Why is onboarding engagement so important?

Trying to get all of the paperwork and tasks completed for a new starter can be enough of a headache for most HR teams without having to worry about ‘engagement’.

Employee engagement refers to the quality of experience that a successful candidate has as they are joining an organisation – whether it’s positive or negative.

But while your HR approach may not focus on the onboarding ‘experience’, it’s contrasting attitudes towards engagement that can make the difference between a successful candidate joining your company or being lost.

A  survey, carried out by Webonboarding with OnePoll, found that 46 percent of UK office workers have experienced negative onboarding experiences and for one-in-ten (11 percent), this resulted in them dropping out.

Slow and frustrating process

The research, involving a survey of 2,000 office-based workers, found new starters expressing frustration with a slow onboarding process. More than two-thirds (71 percent) said paperwork was incomplete when they started.

For more than a quarter of respondents (27 percent), they had to wait for up to a month before the administrative documentation was complete. This included contracts, offer letters and company compliance agreements.

With record high employment rates within the UK, these kinds of inefficiencies have become a particular issue. A successful candidate is now likely to have other employment options open to them during the onboarding phase.

This could be a competing offer from an existing employer or it could be alternative roles they have applied for. In a candidate driven market, prospective hires are also liable to simply disappear during onboarding – no longer responding to calls or emails.

Challenge of ‘ghosting’

This practice, known as ‘ghosting’, has become an increasing challenge for HR teams, with an employer often not knowing about a candidate’s decision until they fail to turn up for their first day at work.

The business consequences of drop-outs can be considerable in terms of lost HR time and resources, also the organisational disruption that’s caused by positions remaining unfilled for extended periods.

It’s to tackle these issues that more HR managers are turning to technology as a way to make onboarding a more welcoming and engaging experience – helping to draw candidates into the organisation.

The major benefits come from a fast and efficient way to communicate with candidates during the onboarding phase. Webonboarding uses a cloud-based approach which removes the need for any paper-based or manual processes.

Improving the experience

An online portal is used to provide candidates with everything they need to join an organisation – from contracts and offer letters to welcome packages and company guides.

Digital signatures allow contracts to be signed online, removing the long onboarding delays caused by paperwork having to be posted out and returned – often taking weeks to complete.

By reducing the administrative burden on HR, it allows more focus to be placed on creating an engaging and positive onboarding experience that’s designed to minimise the risks of drop-out.

The switch to cloud-based communications unlocks a whole range of different ways that the onboarding experience can be improved – whether it’s a welcome videos or web links to help somebody who’s relocating.

Webonboarding features integrated feedback tools to provide hiring teams with accurate information on what’s effective – with successful candidate rating their experience.

These technological solutions allow a new approach to onboarding. By removing so much of the administrative burden, HR teams are able to place more focus on the quality of onboarding.

It provides the time, resources and tools to craft a fast, simple and engaging onboarding operation which minimises the risks of drop-out and helps to build strong bonds between new starters and their employers.

Read the full report here

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