The Power of an Amazing Onboarding Experience

  • Talent and Engagement
  • Solutions
  • Service Delivery and Management
  • Digital Transformation
October 22, 2018


Onboarding is a critical moment in the employee life cycle . It is the unique opportunity companies have to engage their new hires, excite them and provide assurance and confidence that they have joined a great company. Making the life-changing decision to move to a new employer should not be followed by disappointment at the start of the journey. People need to feel that they have made the right choice from the very beginning, and this creates a strong bond with the company, the new team and a sense of common purpose. Find out more about creating an amazing onboarding experience.

The role of HR software

Many companies fail to create a great onboarding experience, and this often results in high new hire turnover, increased recruitment costs, slower adaptation and lower productivity in the first months of employment it may impact the culture and engagement overall and even cause damage to the employer branding.

HR is the owner of the onboarding process overall, and in case of challenges, it needs to take responsibility for making the necessary changes and improvements. However, the problems don’t always sit within HR. For example, a typical onboarding challenge may be related to IT not being able to provide laptops and system access on time or Facilities not arranging a desk and security badge or hiring managers not organising the relevant introductions of the new hires to their stakeholders, etc. Even on occasions where HR has created a comprehensive onboarding process and induction plan, the successful onboarding process may easily fail due to its complexity and dependencies.

What is that important ingredient that HR needs to put in the mix to make sure they create a successful onboarding process for their new hires? The answer… great technology to enable an amazing employee experience . The best-in-class modern HR software can provide cross-departmental, all-encompassing, comprehensive, personalised and automated onboarding , that gives new hires a consumer-like experience from the start of their employment journey.

ServiceNow’s HR product and platform approach has the capability and features to enable such amazing experience not only for onboarding , but also for any of the moments that matter to employees in the employee life cycle . Many HR software solutions available on the market promise to help companies create a great onboarding process , but they don’t necessarily have the technical capability to do so. It is important to acknowledge that modern HR software allows much more than creating a list of tasks and sending e-mails to the departments responsible to complete them it supports the overall process and spans outside the pre-hire phase and provides an opportunity for new hires to engage and interact.

Choosing the right onboarding technology solution

When deciding on a technology solution to transform the onboarding process , HR departments must necessarily consider:

  • Cross-departmental capability – Great onboarding technology must enable coordination between all departments that are part of the process. This is not about sending out emails, but about having the ability to make others accountable.
  • Personalization – Many parts of the onboarding process depend on the personal attributes of the employee, i.e. location, line of business they are joining, etc. This determines what content, documentation, system access is applicable to the new employee. Make sure the onboarding solution you select has the ability to provide personalization using the latest technological developments.
  • Addressing the full onboarding cycle – The onboarding process starts well before the employee start date and finishes a few months later. The timeline and internal processes may slightly differ by company, but technology should enable best practice process and experience throughout the complete cycle.
  • Mobile native design – We live in times when people access everything digital from their phones, tablets or any other device of personal preference. Don’t consider your new employees should sit down at computers to complete their onboarding , instead give them the opportunity to access content on any device at their convenience to create the sense they are treated as your customers.
  • Surveying and reporting capability – This will give great evidence of how successful the overall onboarding practice you have put in place is, as well as allow visibility of gaps in performance.

On top of providing great consumer-like onboarding experience through HR software and best practice process, both HR and the hiring managers should make sure that they set up the new employee for success. It is important not only to give clarity to the person about their team, role scope and assign them relevant training activities, but really to set up the expectations of what is required and what success looks like at the end of the onboarding period. There should be alignment and an on-going conversation with the new employee about how they are settling into their new role and if they need additional support.

In summary, an amazing onboarding process can be a strong competitive advantage for companies in winning the war for talent. HR is empowered to drive positive change and significant improvements of this process across the enterprise. Best-in-class technology should be adopted to support the right process and enable employee experience that creates a sense of belonging, builds engagement and passion for the job from the very beginning of the employee journey.

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