August 3, 2013

5 Leading OnBoarding Technologies Explained

Business hand write Organization Chart in Technology Virtual Screen for BusinessChuck Ross, in an article on called “Employee Onboarding, An HR Technology Seeking a Definition,”  identified two main approaches to onboarding technology. These are transactional and acculturation.

Transactional onboarding is very much based around automating the data transactions and processes that relate to a candidate as they take on a new role, e.g. tax forms, address forms, and benefits. This is a necessary although not curtain-raising level of check list functionality.

The interesting stuff is the acculturation approach, which is focused on moving the candidate into their new role as quickly and efficiently as possible. This approach is used to ensure that the employee understands their new role, company, culture, benefits, processes and is often described as “socializing a candidate. Technology, in the form of a portal about company and culture, may support this process.

These days the socialization process now sits within a wider process called “Strategic Onboarding,” which is much more about experience and includes socialization, mentoring, and developing networks and relationships, to help bridge the gap between hiring and becoming a productive employee.

But, onboarding represents a relatively small period of the  employee’s working life span, so does it really deserve so much attention from talent management professionals?

Absolutely. Research from Bersin & Associates shows that employees are most vulnerable to leaving in the first 18 months of employment and 90 percent of employees make the decision to stay with their new employer within the first six months.

However, these risks factors can be counteracted and mitigated by good onboarding, which research has shown will improve employee retention levels, help employees to build relationships and networks, increase employee pride in the company, and reduce time taken to reach full productivity and to feel comfortable and familiar with their roles.

Onboarding has a key role to play in your organization’s talent retention strategy and in improving staff loyalty, making it an excellent defensive tactic in the war for talent.

Leading Onboarding Technologies

As I have alluded to above, the best onboarding processes are ably supported by a good quality on-boarding software and I have listed several of the market leaders in onboarding software below.

1. Silk Road’s Red Carpet Onboarding Software

This cloud based on-boarding solution is aimed at businesses of all sizes and offers both a transactional and acculturation approach that can support strategic onboarding.

2. Halogen E-Appraisal

This is a transactional and acculturation system with a heavy emphasis on strategic onboarding, including functionality, such as a New Hire Engagement Plan, Goal Setting Form, 30/60/90-day review form, development plans, and the ability to browse their coworker’s talent profiles, facilitating networking and relationship building.

3. Exact Hire – Employee Onboarding Software

This is a highly specialized transactional onboarding system that efficiently automates the form filling and administrative aspects of on-boarding.

4. Taleo – Onboarding Software

This is an enterprise class system aimed at larger businesses and is a fully matured transactional and acculturation system that supports “Strategic Onboarding.”

5. iCIMS Hire Expectations Onboarding Software

This system provides both transactional and acculturation support and has an emphasis on socialization and new hire productivity.

Final thoughts…

I don’t profess to be able unlock the door to the secrets of good onboarding in a couple of sentences, but I can offer you a couple of tips to ensure you get the most out of your onboarding program.

The first tip is ensure that your onboarding lasts from 3 -6 months as we have outlined above that employees need nurturing as they are extremely prone to disengagement during this period.

The second piece of advice is that you should try to help employees to build strong and effective internal networks with the right people, which will help them to more quickly adapt to the new culture – meaning that will become productive in a shorter time period.


Read more in Onboarding

Kazim Ladimeji is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and has been a practicing HR professional for 14 years. Kazim is the Director of The Career Cafe: a resource for start-ups, small business and job seekers.