Onboarding woes? Simplify the Process Using Digital Tools

Let’s face it, the employee onboarding process is anything but simple. Forms to fill out, contracts to sign, assets to allocate…the list goes on. All this paper-pushing is cumbersome and inefficient. Worse, it can create a pretty clunky experience for new employees. Streamlining your onboarding process makes for smooth transitioning of new hires – and it pays off.  People contribute sooner and stay longer.

First impressions count

Everything about your hiring process leaves an impression on a job candidate: online reviews (even before you meet), your communication and follow up, the pace the candidate is moved through interview cycles, contract negotiations, to the final signing. But it’s that first day on the job, the onboarding process, that is likely the first time a new employee gets a real sense of what it will be like to work for you.

It’s during these early days of filling out forms, reading through policy manuals and setting up work devices that your new hire will either think, “Wow, this place makes everything so easy!” or “Yikes, what have I gotten myself into?”

You might be surprised to learn that these first day impressions actually impact your bottom line. Research from Glassdoor shows that a positive onboarding experience improves new-hire retention rates by 82% and boosts productivity by 70%. In fact, standardizing onboarding processes is key to socializing employees into company culture and has proven to boost performance and engagement.

There is this finding, too. Employees who have had a negative onboarding experience are twice as likely to look for new opportunities in the near term. That early attrition comes at a cost. What's more, productivity from poorly onboarded hires is lower than those who have had a great experience.

Making a great first impression

So what can you do about it? As a first step, eliminate as much of the painful, paper-based form-filling as possible. Digitize your onboarding process by automating where you can to reduce hurdles, friction, and stress. Throw in an eco-friendly water bottle and nice moleskine journal and you’ll be a hero.

The DocuSign Agreement Cloud for HR is a great place to start. Integrated with the world’s leading HR systems–like Workday, Oracle HCM and SAP SuccessFactors–DocuSign helps turn your employee onboarding experience into a competitive advantage, helping to retain top talent and get them to maximum productivity faster.

Crucially, the DocuSign Agreement Cloud for HR eliminates some of the annoying bottlenecks that leave a bad impression on new employees. Automated workflows, eSignature on any device, and centralized document storage, reduce stacks of paperwork and instead get forms filled out with a few simple clicks. Those digital forms are automatically routed to other departments who need new-hire information to trigger their own actions. IT assigns hardware and adds software licenses, Security issues passes and permissions, Accounting sets payroll in motion – and it all happens seamlessly.

Using ID Verification to take things one step further

If you need to verify your new employee’s identity when they receive important onboarding forms–which is becoming more common in our heavily regulated world–then you can do it swiftly and securely with DocuSign Identify. For instance, request an image of  their Canadian driver’s license to verify ID. The smart system knows exactly what to look for to ensure the document is not fraudulent.

From the employee’s perspective, a quick upload of their ID makes the validation process painless. No photocopying, scanning or emailing. They can do it all from their phone when they first open the DocuSign document.

Managing the process electronically is your competitive edge

Implementing automated onboarding can be done in incremental, easily managed steps. Think about the checklist of things that must occur for each new hire.

You can start with candidate offer letters. Digitizing this one step at the outset could help you get agreements out faster, get signatures back sooner and win the top talent. It’s all about first impressions, right?

Then consider integrations on the back end so HR staff can complete onboarding paperwork by sharing candidate data already on file–like pulling that accurate information from your existing system into formatted documents without rekeying or duplication. You'll save time and reduce errors.

What would fully digitized HR onboarding look like in your organization, with all the advantages of:

  • a single platform for all candidate and employee data
  • automated paperwork signing and routing
  • documents centralized for easy, shared access
  • full compliance

Manage all applications and onboarding documents electronically and you're guaranteed to have new hires excited to be aboard. Make your onboarding experience a competitive advantage.

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