After the pandemic, companies have started transitioning to the hybrid model that requires a new approach to work culture, including remote onboarding. With almost everything going online, ensuring a smooth, efficient employee onboarding becomes trickier than ever. To conquer this, some HR leaders have started to utilize new tech tools to streamline their onboarding process. Needless to say, onboarding matters a lot. As a process where new hires get introduced and integrated with the company and its culture, failure in setting the right tone during onboarding could lead to challenges in maintaining engagement and loyalty.
Thinking beyond a week
An onboarding process can last for one day up to 3 months, according to a general HR consensus. However, judging from the overall retention and turnover results, there is indeed a distinct difference that separates a good remote onboarding from a bad one. According to a survey by Career Builders, out of 2,300 hiring managers, only 32% of employers onboard more than 1 month. 41% of hiring managers believe they lack a structured onboarding process which has negative impacts, including lower productivity (16%), greater inefficiencies (14%), and higher employee turnover (12%).
BCG’s report states that onboarding is among the most influential factors when it comes to employee experience. Companies with effective onboarding processes achieve 2.5 times more revenue growth and 1.9 times more profit margin compared to organizations with poor onboarding strategies. That being said, some researchers suggest that extending the onboarding process up to a year may improve employee retention and help new hires feel like part of the team.
However, coming up with an effective onboarding process that works perfectly for your company remains a challenge for HR leaders. Like many other processes that involve people, there is hardly any one-size-fits-all answer, eventually, it comes down to the particulars of each company such as industry type, working culture, and environment. On top of that, remote onboarding poses another challenge for companies that have been operating with traditional hiring processes. This could manifest in difficulties to build a meaningful connection and engagement with a new team – the new hire will be more likely to feel isolated from the rest.
“Trust has to exist from day one. When you’re remote you don’t have the opportunity to lean into someone’s cubicle to see how they’re doing. You have to get creative about ways to nurture that relationship.” –Chloe Oddliefson, Vice President Operations at Dribbble
This is where things get interesting. The unique nature of each company culture creates a creative space for HR leaders to innovate and invent new techniques and methods for better, more effective onboarding processes. The best way to start this is by benchmarking other companies’ success stories. After that, it is up to each HR leader to pick and choose which practices are best suited for your own company. Combining two or more techniques is also encouraged to meet every of your company’s demands.
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Build 1:1 connection (Personio)
Personio is one of the fastest-growing B2B SaaS companies in Europe, offering HR software for small and medium-sized companies. In January 2021 alone, Personio received a $125 million Series D funding. With a valuation of $1.7 billion, Personio has ‘unicorn’ status and is the most valuable HR tech company in Europe.
For its remote onboarding process, Personio has customized its technique to include an onboarding buddy program to support new hires as they settle in to set them up for success. New hires are each teamed up with an existing employee as their “buddy,” who will be responsible to provide them with advice, practical help in any way they need.
Prioritize people strategy (L’Oreal)
With 27 global brands, L’Oreal is the world-leading beauty product market with a growth target to gain more than 1 billion new customers for the next decade. To sustain their giant business, L’Oreal Group has adopted a strategic approach for their talents. L’Oreal is willing to go above and beyond for their talent management for the sole purpose of supporting growth by ensuring a steady supply of leaders and key competencies in critical geographies.
Using quantitative methodologies, L’Oreal’s HR and business leaders analyze the upcoming business needs to identify the company’s future talent needs. They specifically pay attention to examine HR’s needs such as how much onboarding will be required as a result of recruitment efforts? This supply and demand technique helps L’Oreal to efficiently leverage its talent system that includes:
Foster collaboration and engagement (Xendit)
Xendit is a fintech startup from Indonesia who has recently received its unicorn title after announcing its additional $150 million funds led by Tiger Global Management, rounding up its Series C funding to $1 billion. Xendit provides more than digital payment as it is also experimenting with capital loans and credit card issuing. Recently, Xendit shared their customer journey map which helps them in gaining new users.
Nadia Sabrina, the chief staff of Xendit, recalls her onboarding experience with Xendit (before the pandemic) and how it has changed since. She has the privilege to go on a 4-day company trip to Belitung as a part of her onboarding process. However, due to the pandemic, both company trips and onboarding processes alike have since been carried out remotely.
The pandemic does not stop Xendit from creating a fun and memorable experience. Sabrina says they always start onboarding by an introduction to Xendit and their growth since day 1. Then it follows with several engagement events such as storytimes, talent shows, even Ted Talk and culture sessions.
The key to a successful onboarding process is to prioritize new hires’ needs and accommodation. Funnily enough, as much as remote onboarding seems to burden HR function with more challenges, a survey suggests that HR managers work more effectively by capturing onboarding information electronically. After all, remote onboarding often requires meticulous effort and adaptation only in the beginning. Once HR leaders navigate and get used to the new culture and techniques, things will start to get easier and even more effective compared to the traditional onboarding process.