How to Use AI in Employee Onboarding: 7 Key Use Cases to Drive Success
Chaos, paperwork, introductions. Rinse and repeat. Sounds familiar? Onboarding: the start of it all. What if we told you there's a smarter, seamless way? You'd be correct to say that onboarding software is barely news anymore.
But we are talking about next-gen solutions—the ones that take advantage of AI.
But using AI in onboarding is not about replacing the human touch. It's about enhancing it.
From automating the mundane to personalizing experiences, AI is reshaping the first steps of the employee journey, making every 'Welcome aboard!' a powerful entry into your company's universe.
This article will explore:
- 7 use cases for AI in onboarding. From personalized onboarding experiences to 24/7 support for new hires and data-driven check-ins and feedback, your onboarding experiences will leave a mark on your newly added team members.
- The advantages of building AI-powered onboarding processes.
🏆 What are the benefits of AI in onboarding?
Every interaction an employee has with your organization, from the candidacy stage to their first few months on the job, will shape their perception of your employee experience and impact their performance.
Leveraging AI in onboarding can mitigate the discomforts of transitioning to a new role in a new company and ensure that the employee-employer relationship starts on the right note.
Here are some ways AI-powered processes can streamline your HR workflow and help you live up to your employee value proposition.
With traditional processes, onboarding new hires is an administrative nightmare that involves a ton of paperwork, data entry, effort, and time.
Introductions have to be made, accounts and profiles set up, compliance and training materials supplied, feedback collected, and all kinds of messages sent back and forth.
The use of AI in HR can maximize efficiency. It can cut down this workload drastically by automating tedious and repetitive tasks.
So personnel can spend less time on admin and more on fostering engagement and emotional connections and getting new hires up to speed on systems and processes that cannot be automated.
Different hires have different needs, career paths, and learning preferences, which may not be adequately catered to using a standard, uniform onboarding process.
This is where AI and machine learning can be game-changing. These technologies can evaluate new hires' employee data and tailor your onboarding program to match their specific skill set and needs.
They can deliver personalized training materials at the right time, suggest relevant resources, create competency frameworks and career maps, and assign onboarding buddies or mentors to new hires.
Also, they allow each individual to learn and complete onboarding requirements at their own pace within a given timeframe.
Up to 16% of employee attrition occurs in the first six months of employment, particularly in large organizations. New hires are twice as likely to start looking for another job after a subpar onboarding experience.
On the other hand, a positive onboarding experience can boost new hire retention by 82%, increase employee engagement by 54%, and make employees 18 times more likely to feel committed to the organization.
These employee onboarding statistics show that effective onboarding practices prime employees for long-term engagement and success in their roles.
Automating onboarding with AI-driven software means that processes are sped up and time to productivity is shortened.
New employees can confidently accomplish tasks on their own because they have all the tools and information they need to do so. They'll feel valued and motivated and possess a greater sense of purpose and belonging.
Access to information 24/7 for new hires
When you have an employee portal with self-service AI-driven HR support and a centralized knowledge base with AI-powered search capabilities and recommendations, it does wonders for your onboarding experience.
New employees will have all the important company-related resources and information at their fingertips. They can consult this whenever they want and as many times as it takes for them to grasp the knowledge they need.
This way, they don't have to feel embarrassed about not understanding something the first time they were told. And they won't have to bother HR or another team member whenever they have a question or require clarification about a company event, process, policy, etc.
🚀 7 Use cases of AI in employee onboarding
AI in HR isn't just a tech upgrade. As Sudhir Khatwani, Director at The Money Mongers, notes:
"It's like having a backstage crew during a play. It's there, making sure the new guys are keeping up, nudging them about tasks, or giving us a heads-up if someone's struggling. It's taking the grunt work off our desks, dealing with the forms, the schedules, and the never-ending checklists. This means instead of drowning in paperwork when new folks join, we're actually there, shaking hands or sharing a coffee, making them feel welcome from the get-go. And what we're seeing is people settling in faster and feeling like they're part of the team from day one."
