Why you need to automate your onboarding process and how to do it right.
November 22, 2021
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When you’re an HR manager of a growing organization, recurring onboarding activities like documentation, sending reminders, and addressing common questions begin to look like an increased set of responsibilities. In the race of saving time, inconsistencies begin to surface, and your new employee experience takes a hit.
But, there’s a better way to simplify these tasks – one that guarantees efficiency, quality and a smoother new hire experience. The sweet deal we’re talking about is: Automated onboarding processes – a more consistent, time-efficient, and a better way to welcome and retain new hires.
To help you get started with automating your onboarding processes, here are a few tips, and strategies to keep in mind.
Automated onboarding is about creating a structured experience that guides your new hires through every step of your onboarding program – without any manual effort. It requires a one-time set up for processes like training new hires, sending reminders, connecting them with colleagues, and more.
This not only helps your HR department to save time, but it also positively impacts the first impression new talents have of your organization. With such increased benefits, a lot of recruits view automation as a more personalized, bona fide option for getting help with their issues.
Manual vs Automated Onboarding
A lot of organizations, even today, follow a manual, document-heavy processes for critical workflows. This significantly slows down the new hire’s time-to-productivity, and overall growth. Here are some more challenges faced during manual onboarding:
Fragmented onboarding program
Less control over hiring and recruiting processes
Confusion in inter-departmental communication process
Time-consuming and error prone process
On the brighter side, automated onboarding is armed with intelligence that fosters self-serve support. We will closely look at each of these benefits and some more, later in this article. But here are some of the top benefits in brief:
Provides faster resolutions to your employees
Reduce customer inquiries for your team
Save time, manual work, and costs
More opportunities to create human connections
Track completions of mandatory training
What are some ways to use automation in your onboarding processes?
The first step to welcoming new hires into your organization is to give them the best onboarding experience. To maximise its success, organizations today, are introducing automation into their onboarding processes that deliver a satisfied, and an informative experience.
SHRM recommends organizations to follow the four Cs of an automated onboarding process:
Compliance: Informing new employees about legal and policy-related rules and regulations.
Clarification: Ensuring that employees understand their new roles and all job-specific expectations.
Culture: Ensuring employees are able to connect with the organization’s culture — both formal and informal.
Connection: Creating opportunities to develop meaningful relationships amongst new and existing employees.
Digitising your onboarding is just the beginning. You need to automate the processes to reap its benefits. Here are some ways to include automation in your onboarding with Zavvy:
Automatically filling/updating documents: From onboarding to off-boarding and everything in between, HR managers can accelerate this part of their responsibilities by automating recurring paperwork procedures. This includes exchanging documents for approvals, employee contracts, and signatures required on necessary papers. You can integrate apps like DocuSign, or a cloud storage app such as Box that allows you to securely store signed contracts.
Automate people connections: Automatically appoint onboarding buddies to make new hires feel welcomed on their first day. With Zavvy, you can extend this warm experience by setting up walk and talks, coffee dates, and connecting newcomers with the rest of your team on Slack.
Add new hires to onboarding workflows with ease: Whether you want your new hire to participate in an ongoing project, or brief them about a new one, automating this process will save you time, and provide them with all the necessary information – all at once. This way, they will be able to contribute to your team goals, and feel closely connected with their role.
Automatically create accounts for new users: It’s important that your new hires are able to access their accounts at their earliest. This helps them to get started from Day 1. With Zavvy, you can easily sync accounts, and grant access to social media managers, IT managers, and your salesforce to their respective accounts.
Train your people on autopilot: Training and learning is an ongoing employee developmental process. And manually leading each one through the same tools is not only time-consuming, but also inefficient. You can automate this process by recording your training program once and sharing it with all your new hires when necessary. This allows them to learn at their own pace and capacity.
Automated tracking: Onboarding employees is not a one-time process. Ensuring new hires are onboarded efficiently, requires consistent check-ins. To ease this burden, you can schedule automated reminders with Zavvy to check-in on new hires, track their individual progress, and provide continuous compliance.
Automated feedback: To enable every employee to excel in their role requires giving valuable feedback. Make the most of Zavvy’s templates that allow you to schedule and reflect on 1:1 feedback sessions.
Welcome package: Use automated forms to collect other employee information like clothing sizes, preferred styles / snack options for company swag, confirmation of their business card information, and so much more. Using such automated forms can help you collect all the data in advance so you are well prepared to deliver new employee welcome packages on their first day.
Benefits of automated onboarding / why you should automate onboarding
1. Processes documentation faster
With automation, you can begin with the documentation process even before your new hire’s first day. This gives them an opportunity to spend more time on introductions, 1:1 conversations, and building connections with their colleagues.
The less time they spend completing all the paperwork, the more time they will have to focus on their work. You can use tools like DocuSign, Box, and other softwares to create welcome packets with all the documents – employee contracts manuals, policies, etc. They can review it way ahead of time, and clarify all the doubts before they start working.
2. Automatically enters employee data
An automated onboarding process enables you to automatically collect all the necessary new employee data. We’re talking about their payroll, pending and accrued holiday leaves, their job location, etc.
Automatically updating these information to any of your record systems like ERP, or any accounting software, eliminates human error. They enable you to generate accurate employee reports on their demographics, headcount, and job history on-demand.
3. Increases engagement with new employees
40% of new hires say getting a response from HR takes too long. This happens when HR teams are too busy managing paperwork and redundant admin tasks. Automating these processes will free up their time so they can focus on what really matters: outreach and being a helpful resource for new talents.
