Employee Onboarding Reimagined in the Post-Pandemic World

It’s almost been a year since companies shifted to the digital realm courtesy of COVID-19. Hiring, onboarding, and other recruitment operations are carried out with remote technology, which is now considered a sustainable tool for survival rather than a luxury. At first, it seemed that hiring and onboarding processes would face a setback in maintaining the human connection and influence. However, by adopting appropriate practices, remote hiring and onboarding programs have shown themselves to be effective and impactful. According to SHRM, almost 70% of companies have reported successful outcomes of online onboarding processes.

In today’s hybrid workplace, businesses are required to adapt to these 2 models of onboarding:

  • On-site onboarding with a few tweaks to fit in with pandemic-related imperatives.
  • Virtual onboarding – relying on technology to achieve the same effect as in-person processes.

On-site onboarding adaptation

The existing onboarding program for on-site hires will need to undergo a slight shift for today’s environment. There are some practices and policies that need to be added to the onboarding protocols:

  • Maintaining a hygienic workplace
  • Granting leave/work from home for employees who are feeling unwell
  • Temperature checks, social distancing, and other practices

Introducing such policies and protocols will help make new employees feel more comfortable by knowing that they are in a safe and protected environment, which facilitates faster assimilation.

Virtual/remote onboarding

Here, the same ideas of on-site onboarding are applied in a more structured manner with the help of technology. A welcoming handshake now becomes a welcome message and an introductory lunch transforms into a virtual lunch break. Research confirms that incorrect onboarding practices can cause low job satisfaction and engagement, which in turn leads to lower productivity and poor employee turnover rates. Hence, it is crucial to deliver the best onboarding experience, especially when it is done remotely. Successful virtual onboarding requires extensive planning, correct execution, and extra care.

Online onboarding will stay post pandemic

Through the use of AI, the onboarding process can be automated and personalized at the same time. The benefits are many:

  • High-quality, error-proof, and trackable process
  • Insurance of data security
  • Accuracy of reports
  • Clarity and transparency
  • Efficiency and consistency
  • Time and money-saving

A recent report by UrbanBound stated that automation of onboarding tasks led to 16% better retention rates for new hires and 18% improved achievement in their initial performance.
Here are some interesting features of remote onboarding:

  • Digital documentation and verification
  • – Offer letters, contracts, and other documents like NDAs can be generated automatically using natural language processing (NLP). This acts as a major time-saver as the HR managers only need to validate the output. A completely paperless process!
    – AI-verification can detect any cheats, thus ensuring a fraud-proof process.
    – Electronic signatures make the documentation process quicker and easier.

  • Chatbots for FAQs
  • – A chatbot is a very convenient means to handle queries about basic processes such as, setting up an email account, applying for leaves, etc.
    – It allows new employees to ask for information without any hesitancy.

  • Virtual library
  • – Video conferences, webinars, videos, text resources, and interactive exercises that can be accessed via desktop, tablet, or mobile device.

  • Relationship-building aids
  • – Chat rooms, social media groups, and video/audio meetings can be organized by AI/HR managers for casual and formal interactions, bringing in the much-needed human element.
    – Organizational network analysis (ONA) can help identify the critical points of contact for new employees in their team and in the organization, which can potentially boost their productivity.

  • Feedback analysis
  • – Given the importance of feedback for continuous improvement, HR professionals can employ AI tools like NLP to analyse direct and indirect feedback.

Moving to digital with AI doesn’t mean removing the human element completely. Human-tech always has an upper hand over technology alone. While technology acts as an engine, people are needed as enablers to deliver the best remote onboarding experience.

“One thing I’ve learned from onboarding so many remote workers is that the tools you use are really a secondary concern. Much of [the candidate’s] experience comes down to the human interactions.”
    -Job van der Voort, co-founder, and CEO, Remote

To thrive in these dynamic times, organizations have to think innovatively and adopt new processes quickly and efficiently. Even before COVID-19, companies had ineffective and inefficient onboarding processes, leading to losses in time, money, and talent. The bottom line, companies need to ramp up their processes with the latest technology to compete and establish themselves in the market.

HirePro Onboarding offers a customized onboarding experience. Our SaaS-based platform automates the post-offer engagement and onboarding activities. Our onboarding platform goes the extra mile to ensure that the candidates are well-settled in their new environment.
Call us at 080 6656 6000 or write to us at sales@hirepro.in