Written by Benjamin Tan
Onboarding refers to the process of acclimatizing or introducing a new candidate to his/her new role within the organization. Onboarding is a critical aspect of both the candidate and employee experience which is why it is rather unfortunate that this process has long been overlooked.
Whether it’s adapting to organizational culture to fitting in with co-workers, acclimatization is a lengthy process which is why it’s highly unlikely that a new candidate will be able to give his/her best from the start. A situation which highlights why businesses need to pay special attention to the onboarding experience.
Hence with all of this in mind, we take a look at why onboarding plays a critical role in Human Capital Management (HCM) and why a new generation of HRM systems may be the answer.
The outlook for 2020 is a grim one with fears of a global recession plaguing economies all over the world. As some business owners grapple with the very prospect of insolvency, others are looking to optimize their organizations to better deal with an uncertain future.
In this regard, employee onboarding could potentially be regarded as a tool that can be used to maximize the potential of each new hire. A well-structured onboarding program takes a systematic approach towards preparing the candidate for their new role.
This can come in the form of training programs aimed at giving new joiners a hands-on experience prior to kick start their learning process. Thanks to a new generation of HRM systems that automate the more laborious aspects of orientation such as data entry and processing, paperwork will soon become a thing of the past.
Additionally, employee portals allow new joiners to check and submit documents digitally whilst also gaining access to any required training modules. All of this convenience significantly reduces the need for rework and will help familiarize the new joiner with the organization’s software.
Regular follow-ups are crucial in order to assess the viability of an organization’s onboarding program. Conducting a post-onboarding assessment allows HR professionals to better understand how the onboarding process has helped or hindered a new candidate.
Reaching out to a new joiner’s direct supervisor is another way of assessing the success of an onboarding program. Regularly checking up on a new joiner’s progress i.e. ability to fit in and work competency can also be an effective method of measuring the efficacy of the organizational onboarding program.
Utilizing data gathered from these assessments, adjustments can then be made to enhance the employee onboarding experience. Besides improving employee morale, this approach also has the potential of reducing the time taken for an employee to become fully operational. In today’s competitive world, this edge could possibly make all the difference.
Starting a new job is without a doubt a daunting prospect for just about anyone. This is why it’s perfectly normal for new joiners to feel a combination of anxiety and excitement with a tinge of self-doubt.
An ill-planned onboarding program can be more than a little frustrating for new employees looking to get started quickly. Instead of being introduced to work colleagues and getting to grips with work, many often spend hours waiting around or filling up employment forms.
With an integrated HRM system, line managers and colleagues would be able to provide the new joiner with access to manuals and files that would help him/her get a leg up. This would allow an enthusiastic candidate to get themselves up to speed whilst also reducing the time taken to become fully competent.
As 2020 has shown us, telecommuting and remote work arrangements are set to become the new norm. With that, HR professionals and business owners alike will have to come to terms with the fact that new recruits may be interviewed and employed without ever having set foot on premises.
In an increasingly connected world with no end in sight to the Covid-19 pandemic, the nature of work as we know it may be irrevocably changed in the future. With Singapore and other neighbouring states entering a state of extended quarantine, employees may even need to explore the need for virtual onboarding.
This brings about an entirely new set of challenges for HR professionals and hiring managers alike as the lack of human contact and communication can make engagement nearly impossible.
From regularly conducting mingle sessions with employees to offering hardware support i.e. internet the importance of developing a virtual onboarding checklist for new candidates should never be underestimated.
As part of a cohesive HCM strategy, employee onboarding is one of the most important HR functions that may sometimes be overlooked. While at times onboarding may seem unimportant, its long term benefits can make the difference between failure and success.