A miserable first day on the job can often be worse for employers than it is for employees. In response to a 2018 survey from West Monroe, 45% of new hires said they rebooted their job search after their first day didn’t go as hoped.
There is an obvious—but not easy—solution to avoiding the mutual misery: a smooth onboarding process, which leaves a great impression and dispels any confusion that might tarnish it. And yet, according to a 2017 Gallup report, only 12% of employees feel that their company does a good job of onboarding.
In a recent ServiceNow survey of Gen-Z employees and interns, 62% said onboarding could be improved if employers gave them access to information about their role and the company before their first day.
ServiceNow welcomes new hires to the family with an onboarding platform that combines all tasks, including cross-functional workflows, and relevant information in a single experience. New hires say the experience—almost fully digital—strongly reflects ServiceNow’s positive culture. By taking the work out of onboarding, it empowers fresh faces to feel part of the team and start being productive from day one.
“I feel significantly more integrated and assimilated into ServiceNow after 10 weeks than I did after five months at my old job,” says John Konczal, a director who works in Customer Success at Scale.
A mom’s best friend
If anyone needed to integrate smoothly into ServiceNow, it’s Celeste Kassai, who joined the company in the spring to oversee new hire orientation. She had left her previous job and immediately jumped into a very different role: being a stay-at-home mom.
After six months of school pickups, sports practices, and other household activities, she was ready for a culture shock when she moved to her new job at ServiceNow. The onboarding process, she says, made all the difference.
She was at her daughter’s swim lesson when she was notified by HR to complete her background check. Logging into the browser app on her cell phone, she says, “I literally did the whole thing on my phone,” she says. “Sitting poolside.”
Five months into the job, the onboarding process continues to help Celeste in her job. As the first person to greet new hires at the Santa Clara headquarters, Celeste is on the company’s front line. In her old job, she was bombarded with questions from new hires. If she didn’t know the answer, she’d have to waste time tracking it down.
Now she receives only a fraction of those questions. The onboarding app has all the info a new employee might need—and if it doesn’t, it tells the new hire who they can get it from. That’s because the app taps into the wealth of knowledge contained in the employee knowledge base and service portal. The app also tells users where they are in the onboarding process with a progress indicator.
Since Celeste joined the company, ServiceNow has introduced a new Mobile HR Onboarding app, downloadable from the Apple or Google Play stores. The mobile app addresses many of the improvements suggested in the ServiceNow Gen-Z employees survey, including getting immediate access to devices and apps to be productive (51%), having a workspace that was set up and ready to go on day one (49%), and accessing one place for all onboarding tasks (49%).
A new recent hire to the Finance group, Armando Morales, used the app to complete his assigned tasks on his cell phone and iPad. “The app expedited my onboarding because I was able to order my computer and review and sign forms before I started. My user ID, network access, email, laptop and cell phone were ready to go on day one so I could be productive immediately. It felt like the typical two-week onboarding runway was shortened to one day, thanks to mobile onboarding. Mobile onboarding made it simple to understand and accomplish all my tasks.”
Chris Kim, who manages social media, also noticed the effects of the intuitive onboarding process when he joined. Remembering onboarding at previous jobs—basically, a lot of disorganized emails—Chris marveled at the app’s simplicity. “It was a great user experience,” he says. “It gives you a lot of confidence you’re on track and not missing anything you should be doing.”
As a social media expert, Chris is innately familiar with what ServiceNow communicates about its platform and the type of company culture it can promote. In fact, hearing about ServiceNow’s HR onboarding use case—which orchestrates workflows from Legal, IT, HR, Security, and Facilities into a single application—resonated with him as a perfect example of making work, work better for people.
Going through onboarding “reinforced the power of our own solutions and culture,” he says. The app experience also affirmed that he had come to the right place.
John Konczal, who works remotely from Atlanta, was, like Chris, inspired to see his company’s “software live in action.”
John is a remote pro at this point. Since graduating from business school, he has been working remotely for a few Fortune 500 companies. When starting a new job, his basic (and quite reasonable) expectation is that he receives the equipment and information he needs to start working right away.
“When you’re a remote employee, your only connection to the business is your laptop,” he says. “The laptop arrived on time. It came with clear instructions. I was ready to go on day one. For me, it was a great start.”
Catherine Braude, who works remotely from outside Chicago for Customer Outcomes Operations Enablement, was also impressed by the onboarding process, which she describes as a one-stop shop.
The only question she couldn’t answer on her own using the app concerned her I-9 verification. The app, which features a section containing your important contacts, photos included, directed her to the appropriate resource to help. She says, “The onboarding app made it very easy for me to know who to reach out to for assistance, view my progress, and access everything at my fingertips.”
For ServiceNow new hires, the onboarding app—and the first week of onboarding in general—turned a period of potential confusion into an extended demonstration of ServiceNow’s values: digital ease, employee empowerment, teamwork, and community. The app is part of ServiceNow HR Service Delivery.
“I felt like a full employee within the first week,” says John. “It was the easiest onboarding experience I’ve ever had in my career.”