Automation enables your HR managers to commit more time for important tasks like answering new talent questions, coordinating more outbound communication, and setting up an FAQ library.
4. Makes the newcomer feel welcomed
Employers today are designing custom-made welcome packages to retain new talents. And automation plays a salient role in creating the perfect company swag. Here’s how: using automated systems like web forms enable you to collect employee information like clothing size, preferred styles, customisation on office equipment, and a lot more.
This ensures you’re well prepared in advance for your new hire’s first day. All the gifts and packages can seamlessly be delivered to make a lasting first impression.
5. Allows more focus on human interaction
There’s a reason why 72% of employees say having 1:1 conversations with their managers plays an important part of the onboarding process. It helps them to create role-specific clarity, build meaningful relationships, and set expectations.
Onboarding automation facilitates this by automatically scheduling office tours, orientation and training sessions, a professional headshot session, and other new hire tasks.
Knowing this, it’s important that you send automated emails to new hires on their first day explaining your benefits package. This includes instructions on how to avail corporate discounts, commuter benefits, health and dental plans, membership perks – everything that your company offers.
Even though these programs may have different management systems, an automated process can bring them all under one platform.
7. Gives you valuable feedback
Receiving employee feedback on time will give you invaluable insights into your existing onboarding program. Automate this process by sending surveys to new hires on completing their first day, 30th day, or the 90th day of your onboarding program.
This not only helps you to deliver a seamless experience, but also enables you to identify any errors faced by your employees. A lot of companies today are using AI softwares that excel at predicting, identifying, and addressing issues even before they occur.
Automated Onboarding Tools by Zavvy
Automation isn’t a new concept. We’ve all had our fair share of experience with automated reminders, and chatbots. But delivering an intuitive onboarding experience takes more than that. You need to communicate with your people to learn what’s missing, what can be improvised or simplified to deliver an wholesome onboarding experience.
At Zavvy's employee onboarding software, our templates are designed just to fulfill your onboarding goals. You can either build your own in minutes, or select from our thoughtfully curated range of templates. They’re easy-to-use, customizable, and enable you to provide faster resolutions to your employees – without sacrificing a great experience.
Here are some common applications of Zavvy’s onboarding tools:
1. Simplify your pre-boarding workflows
Once your employee accepts the job offer, you can use our automation platform to trigger off the actions like:
Notify IT to create a user account (especially for social media, and IT managers/salesforce)
Send a welcome email explaining company perks, culture, policies
Notify someone to send out a welcome package
Prepare teammates to block their calendars
Track their pre-boarding process and smoothly transition to the onboarding stage
2. Instantly integrate apps
Communication apps like Slack, Teams, Notion, etc have made it possible to work remotely. Automate and streamline your communication process by connecting people no matter where they are. By connecting apps like Microsoft Teams or Slack you can...
Automatically add new hires to an onboarding channel
Foster healthy conversations between them
Send them Regular piece-by-piece info, tasks, and reminders
Connect new hires to their onboarding buddies and notify both via Slack/Teams
Schedule orientation/onboarding meetings
On the other side, there's the content you may already have. We're talking company videos, documents, and much more.
Automation also means integrating content fro different sources in one central place.
Connect video creation tools like Loom, Vimeo, or Youtube to make your journeys more engaging
Embed quizzes or surveys from places like Typeform or Google Forms
Directly show your presentations, spreadsheets, and other productivity suites from Google Drive or Sharepoint/OneDrive
And yes, you can also integrate your fun GIFs, images, and emojis.
3. Integrate new hires faster with regular meetups
Ease your new hire’s first weeks anxiety by spending quality time with them over lunch or a cup of coffee. This can be done in-person or virtual via Microsoft Teams/Zoom. Use our templates to automate this process for your whole team. Here’s how:
Automatically match people randomly or based on criteria. Notify both via Slack/Teams/Mail and help them set up a meeting
As an option, both the new employee and team member receive gift cards from restaurants or food delivery apps
Surveys are a powerful strategy to improvise your onboarding program. They enable you to understand how your employees view and perform during the onboarding processes. You can also learn other employee information through surveys to prepare a custom-made company swag. On the other hand, quizzes are a great way to make learning easy and fun.
Automatically send surveys to new hires to learn about their preferences for the company swag
Get notified when the new hire completes the first day, 30th day, or the 90th day of the onboarding to send out feedback forms
Send automated reminders for training sessions, quizzes, etc
Finally, does automation take away human interaction?
When you think of automation, your natural follow-up thought is whether it isolates us from other humans. You might ask if it limits human interactions especially during these remote times.
Well, contrary to the popular belief, automation in fact, creates more opportunities for people to connect and build relationships. When you automate your onboarding process, most simple queries and tasks are handled automatically.
Automation frees up your HR managers from redundant admin tasks so they can spend their valuable time resolving complex queries, communicating with new talents, and focusing on things that really matter.
When you automate your onboarding with Zavvy, your new employees will be more productive within their first few weeks of work. They will spend less time filing paperwork and spend more time meeting their colleagues over coffee, office tours, or in-between meetings.
Schedule a demo with one of our experts and see your automated onboarding processes in action!
Alex takes care of everything related to marketing and customer success at Zavvy. On this blog, he mainly shares insights gained from discussions with selected experts and from helping our customers set up and improve their onboarding program or learning programs.