Often overlooked, the employee onboarding process is a key period in the employment life-cycle. The importance of this process cannot be overstated, or underestimated. Therefore, it is vitally important that this process be completed as quickly and efficiently as possible. To accomplish this, many companies have looked to onboarding software, and various other types of programs, to help bridge the gap between hire-date and start-date.
So what is employee onboarding software? Simply put, it is technology that allows employers to smoothly navigate their new-hires through this transitional period, and streamline the handoff from hiring manager to trainer. It manages necessary tasks, reduces the need for redundant and unnecessary paperwork, and keeps the new-hire engaged through continuous updates and participation. To put it even more simply; employee onboarding software is a tool that saves time and money.
Benefits of employee onboarding software
The single biggest advantage to the use of employee onboarding software is the efficiency with which the software allows all necessary tasks to be completed. For example, much of the paperwork is redundant and unnecessary. If a new-hire completes paperwork and returns it to HR, only to then have it manually entered into the computer system, this is both wasteful and inefficient. Completion of the paperwork portion of the onboarding process should be simple, and could easily be done paperlessly.
Here is a list of several other benefits of employee onboarding software:
- Guarantees compliance:
- Ensures nothing is missed with the completion and filing of state and federal tax paperwork.
- New-hire engagement:
- The more engaged your new-hire is during the onboarding process, the more engaged they will be as an employee. This will reduce turnover due to unmet expectations.
- Employee onboarding software is easy to use for both the new-hire, as well as the HR representative, and is fully customizable to the needs of the individual business. It is also accessible from remote locations.
Utilizing employee onboarding software also reduces the personnel-hours required to get your new-hire “first day-ready”. In this regards, you can streamline handoffs with this platform that allows blending in the employee handling and on-boarding process. This means your initial investment is less-substantial than it would be without making use of a program. The time it takes to recover that initial investment is also reduced. The faster your employee is fully-trained and generating results, the faster your business makes money.
Evaluating employee onboarding software and programs
When evaluating your employee onboarding program, there are several criteria that must be taken into consideration. The most obvious point to consider is the cost of the program weighed against its results. How much has your organization spent on the software, and does it perform the job adequately enough to be worth the financial investment? After cost, there are two primary methods for evaluating the success of your onboarding software: quantitative, and qualitative.
The two main components of the quantitative evaluation process are the Kirkpatrick Levels of evaluation and Human Resources metrics. The Kirkpatrick Levels of evaluation has become the industry standard with regard to measuring a program’s level of success. It is made up of four trackable stages: reaction, learning, behavior, and results. Human Resources metrics are the other main component of the quantitative evaluation process. While several HR metrics are evaluated, there is none more important than employee turnover and retention.
The qualitative evaluation process relies more on the feedback received directly from the new-hire, and less on hard numbers. Focus groups and surveys are a fantastic way to obtain this data. Stay and Exit Interviews are also an excellent way to solicit feedback and gauge the success of your employee onboarding program. Immediately following orientation is the ideal time to conduct such interviews, as most new-hire turnover occurs at this time.
Was your new-hire engaged throughout the onboarding period? Did they feel as though this process was handled quickly and efficiently, or did they feel abandoned once their offer letter was signed? The qualitative evaluation is where you can gauge the “human factor” of the employee onboarding process. Remember, this is the first real opportunity that your new-hire will have to evaluate the company, as well.
Streamlining the handoff from hiring manager to trainer provides the best chance for retention
The faster you move your new-hires through the employee onboarding process, the better it is for both employee and company. A smooth and expedient transition is your first, best defense against early employee turnover. The right employee onboarding software program can help guarantee efficiency, while establishing an accurate timeline for the process.