Published on March 6, 2014
A Newsletter on Quality of Hire Recruiting Edge | Issue #3 | July 2007 In This Issue: Rigorous OnBoarding Can Help Win the War for Talent Electronic OnBoarding – Eliminating a Tedious Waste of Time, Money and Paper Strategic OnBoarding: An interview with Pete Mann, Vice President of Business Development, Authoria Rigorous OnBoarding Can Help Win the War for Talent H. Jason Hanold, Russell Reynolds Associates McKinsey & Company’s work on the War for Talent made organizations aware of the vital need to attract and retain high caliber talent, while moving out poor performers. This led to organizations’ striving to compete for high quality talent in the limited global talent pool. They poured great effort into articulating a compelling value proposition and developing an employer brand. Many partnered with the most effective executive search firms, and adopted sophisticated data mining and recruiting systems technology. Now companies are looking at the step beyond attracting the best talent. They are increasingly focused on onboarding and assimilation. They recognize the need to close the critical gap between recruiting high quality candidates and retaining them as high performing employees. Onboarding and assimilation are arguably the most critical processes involved in making a new employee feel as though they are part of the cultural fabric of their new organization. During my career, I’ve viewed onboarding from two perspectives: as the Talent Acquisition leader responsible for leading an effective Onboarding process, and as an Executive Search consultant, responsible for alerting clients of any flaws in their onboarding process. Goals of Onboarding The onboarding process objectives are straightforward: • Strengthen the employer brand and enable the retention of strong talent. • Accelerate the trajectory of organizational learning and employee engagement, thereby ensuring faster productivity in role. • Ensure a consistent global hiring process (computers, office space, voicemail, etc., delivered upon start in every instance) promoting comfort in new environment. • Capture critical data about a new hire’s attributes and career aspirations to seed information into a succession planning process. Authoria Recruiting Edge | Issue #3 | July 2007 | Page | Subscribe
The onboarding process is subdivided into three major timeframes: • New Employee Orientation (Pre-Arrival through first two days) • Onboarding (First Month) • Assimilation (First Year) Executive recruiters often miss the opportunity to help their client company by remaining close to a successful candidate through the entire onboarding process. Unfortunately, communications between the candidate and recruiter often end upon the candidate’s acceptance of an offer. By contrast, the best recruiters understand the vital role they have in helping to ensure that a new employee grows, thrives and “sticks” to the culture for a long tenure. Recruiters should engage between acceptance and start date, the second day after start date, and frequently throughout the first year. A new hire will typically share early signals of frustration with the recruiter, who is someone they trust and who is viewed as objective and intimately involved in the process. The recruiter is in an ideal position to proactively counsel a client company and a new employee on how to make adjustments to avoid an early departure. The HR leader and the new employee’s direct boss are also critical to ensuring effective onboarding. They should engage the new hire through direct and frequent dialogue in a trusted, supportive manner. The new employee needs to know that many people are supporting and encouraging their success in this new environment. HR leaders play a pivotal role in educating great bosses and ensuring that these conversations happen. Capture Critical Information Organizations often miss opportunities to capture critical data about the new employee during the onboarding process. Besides capturing information on work and educational history, this can be a key moment to learn of a new hire’s unique skills and career aspirations that may help shape succession plans in the future. This is often discussed during the interview, but only a select few world class companies take the time to enter and record career goal information. Many are quickly learning, though, how important this can be within a couple years of a new employee’s start. Not only does it help with succession planning and career development, but it delivers a positive message to the new employee. They are impressed that their new employer cares enough to record this data. It speaks volumes about a company’s intent for future growth and development of this impressionable new hire. Electronic OnBoarding – Eliminating a Tedious Waste of Time, Money and Paper Rosette Cataldo, Vice President, Business Development, KMS Congratulations, you’re hired!” “Welcome aboard!” “For your first task, you will now spend the next hour navigating your way through a heap of paperwork. Are you ready...get set...now write your name and social security number, again and again and again.” Does this sound familiar to your first day of work, or worse, does it sound like the experience of the new employee you just hired last week? If your organization is like most organizations, your new hire onboarding process is tedious, cumbersome, and, let’s admit it, not very environmentally friendly. The average company has 15 corporate policies, Authoria Recruiting Edge | Issue #3 | July 2007 | Page | Subscribe
procedures, and forms that are required for the new hire to read, review and sign prior to their first day of work. That does not include the US federal and state forms that are required, such as the Form I-9, W4, state tax withholding forms, and the optional 8850 WOTC form. These forms and policies, along with your required corporate forms, often total more than 40 pieces of paper, which HR copies, distributes and then collects – or hunts down – from each new hire. The good news is there’s a better way. Due to recent laws and advances in technology, the manual, time consuming new hire onboarding process is a thing of the past. You can now take advantage of systems that help companies automate three key onboarding tasks: . Forms Management 2. Task Management or Provisioning 3. Culturalization These tools, along with laws that Uncle Sam has passed allowing most federal and state forms to be processed and stored electronically with click signature (ie: no pen required, just click your mouse and the form is signed) have been the catalyst for a boom in the adoption of automated onboarding solutions. No company is too small or too big for automated onboarding; the challenge is to find the solution that best meets your needs. Automated Forms Management The key to automated forms management is to make sure the system selected can support the processing of all your new hire paperwork, not just pieces of it. Many systems on the market today can “pre-populate” forms with new hire data, but they can’t manage other components of the new hire paperwork, such as acknowledgment of policies, states’ tax withholding forms, direct deposit, electronic click signatures, and secure document storage. Some systems provide only the Form I-9, while others provide PDF’s that need to be printed and signed by hand. As you evaluate onboarding solutions, don’t forget to keep security top of mind. The data on these forms is highly confidential and must be stored in a secure environment, ideally with the ability to track who opens a document and when. You