5 Strategies to Optimize the Onboarding Process with HR Technology
In the past century, technological advances have transformed the face of healthcare. Electronic health records (EHR) have enabled healthcare organizations to centralize patient-sensitive information; online portals have allowed patients to become more autonomous and be active players in their own health; and telemedicine has eliminated distance barriers and given patients with limited resources access to medical services. Despite these advancements in technology, many employers have overlooked the need to improve their onboarding system.
In order to gain a competitive advantage, organizations must provide their new hires with an easy, efficient and rewarding onboarding experience. First impressions are critical. Therefore, a streamlined and robust onboarding process will not only facilitate productivity and improve employee retention, but it will also help new hires build confidence in their abilities to perform their jobs.
To implement a successful onboarding process, consider employing the following five strategies recommended by Talent Function:
1. Understand Current Processes and Needs
Before implementing a new solution, evaluate your current process and identify any issues and determine what should be changed. Please note: automation is not always the right solution. Failing to recognize what’s not working and automating a failing task will leave you with a more expensive bad process. So take some time to assess how things are currently done and look for ways it can be improved—it’s the first step toward a successful onboarding function.
2. Identify Areas for Improvement
When designing a new onboarding process with your team, it’s important to identify any unnecessary or repetitive steps and eliminate them. For example, instead of requiring new hires to fill out a New Hire Data Sheet, reference back to previously completed forms. Additionally, you may find it beneficial to combine forms or, even better, use one form that can capture all the information and parse that data onto other forms. This will eliminate duplicate tasks and allow the new hire to focus on more important things, such as getting to know their colleagues. For compliance reasons, there are times when combining forms may not be an option. For example, under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), employers must provide disclosure in writing that a background check will be conducted for employment purposes—a document that must be separate from the employment application form.
3. Streamlining Monotonous Tasks with Technology
Today, you don’t even need to present your check at the bank to make a deposit—just a quick snap on your smartphone, press deposit, and that’s it. Applying this similar method to set up a direct deposit for an employee, for example, instead of requesting a voided check will free the new hire from one less tedious task. Simply including an image of a check indicating the account and routing number should be sufficient to get this information. At the same time, exporting all onboarding forms into an HRIS system will further help eliminate excessive paper.
4. Move Beyond Filling Out Forms
Onboarding should be more than just filling out forms and should last longer than the new hire’s first few days or even weeks. An effective onboarding process should last at the very least through the new hire’s first quarter, while the best onboarding process lasts six months to a year. To further improve onboarding, executive involvement and a mentoring program would help the new employee become more acclimated, as well as regular check-ins to ensure the process is going well.
Additionally, highlighting the advantages of working at the company, such as community involvement, fun activities, opportunities for advancement and training programs, will help them feel included and eager to stay with the company. According to Talent Culture, it’s estimated that 35 percent of new hires leave their new jobs within six months. While the reasons may be unknown, an inadequate onboarding process is clearly a factor.
5. Onboarding Extends Beyond HR
The development of a new onboarding process isn’t limited to the HR department. The IT department, for example, likely has their own processes in place when ordering hardware and software and should be consulted of any new investments. At the same time, any changes to the process, such as the use of eSignature, should be consulted with compliance officers or the legal team. There are several divisions within your organization that need to be involved to ensure a streamlined and compliant process.
By thinking beyond the paperwork and developing an effective onboarding process, your healthcare organization can leverage technology to achieve an onboarding process that will not only attract, but also retain employees with top talent. Do you foresee your organization moving toward this more modern function? What are your thoughts?