Can You Create an Automated Onboarding Process in House?

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The current scarcity of skilled workers has forced modern HR departments to stop wasting time on paperwork and focus on the work that matters most: recruiting and retaining world-class talent. Given that as much as 20 percent of staff turnover happens during an employee’s first 45 days on the job, it’s clear that stronger onboarding processes must play a significant role in this mission.

Best Practices to Improve Employee Onboarding

An effective onboarding process that integrates new hires into a caring, rewarding workplace can significantly boost productivity and improve retention rates.

When looking to build the kind of onboarding process that delivers results, consider these things:

  1. Keep it simple: The last thing you want is a deluge of paperwork. Ensure your process is easy to follow and only provides new hires with necessary, relevant information.
  2. Iterate and evolve: Solicit feedback from employees who go through the onboarding process to uncover ways you can improve the process going forward.
  3. Automate: Automating onboarding tasks can result in 18 percent greater achievement of an employee’s first performance goal, according to Urbanbound. An automated onboarding process can also significantly reduce the paperwork burden on both the HR department and your new hires.

Creating Your Own Automated Onboarding Process in House

An automated employee onboarding process integrates online forms with dynamic behavior, electronic signatures, routing to perform relevant tasks, electronic document generation, and secure online storage in HR or enterprise content management systems. Paper and email are completely eliminated, or at least dramatically reduced. Process automation eliminates redundancy, reduces errors, ensures compliance, lowers corporate risk, and helps new hires have a positive first-day experience.

Today, affordable software makes automation simple and cost-effective. Visual, low-code solutions are easy to use, so your organization may not need to hire expensive programmers with specialized skills to set up your automated onboarding process. These low-code platforms include drag-and-drop form designers, point-and-click wizards to integrate with business data, and visual tools for dynamic behavior so anyone can easily create online forms, even those who have no coding skills at all.

You can also set up online forms so that information is collected just once and automatically copied wherever it is needed. For example, your new hire can fill in their personal information once and sign in one place, and the system will generate a W-4, I-9, 401(k) packet, and other relevant forms automatically. Dynamic behavior, such as showing/hiding sections as necessary, and automatic validation of data ensure users only see parts of the form that are relevant to them, making it much more likely they will complete the forms correctly. Onboarding involves multiple departments, such as HR, finance, and IT, and an automated process routes the right forms to the right people at the right time.

Finally, an automated process is also greener. Cutting paper usage is good for the environment and good for your bottom line. The social responsibility points are simply an added bonus for your corporate brand.

There are a number of low-code solutions available, so it’s important HR leaders do their due diligence when exploring this opportunity. Make use of free trials, new employee form templates, video tutorials, and other resources to evaluate solutions and determine which one is right for you.

Talent acquisition and retention are crucial to company success in the 21st century. Automating your employee onboarding process helps your new hires and HR department spend less time on paperwork and more time on work that matters. Modern, affordable tools can help you digitize new employee forms and create automated processes that streamline onboarding, getting new hires up to speed faster and more efficiently.

It’s 2018. There’s no excuse to bog your people down in paperwork. You owe it to yourself to explore low-code process automation platforms.

Ashish Deshpande, PhD, is founder and CEO at frevvo Inc.

By Ashish Deshpande