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Saab transforms its onboarding experience


Of new starters throughout the year


Hours saved per year


Increase in employee satisfaction

Maintaining a competitive edge
Saab welcomes thousands of new faces every year to its global business. The $4 billion defense and security business has more than 18,000 employees, contractors, and consultants. This highly skilled, in-demand workforce must be productive and supported from day one.

The reality used to be very different. Onboarding any new starter tended to be slow and bureaucratic. In an increasingly competitive talent market this was less than ideal.

“It’s super important we create the right first impression,” says Sandra Schedwin, VP – Head of People Operations, Saab. “For a tech company, there is a huge disconnect between the sophistication of the products we produce and our own internal processes.”

Saab HR identified an opportunity to reimagine the onboarding process. It wanted to replace slow and disparate paper-based bureaucracy with a new, digital, consistent standard. To do so, it would need to seamlessly connect the different parties involved in onboarding—IT, HR, security, legal, and facilities.

This would mean new starters arriving would be equipped with the right hardware, applications, contracts, and security clearance. This digital transformation would enable new employees to be connected and engaged from day one.

A consistent onboarding process
ServiceNow Enterprise Onboarding and Transitioning replaced the old, paper-based onboarding process with a new, digital workflow. Automated workflows now connect the different departments and functions involved in onboarding, meaning new hires start with all the tools, services, and information they need to get work done. The new process eliminates previous frustrations and hold-ups. New hires now feel fully integrated and engaged within the company culture from day one.

Employees are given a pre-boarding ‘tour’ with access to videos and articles on what life is like at Saab. The correct security clearance and IT provisioning is completed automatically—employees must attend a security briefing session and two IT packs now consolidate 2,000 catalog items to simplify procurement, provisioning, and support. The whole process has a focus on minimizing the number of clicks required to have a new starter onboard. New starters are then asked for feedback on the process, driving continual improvements.

The engagement also transforms productivity and compliance. Saab has introduced a ‘one-stop-shop’ approach of finding information. There is now a consistent, auditable process for all. Saab estimates a saving of 12,000 hours per year and reports a 25% lift in employee satisfaction.

It also allows Saab to be seen as a connected, efficient employer, a place where global talent can fulfill great careers.

“We need to attract and retain talent—that is key to Saab’s success,” says Sandra. “ServiceNow means we provide a great employee experience from day one.”

Saab logo
Stockholm, Sweden
Aerospace & Defense

Transforming the cumbersome onboarding process was an obvious opportunity, but we always recognized the opportunity to broaden the use of ServiceNow.

Fredrik Spets

Digital Transformation Director

Delivering continuous value
The project was delivered using agile methodology. Saab will then use this iterative approach as it seeks to broaden its digital ecosystem, using smaller releases to demonstrate continuous value add. It has created a joint steering group to involve other group functions, taking the lead from HR and the employee experience.

“Transforming the cumbersome onboarding process was an obvious opportunity, but we always recognized the opportunity to broaden the use of ServiceNow,” says Fredrik Spets, Digital Transformation Director, Saab.

As Saab becomes more familiar with ServiceNow solutions, it hopes to further utilize its technology within the organization. Transforming its onboarding process is just a ‘stepping stone’ as offboarding is now orchestrated through ServiceNow and more cross-functional processes are in progress. The group wants to find and eliminate paper-based processes and ensure all tasks can be found—and actioned—from one central hub. The impact of COVID-19 has shown the importance of digital workflows, and the limitations of face-to-face, paper-based processes.

The success of onboarding is helping win over other group functions. Rather than forcing business units to digitize, Fredrik says, the project is helping demonstrate the simplicity of transformation and the advantages of change:

“There has been resistance, but the process of onboarding is a perfect illustration of how our business is connected. It has sparked an enthusiasm for examining our old processes. ServiceNow enables us to bring together business expertise with process expertise.”

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