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Trends, Product and Industry Insights to Help Create Your HR Tomorrow, Today.

Onboarding: What’s the Big Deal?

Written by Vanessa Mariscal and Jeffrey Haynes, Baker Tilly Human Capital Services

In today’s marketplace, a modern talent acquisition experience is essential for any organization’s success. Onboarding includes the final steps of an integrated talent acquisition platform, and sets the stage for a positive and ultimately productive experience for the new hire.  Reducing inefficiencies and increasing effectiveness by leveraging onboarding leading practices reduces the time for new employees to begin being productive and increases the likelihood that they’ll stay with your company. 

Many human resources professionals are familiar with the “onboarding curve.” This graphic shows how long it takes for new employees to contribute value. This breakeven point is when an employee switches from being a value consumer to a value creator.

Source: The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins
Source: The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins

When this breakeven point happens varies by company, industry, and job type. What if HR professionals were able to accelerate this curve, contributing to a faster time to productivity and an improved bottom line? 

Although it may seem impossible for HR to affect the bottom line in this way, it’s not out of reach. This transformational change can occur at one specific step of the employee lifecycle: onboarding. This step is often thought of as the postscript to recruiting, but onboarding offers HR a chance to drive real business outcomes and should be maximized. Streamlining your onboarding process could have large, organization-wide effects that lead to increased productivity, higher performance, and overall happier employees. Jeff Haynes and Mike Windham addressed this point a previous post, but the lesson is worth repeating: investing in onboarding makes sense. 

In a recent Oracle HCM Users Group presentation, Jim Fox highlighted five major reasons to implement an effective onboarding process. Collectively, these reasons can spur great organizational change. 

  1. Make a good first impression. An efficient, streamlined onboarding process shows that you care about your new employees and their success. As much as 20% of staff turnover happens within the first 45 days of employment, according to statistics from UrbanBound. Employees are watching you, and this change shows that you’re invested in them.
  2. Streamline the process. Catalog your onboarding needs and eliminate duplicate or unnecessary steps. Every form that must be filled out can be built into an Oracle HCM Cloud onboarding flow. This way, every task is accounted for and bottlenecks are eliminated. On average, organizations with a standard onboarding process experience 54% greater new hire productivity, according to UrbanBound. The goal is to speed the employee’s time to productivity, and eliminating time wasted in the onboarding process is one way to do that. 
  3. Capture data automatically. There is no reason to collect duplicate data. Using integrated technology, you can populate your HRIS systems very efficiently. Information collected during recruiting can be used in onboarding. 
  4. Improve your bottom line. Onboarding can increase revenue and save on expenses. Companies typically experience a 1% to 2.5% revenue loss due to new hire learning curves, according to UrbanBound.1 By reducing paper costs, postage costs, and making your new employees more productive, faster, you’re helping to improve your bottom line. 
  5. Create a consistent, modern experience. Onboarding can be presented as a sleek, seamless user experience. Integrated systems and automated processing can produce a paperless environment that’s easy to navigate, and that allows new employees to begin their jobs faster, contributing to an 18% greater achievement of the employee’s first performance goals at companies that have effective onboarding programs, says UrbanBound. 

Onboarding can provide a significant, companywide boost to real business results, and HR can be the catalyst. Although it may seem like a daunting shift from the way onboarding is currently done, this transformation will pay off in the long run. We recommend you first focus on new employees from outside the company. After you fine-tune onboarding there, move to internal hires. Pick one area of your business to streamline; focus on the areas that will provide the biggest bang for your buck (such as high-volume hiring) and where you experience the most pain points. Start small and you’ll see changes rippling through your organization. 

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