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Tech Is The Future of Employee Onboarding, Says Study

Employee Onboarding

Technology has immense potential to help companies in their employee onboarding processes. However, he overall adoption of technology solutions in onboarding is yet to reach critical mass in India, according to a new survey report that saw the participation of  over 100 organizations across the country.

Employee onboarding is the process of integrating a new employee with a company and its culture, as well as getting a new hire the tools and information needed to become a productive member of the team.

The report by Simplilearn and People Matters, on  the research study “Trends & Best Practices in Onboarding” states that a whopping 76 percent of the participating companies responded that they do not have a dedicated onboarding technology solution.

The top areas where technologies are being leveraged in onboarding programs across organizations include orientation (57 percent), constant communication during pre-boarding (46 percent), first-day experiences (45 percent), goal setting and expectation management (44 percent), and training & assessments (36 percent)

The key technical domains for upskilling new hires according to the survey are Big Data, AI & Machine Learning, Cloud Computing, Programming, Cyber Security and Data Science & Business Intelligence.

Onboarding new hires at an organization should be a strategic process that lasts at least one year, staffing and HR experts say, because how employers handle the first few days and months of a new employee’s experience is crucial to ensuring high retention. Of the Current State of Onboarding: Trends and Challenges, 93 percent of companies have a formal onboarding process, and of which 61 percent have different programs for fresher and lateral hires.

Orientation programs (70 percent), an impeccable Day One experience (80 percent), and engagement activities during pre-boarding like technical skill-training, projects and mentoring sessions by leaders and managers, etc. (68 percent) are the most sought-after methods by companies to engage and assimilate new hires.

Getting new hires accustomed (44 percent), involvement of managers (44 percent), and learning engagement (42 percent) are among the top challenges companies face in their onboarding programs. However, only 27 percent companies are satisfied with the outcomes of their current onboarding programs. 

How Can Organizations Improve Their Onboarding Practices?

The study revealed that it takes 3-6 months to train campus hires and make them productive for the job. Hence, it is necessary for organizations to begin their onboarding right from the time the campus hire accepts the offer, i.e. Pre-boarding, which 44 percent of the companies said that they begin pre-boarding the new hires while they are still on campus.

According to the study, 58 percent of the participating companies confirmed having a planned engagement during pre-boarding. However, the pre-engagement activities primarily included communication and new hire documentation. It was also unusual to find that while Indian companies have expressed their discontent with skilled talent available to perform jobs on new technologies, only few of them (32 percent) are implementing skilling and training initiatives for new hires while they are still on campus.

Krishna Kumar, Founder & CEO at Simplilearn said, “Onboarding is the golden period for companies and new hires to get aligned. In this age of digital transformation where upskilling is a critical focus, it was surprising to observe that only 24 percent of the companies leverage technology in onboarding. Companies are in an endeavor to save time and costs to get their new hires up to speed with core technical skills required for the job. I believe there is a huge potential for companies to leverage technology to engage and offer training during onboarding which leads to employee productivity and clear business ROI.”

“Onboarding is often overlooked as a formality rather than a key strategy to ensure well-performing new employees become productive and culturally aligned in an organization”, said Ester Martinez, CEO & Editor-in-Chief at People Matters. “Onboarding offers a great opportunity to augment competitive advantage by creating a committed talent pool that gives the desired performance. It remains an untapped area of creating an impact to the bottom line.”

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