarding software solutions can effectively transform the prospective employee’s onboarding experience thereby saving valuable time for both the organization and the prospective employee. Also, Millennials and Generation Z form an increasingly large part of our workforce today. This tech savvy workforce is used to never shutting off hence they look forward to technology to enable and assist them as they work through the process on their own terms. Some of these changes that we are seeing are:
Consistency of experience. Job seeking has entirely migrated to technology. Job seekers can select from an array of technology tools as they seek new positions. They experience company websites, social media pages, job boards, applicant tracking systems, assessments and forms to complete online. It would beunimaginable for such a prospective employee to step into a non-technology enabled experience upon making the transition from “recruit” to “employee.”
Automated experience. Gone are the days when joining formalities included manually submitting forms and documents and filling out the same details in sevaral different forms. Prospective employees today expect self managed apps and software enabled solutions that help them complete the formatives remotely and accurately and also without duplication of effort.
Creating an excellent onboarding first impression is about exceeding a new employee’s expectations. The HR team of any organization needs to create an employee onboarding process with all of the necessary human touches built upon a solid foundation of technology tools and resources to enhance the employee onboarding experience.
Some of the most important Onboarding processes and Technology changes are:
Paperless & mobile-friendly
Few companies today follow the practice of onboarding new employees with a stack of paperwork to be completed and submitted on the first day. Most have made some progress in making their processes paperless.
By using paperless forms of technology or apps an employee can remotely and seamlessly manage this process and instead spend more time focusing on understanding the work requirements and meeting their new colleagues and making important relationships.
E- Employee Orientation
Employee orientation is all about acquainting the employee with his workplace surroundings, practices, processes and colleagues. For a prospective employee one of the most overwhelming parts of onboarding is getting to know all the new faces. A video introduction guide allows new employees to review who’s who even before joining and helps employees to easily connect with their co-workers and adapt within the organization effortlessly.
Training processes have transformed over the years bringing in technology platforms customized to the learning needs of the employee. Millennials and Generation Z prefer a ‘on the go’, anytime, anywhere accessible format of training as against a traditional classroom setting. A formal in-person onboarding training in a classroom is beneficial for social purposes but needs to be complemented with anytime anywhere access which gives the employee the benefit of returning to the training material for a refresher at any point during their employment tenure.
Trend-based and Predictive Data Analytics
Data and Analytics are increasingly being used by companies to make their ‘people oriented’ operations more effective and efficient. The Onboarding process can also be improved by measuring and tracking the right metrics.
One way to manage this is by collecting a formal feedback from new employees at different points in time of their employment journey in the company. Analyzing this data will help companies identify the pain points faced by employees, the reasons why and when they develop, thereby enhancing their onboardingand onward journey. Interpretation of this data along with employee performance data provides invaluable insights for the onboarding processand also for the talent acquisition process. Such data is also being used to develop predictive models through AI algorithms.
These examples of the use of technology in people processes – including Onboarding processes, are just the tip of the iceberg. Technology is marching ahead, powered by massive advances in computing, AI, Robotics, Mobility and in Innovation. New start-ups are plunging in and creating ever new ways of applying technology to these old processes and in the process changing them beyond recognition.