should also evaluate how the system manages data and connects to your backend HR system of record. What’s the point of having an automated onboarding system if the data collected from the new hire still must be manually entered into the HRIS? Ideally, all data collected from the new hire should be exported to your backend HR systems, including payroll, HRIS, time and attendance and performance management with little effort or cost. Similarly, you should expect that an automated onboarding system will be linked to your recruiting or applicant tracking system. Much of the preliminary information required for the new hire paperwork, as well as the job code information needed to determine the correct process flow, has probably already been captured in the recruiting system. An onboarding system that can connect directly to the recruiting system eliminates duplicate data entry and ensures more consistent data. Task Management Your automated onboarding system should support Task Management. Task Management, often referred to as Provisioning, is the ability to have the automated onboarding system manage tasks that need to be completed before the new employee arrives for their first day of work. An effective onboarding system automatically notifies all resources who have a role in the new hire set-up process. For example, it alerts the IT department to build the lap top computer, Authoria Recruiting Edge | Issue #3 | July 2007 | Page | Subscribe
or it notifies Facilities to assign a cubicle. It can also assign tasks to external vendors, such as a background screening company, business card vendor or a union company. Automated task notification ensures a documented, repeatable process and equity for all new hires. HR need not chase colleagues and vendors to confirm that they are ready for the new hire’s first day of work. An onboarding system with automated task management will eliminate the risk that the new hire will arrive for their first day of work and the organization will not be prepared. Culturalization Your automated onboarding system should also support the culturization or socialization process. It should communicate the correct company information to the new hire in a productive and easy manner – often via email or a secure password protected website. When you think about it, most company web sites provide static general information to prospective customers, applicants and other visitors. They are not geared to provide the new hire with information specific to their particular role in the organization. New hire portals (password protected websites created for the new hire where the content is managed by HR) and welcome emails with personalized, job specific information are much more effective and can replace the snail mail or over-nighted offer letter with hard copy hand book. Gone are the days of manila personnel folders, incomplete I-9 forms, and no cubicle for the new hire to sit in. Automated online onboarding systems can save your organization time, money, treat all employees equally and provide a secure, documented, repeatable and often legally compliant process. And you’ll save time, money, and maybe even a tree or two in the process. Executive Commentary: Strategic OnBoarding: An Interview with Pete Mann, Vice President Business Development, Authoria Q: What is “strategic onboarding?” A: When most people talk about “onboarding” today, they’re referring to the process of completing all the necessary forms required for a new hire and of properly provisioning them with a telephone, office space, PC, mobile phone, and other gear. Automating this process can save companies a significant amount of time, inconvenience and money. Q: How important is effective onboarding? Is it tactical or does it have strategic impact. A: Effective tactical onboarding can yield immediate cost savings, sparing companies the expense and hassle of processing paperwork and other tactical forms management and provisioning tasks. Beyond these short term gains, companies that approach onboarding from a strategic perspective benefit from employees who can contribute more quickly, are more informed, engaged and committed to the company’s critical goals, and who are more likely to stay with the company longer. In other words, strategic onboarding is a critical element in effective talent management. Authoria Recruiting Edge | Issue #3 | July 2007 | Page | Subscribe
Q: How does onboarding fit with other talent management functions? A: One obvious connection is between the automated onboarding solution and a company’s back-end HRIS systems that handle payroll, benefits, and other administrative functions. This will expedite forms processing and provisioning. For strategic onboarding, it’s important that vital information about the new hire’s skills, experience, and preferences be captured and made accessible to other talent management functions. It should be easy to find out, for example, that a new hire can speak a foreign language and has an interest in a foreign assignment, so they can be considered as appropriate opportunities open up. It should also be possible to immediately assign goals to a new hire during the onboarding process and to track them through the performance management system. Q: How should companies evaluate onboarding solutions? A: Companies should look at three factors: 1. Depth of functionality and maturity of the solution. Certain elements of the onboarding process, such as tax withholding forms and proof of residency requirements, involve a great deal of complexity, sometimes vary by state, and change frequently. You should be sure that the solution can handle that complexity. 2. Ease of use. Like all other solutions that will be used by a broad base of employees, be sure that the onboarding solution is easy to use. It shouldn’t require training or user support. 3. Integration with other talent management applications. In order to realize the full value of onboarding, companies should look for onboarding solutions that can integrate with the other talent management applications. This integration is vital to capture the immediate cost-savings and the long term advantages of more productive and engaged employees. Q: When should companies deploy an onboarding solution? A: The best practice for any individual company will vary, depending on their most pressing problem. In our experience though, companies have been most successful by first deploying a solution that automates the recruiting process, and then adding an automated onboarding solution onto that recruiting solution. In any case, whichever element of the talent management problem a company chooses to address first, before they begin deploying point solutions, they should develop an overall strategic plan that will allow them to build a comprehensive, integrated solution. About Authoria’s Recruiting Edge Newsletter We know you work in a wildly competitive world, and every day you are looking for an edge. Our Recruiting Edge newsletter will bring you what you need – we’ll keep you up-to-date on recruiting best practices and help you improve the quality of the candidates you hire. Every other month, we’ll bring together forward thinkers in the recruiting community as well as Authoria’s executives. And we’ll give you a laugh or two – be sure to check out our short “movies” which bring the nature of recruiting into comical focus. To read previous issues and subscribe to future ones, please visit: www.authoria.com/recruiting-edge Authoria Recruiting Edge | Issue #3 | July 2007 | Page | Subscribe
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