Onboarding: Straightforward Process or Logistical Nightmare?
The process of integrating new hires into your business– otherwise known as “onboarding”– isn’t too complicated. Papers are handed over, signed, and returned; new staff undergo an orientation process and read up on the standards and practices particular to your company. Then they’re all set: the new hire is a part of your team.
But that isn’t quite how it works out. Let’s turn to a particular situation as an illustration: new hire onboarding at a Napa Valley winery. A helpful wine industry staffing agency sends over a group of new hires to support an expanding winery operation. The production manager now has to deal with a stack of paperwork on each new employee and introduce them to the rest of the staff. And make sure they know safety compliance standards. And situate each of them in their new position.
Benefits and Pitfalls of Using Onboarding Technology
In order to avoid a pile-up of responsibilities, the productions manager dealing with new hire onboarding at the Napa Valley winery needs a technological intervention.
Here are some startling numbers about the costs of onboarding:
- Your new employees take about eight months to be optimally productive
- Before they’ve worked with you a year, 23% of new hires will move on
- Employee turnover can cost you between 100% and 300% of that position’s salary
- Thirty three percent of new staff start looking for a new job within six months of being hired
The winery productions manager wants to avoid losing the new talent the wine industry staffing agency sent over to them. Anyone responsible for new hires wants them to stay on as part of the team! By implementing an onboarding program, you can streamline the process, retain your hires, and make the introduction of new staff less disruptive for your team.
Onboarding Technology at Its Best
If you’re smart about how to use onboarding technology, you can expect these positive results:
- Faster paperwork processing. A program like Bullhorn can help you organize every form and contract new employees sign. Email them out, get their electronic signature, and immediately have a digital copy of all their documents.
- Customize the process. The production manager at the Napa winery oversees hires for the lab, the bottling line, the maintenance team. With a program like Asana, she can tailor the orientation for each department and deliver the information each employee needs for their specific responsibilities.
- Keep onboarding updated. Your company grows and changes– so should its onboarding process. Using onboarding technology allows you to integrate new industry trends or update company policies at a moment’s notice.
- Track its effectiveness. Onboarding technology can track and analyze the effectiveness of the process. The ability to update your program as soon as you want to allows you to make changes on the fly and potentially improve onboarding as it is happening.
How Not to Use Technology for Onboarding
Not every attempt at on-boarding with technology turns out well. There are a few pitfall you will definitely want to avoid when implementing a new program for integrating new hires.
- Making it impersonal. Don’t have onboarding programs replace personal interactions between staff. Instead, use your onboarding program to implement a peer mentoring or buddy system so new hires can ask questions of and learn from senior team members.
- Scrapping traditional orientation methods. There is still something to be said for guiding staff through policy and procedure via a meeting. Think of onboarding programs as a way to supplement what you already do instead of replacing it.
Better Hiring with Onboarding Technology
So the productions manager finds the best onboarding process technology and implements it with the group of new hires. Each new staff member flies through their paperwork so they can move on to orientation, which combines old-school meetings and digital updates to help them learn their new responsibilities. The hires can ask the whole staff questions through the onboarding system; the manager can track their productivity over the first few months, filling in gaps in their knowledge as needed. The new staff members stay and there is no need to repeat the staffing process six months down the road.