Here are some key ways to use AI to revolutionize your HR and employee onboarding activities.
Personalized onboarding experiences
While standardizing your onboarding program is essential, a one-size-fits-all approach to delivering onboarding experiences may not benefit all new hires equally.
Some employees assimilate information slower, and others may learn better with visual rather than auditory methods.
Deploying AI for onboarding will enable you to account for these differences, effectively engage all new hires, and customize your onboarding content to suit each individual's role, background, learning style, and comprehension pace.
AI can analyze employees' profiles to collect vital information about their skills, personality traits, and knowledge gaps. And furnish them with personalized courses, training materials, and appropriate resources at the right time to address their needs per your company's objectives.
Use AI to comb through your employee database for team members who share similar backgrounds and interests as new hires and match them up. So, the new employee has someone relatable who can act as a friend and offer insider guidance on the finer points of the company's culture, team dynamics, job specifications, and more.
This will not only strengthen the onboarding experience but also make employees feel welcome and at ease and give them greater control over their journey.
With AI, you can automatically create and send tailored messages to employees at different phases of their onboarding journey to engage them or nudge them to do something.
You can design and automate personalized checklists of items that new hires need to complete on their first day, first week, or 90 days.
So, instead of simply dumping all the information in their laps and hoping they can remember it all, your AI-driven software will update the checklist as they move through their onboarding journey.
Consequently, new hires will have an easier time staying on top of all the required actions, and you can easily monitor their progress at a glance.
Chatbots for immediate assistance
Starting a new job is stressful enough. The last thing you want is for new hires to wait around for hours or days to get help or answers to their questions.
You don't want them feeling incompetent or unable to do their jobs because they're unaware of some company rules. Or because they simply don't know what's expected of them.
AI-powered tools such as chatbots and virtual assistants solve this problem, allowing new hires to find answers to their queries in real time.
Whether they seek information about employee benefits, sick days, remote work policies, or how to troubleshoot their equipment, your people will access this data around the clock.
AI-based assistants are never tired, cranky, or judgemental, unlike human personnel. They can handle a massive amount of queries simultaneously without being overwhelmed, becoming inefficient, or buckling under pressure.
Instead of overburdening your people team, you free up their time to focus on strategic initiatives. Hours that could have been spent responding to dozens of queries can be redirected to connecting with employees personally and ensuring they integrate nicely into the organization.
Moreover, you can always review the interactions between the chatbot and new hires to determine the topics employees typically inquire about the most. You can then leverage this insight to improve processes or information around those topics for present and future employees.
AI chatbots can save everyone's time, lessen HR workload, reduce new hire anxieties, and enhance the onboarding experience.
➡️ Check out this comparison of seven powerful AI tools for HR that you can invest in.
From appointment letters to handover documents, legal notices, and payroll forms, there's a ton of paperwork that accompanies every new hire onboarding.
With traditional onboarding methods, HR personnel would have to manually create and send out these documents manually. After completing them, employees would have to review each document, extract the relevant data, and enter them into the appropriate system.
When you add this tedious, labor-intensive activity to the existing work of managing teams and a dozen other processes, you have a recipe for errors, inefficiencies, and redundancies.
Naturally, your onboarding process will be slow and bumpy. New hires will take longer to reach productivity, and managers and HR professionals will be under more pressure than ever before.
You may even suffer mild to severe legal and financial implications due to errors or processes falling through the cracks.
AI helps you automate onboarding tasks, saving time, money, and potential complications. With AI, you can create intelligent digital forms to collect, validate, and analyze employee data in a fraction of the time it typically takes.
Your AI-powered software can scan for inconsistencies and mistakes in the submitted forms or documents using advanced algorithms. It will extract the information needed from the content and integrate it into relevant company systems, reducing the need for manual data entry.
Data-driven check-ins and feedback
AI can transform the onboarding process for HR by allowing you to create and run new employee engagement campaigns targeting hires at different stages of their onboarding journeys.
