The trick, says human-resources-technology consultant Elaine Orler of Talent Function Group, is building software that can predict a good fit between candidate and employer.
In an increasingly competitive hiring environment, employers spend a great deal of time and resources trying to find the right candidates and convince them that their company can provide the best career opportunity. As a result, many companies invest in recruiting technologies that offer a simple, streamlined and all-around less cumbersome application process in order to deliver a more positive and rewarding candidate experience. However, after such a smooth recruiting process and hearing nothing but great things about the company, new hires who accept offers of employment are often subsequently met with a less-than-ideal onboarding experience. Most of the time, new hires are simply greeted with a slew of paperwork on their first day and not much else.
Clearly, there exists a growing disconnect when it comes to transitioning individuals from candidates to employees. One of the biggest mistakes companies can make in this regard is to end the onboarding process after the new hire’s first day. Instead, it is more effective to view onboarding as a fluid process that lasts six months to a full year after the start date. This concept is backed up by recent research showing that the vast majority of organizations believe a new hire makes the decision about whether to stay with a company within their first year of employment. However, very few companies have onboarding processes that last a year, let alone the first six months.
Rather than wowing new talent with a high-level recruiting process aided by advanced technology and followed by delivery of a flawed – and often manual – onboarding experience, companies can benefit from integrating technology into their onboarding process, too. However, technology is only part of the solution. True success will depend on using the technology to define and drive the process in a consistent manner, all the while retaining a human touch. Remember, people are the most important resource you have for guaranteeing a successful onboarding experience.
To ensure an effective, people-focused onboarding process, and build loyalty with your new hires, consider the following strategies:
- Ensure the work station is ready to go on the new hire’s first day. This may sound silly but it’s an important and often overlooked component of the onboarding process.
- Socialize the employee by introducing him or her to new colleagues. Or better yet, implement a mentoring or buddy system for new hires to help them become acclimated with the workplace.
- Set clear expectations and discuss how their role is critical to the success of the entire organization.
- Ensure managers are actively involved in the experience to make new hires feel valued as important additions to the team.
- Discuss advancement opportunities up front so new hires can feel they have a future with the organization.
- Ensure that learning and development are part of the onboarding process.
- The process should be consistent for all employees
- And lastly, understand that the onboarding process should last at least the first 90 days, but it will be much more effective at six months to a year.
Onboarding technology is one of the most misunderstood and undervalued solutions available, and most of that confusion stems from the fact that employers rarely extend the onboarding process beyond an employee’s first day. Onboarding needs to be viewed as more than just filling out paperwork, but rather as welcoming a new member onto the team. Understanding that onboarding is a people-focused process that requires an investment of time, and recognizing how technology can help to facilitate – but not substitute for it – is necessary. Once that happens, the company will benefit from a successful onboarding process that engages employees from their very first day.
From Branding to Onboarding, Is It Possible to Implement Only One Solution?
As the true definition of talent acquisition technology has emerged, it is no longer confined to “ATS.” What we now understand is that talent acquisition extends to include branding and marketing, sourcing, networking, and assessments, just to name a few. In order to effectively engage top talent prior to starting the traditional recruiting process via an ATS, employers must have the right solutions in place. And with more organizations focused on implementing solutions to support these critical areas of the talent acquisition process, there is a new challenge facing the marketplace. Many are struggling with how to manage multiple vendors and technology solutions through various integrations, created in response to market trends including employment branding and leveraging CRM technology to manage sourcing and networking.
The question is what happens after you have implemented several different solutions to support these various functions and have integrated them with one another. Some would say that you have a robust solution in place to attract talent, network with passive candidates, manage active candidates, and select and hire top talent. While this may be true in the short term, will this be efficient in the long run? Or have you created “Frankenstein?”
Your talent acquisition, HR and IT teams are now responsible for maintaining several solutions at once, and as new releases are required, these teams will have to accommodate the updates into their routine and respond to each vendor. Depending on the size of the organization, you might need to create a separate team just to manage the changes of 5-6 different technology solutions. Another option is to ignore the new releases, and in less than a year, have systems that no longer communicate or meet the needs of the organization. A third option, switching from one solution to another, also poses a significant risk, not to mention the effort involved in dismantling the various solutions in order to implement a new one.
The good news is that there are talent acquisition solutions on the rise that specifically respond to this problematic long term issue. These particular vendors are cutting edge and have identified the need for organizations to have that “one stop shop” for all things talent acquisition. Such solutions already include features for branding, marketing, talent communities, CRM, ATS and onboarding, offering an easier implementation, post launch support and improved efficiencies for upgrading to new versions. While this option is available now, look to 2015 and 2016 for more technology partners in this arena. As you assess your organization’s current technology landscape, keep this trend in mind to ensure all talent acquisition operations are set up for lasting success.
As the Talent Acquisition technology market grows more competitive, it seems that the latest and greatest solutions get pushed at you from all sides, with flashy ad campaigns and slick marketing. When trying to cut through the noise, it can be difficult to see past the big promises and select the right solution to suit your needs. And with so many to choose from, only so many of the promises will come true, leaving some organizations feeling like they’ve been had.
Much like trying to find the way to your final destination with no map to guide you, finding the right Talent Acquisition technology can be tricky, but fortunately there are ways around the entanglement. However, to make it happen, you’ll need to don your detective cap to select the right solution to fit your needs.
Assess the situation. Consider your organization’s current state and future state goals, where your Talent Acquisition is now and where it needs to be 1, 3 or 5 years. Consider what your organization needs to do to attract and engage top talent while offering a positive candidate experience.
Consider the suspects. Candidate experience is a key ingredient in the talent acquisition process. That means you need to account for who you are hiring and how you will be connecting with these candidates. New platforms are being introduced at a rapid rate to help increase productivity for on the go management of talent acquisition efforts. Social, mobile and digital channels are all part of the equation, unlike 5 years ago, and can’t be ignored. Make sure to investigate how each will resonate with your audience and develop a strategy accordingly.
List the evidence. Take stock of what you already have and what you are looking to gain. Which features will be most beneficial to your organization? Have stakeholders from across your organization weigh in. Select 3-5 benefits that are an absolute must have and work through the market from there. This will ensure that your topline goals are met. After that is accomplished, you can move forward knowing that your basic needs will be met.
Go to trial. With a few solutions in mind, complete trials to become familiar with the technologies in action. This will ensure that a given solution works with any existing system, fits your processes and completes your overall Talent Acquisition strategy. If it doesn’t, try again. At this stage, it is important to take your time. Benefits may need to be reconsidered, processes rearranged and developing a change management plan may come into play.
Like any good mystery, selecting the right Talent Acquisition solution requires laying the groundwork and working through the details step by step. When in doubt, plot your path and stop to ask for help before continuing on.