You can send out onboarding surveys to determine how well new hires acclimate to your organizational culture and role. AI can even help you to schedule meetings and 1-on-1s and prompt respective managers to check in with the fresh faces on their team.
These check-ins can be set up to occur based on onboarding progress or after a certain kind of feedback—e.g., comments that suggest a new hire is unhappy, disengaged, or likely to churn—is received.
Automated feedback surveys and check-ins give you an excellent avenue to gather feedback about onboarding experiences while the process is still ongoing. Based on employee's impressions of your onboarding, you can better understand their pain points, needs, expectations, and preferences.
You can also pinpoint common patterns among employee experiences and take immediate action to course-correct the areas of your onboarding process that need work.
Continuous improvement through feedback analysis
Performing sentiment analysis is another way to employ AI in employee onboarding to improve your processes.
Depending on how large your company is or how busy your HR professionals are, it may not be feasible to manually review every feedback you get from new hires.
AI can be deployed to help analyze feedback from multiple new hires to see what they think about your onboarding process.
AI-powered tools can evaluate qualitative feedback, such as responses to open-ended questions, and quantitative data, like Employee Net Promoter Scores (eNPS).
They can identify positive, neutral, and negative sentiments and common themes among new employees to help you figure out what's working. Or what aspects of your onboarding experience need overhauling.
The insights you gain will help you devise impactful strategies to engage, delight, and set up new hires for success at this crucial stage of the employee journey.
Create learning paths within the first 3 months of the onboarding journey
Process automation, predictive analytics, and machine learning capabilities enable you to proactively design personalized employee development plans for new hires.
Based on each individual's role description, HR managers can use AI to generate competency frameworks in minutes. So employees can see what is expected of them and which skills they need to acquire to stay competitive and perform excellently in their positions.
Monitor employee progress and determine their learning needs using growth plans, skill gap analysis, career frameworks, and AI-driven performance management.
Then, address them and foster continuous growth with AI-recommended focus areas, training programs, learning resources, and upskilling opportunities relevant to each new hire's career development.
➡️ Looking for more examples of how to use AI for employee training, check out these eight potential applications of AI in learning development.
Create quizzes to engage learners and translate your existing content to new languages
Content creation and translation are two examples of how generative AI can be applied to people operations. This technology allows you to develop interactive content, including quizzes, assessments, videos, polls, and simulations, to instantly enhance learner engagement.
AI can generate stimulating questions to spark learner curiosity and gauge comprehension. It can even grade the quizzes and assessments and offer feedback to learners based on their performance.
This unshackles training managers and L&D professionals from spending hours coming up with intelligent and relevant questions or reviewing answers. All they have to do is provide a few prompts, and the AI engine will work its magic.
Suppose you're running a global organization with employees from different corners of the world. In that case, AI lets you quickly and efficiently translate your training materials into multiple languages.
This means you won't have to spend thousands of dollars on expensive translation services. And the learning experience will be more engaging from the employee's perspective because they can consume the content in their native or preferred language.
➡️ For similar use cases, consult our guide to implementing generative AI in HR.
➡️ Create next-generation onboarding experiences with Zavvy AI
Utilizing AI in onboarding demonstrates your commitment to innovation and providing seamless, positive experiences that allow new hires to flourish.
Zavvy's AI software helps people leaders and HR managers build a loyal, engaged, and highly-productivity workforce by:
- Simplifying onboarding workflows and automating low-value tasks.
- Speeding up the development of high-quality learning content.
- Setting up onboarding events to run on autopilot.
- Creating targeted training and growth plans to bridge skill gaps from the get-go.
- Offering a go-to source of information so employees can research topics and get actionable advice.
- Designing career frameworks in minutes rather than months.
Plus, Zavvy is available in multiple languages to support globally distributed teams.
- 🇬🇧 English
- 🇩🇪 German
- 🇪🇸 Spanish
- 🇵🇹 Portuguese
- ...and others coming soon.
📅 Ready to unlock the benefits of AI-powered onboarding programs? Schedule a free demo of Zavvy today.