The onboarding experience for new starters has typically not been a major focus for organisations. ‘They should be thankful they got the job…’ is really not going to cut it. You’re probably expecting more from your employees than ever before, and they’re also expecting more from you! There are many negative flow on effects from a bad onboarding experience that could derail your business’ employer-of-choice branding efforts. Thankfully there are few easy ways to ensure this doesn’t happen to you. All this is best demonstrated through what is, unfortunately, an all-too-common onboarding experience…
Dave’s Perfect First Day
Let’s take a look at the story of ‘Dave’. He’s just left his stable job of five years to broaden his skill set and develop himself at a new, exciting company. His wife is really proud that he’s finally made a change. So are his parents, uncle, cousin and friends. Dave is EXCITED. This new job will allow him to pay down more of his mortgage, and with a child on the way, he’s keen to really go above and beyond in his new role. Today’s his first day. He rocks up with this incredible expectation, he got a great vibe through the hiring process, his new manager really couldn’t wait to have him on the team! With the red carpet rolled out and champagne in hand, he’s greeted with hugs and kisses by the enthusiastic ‘new-starter concierge’ at reception… Wait. No, that’s not what happened.
Dave’s Real First Day
In reality, Dave’s introduces himself to a seemingly agitated receptionist. The phone’s ringing and papers are everywhere. It doesn’t look like the innovative and organised business he was expecting! The stressed receptionist greets him and asks,
‘Who are you here for?’
‘Well, actually, it’s my first day today’
‘Oh ok, what’s your name and where are you sitting?’
‘Uh sorry I’m not sure, I was told to be here at this time’
The experience & his excitement just drops – he’s gone from a 98 to a 10….
‘Look here’s what I can do, let me call Steve and Janet from HR, or a manager and they’ll sort you out’
Dave manages to pick the anticipation back up. She didn’t mean it, it’s all good, he’s SURE the red carpet’s still there, waiting for him in his department perhaps?
Steve shows up to show Dave around. Great! After a basic tour – where each department’s located, where the bathroom and kitchens are – he’s introduced to his manager who seems slightly surprised to see him…
‘Oh look, Dave, is it? Yeah we’re not quite ready for you yet. We’ve got to set up the IT accesses and we haven’t received your laptop yet. The phone’s arriving on Friday, I remember that. Let’s see what we can do, just sit at your desk and wait for a bit, I’ve got a meeting’
The Impact of a Poor Onboarding Experience
What’s happening here? Dave’s left his job, he’s got a mortgage and a child on the way. He’s got three months probation and he’s looking to jump in and start adding value from Day One. This experience has left him frustrated and incredible anxious. When he gets home, his wife sees the disappointment in his face and it all goes downhill from there… Employee referral is just like marketing in business – word of mouth is powerful! Later that night, he starts to have that conversation over a beer with the Dad, the uncle and the brother.
The company’s so disorganised, no one knew what was going on!
Furthermore, consider the company. They have a keen employee looking to make them money. Instead he’s sitting idle and his engagement’s down from the get-go. The company’s losing money because he’s not able to be productive. He can’t do anything because he’s not set up to do so.
How Onboarding Automation Software Can Help
Onboarding automation software not only gives everyone a better experience, because candidates sign up in a really nice and easy way, but it also makes sure everyone is ready to go. 50% of the software is oriented towards making sure the hiring company is prepared and ready to go on day #1. So all the touch-points along the way, including signing the contract, all communications and arrival on the first day are taken care of. Hopefully they’re even trained! The software can send new starters videos about the company – the office layout, safety procedures, the exits and other basic things they need to know.
As soon as the candidate accepts the employment offer, 20 notifications are sent out. Boom. There’s one to the IT team with a list of all the accesses and equipment required. There’s notifications to the manager, reception, payroll and more. In the professional world, 2-3 weeks is enough notice for everyone to have enough time to provide what’s needed. With automation, when they new starter arrives reception’s ready with the red carpet rolled out, the starter feels amazing and, more importantly, all the tools and equipment are ready to go. You’ve ticked all the boxes, everyone has a great experience and the problems are solved.
How Automation Software Makes a Managers Life Easier
The manager’s also built some rapport. A week before the start date they got a notification:
Hey Mrs Manager, Dave’s starting next week, it would be great if you gave him a call – here’s his number: #
Highlighted and underlined, it’s easy for them to just press one button and call.
‘Hey Dave, how’s it going? It’s your last week at work, just checking in how everything’s going, we’re looking forward to your start with us next week.’
So there’s many touch-points for the onboarding automation software to add lots of value. It can even put in calendar events regarding milestones like probation. We know the start date and we know the length of probation. Let’s put in calendar events for the manager, 2 months before, 1 month before and 2 days before to remind them that the probation is coming, how about a performance review? There’s really so many things you can do, I challenge you to have an aspirational think about how this could help your company.
Employer Branding and the Onboarding Experience
The goal is to not have anyone sitting on the bench, it’s about how the new starter feels, it’s about the buddy that knows and is ready to show them around, it’s about having everything set up so they’re productive and able to add value. All the drama and worry is simply gone.
Consider the impact of your employer branding efforts. As we’ve seen, people talk. They refer great experiences and denounce bad ones. For all the CPO’s of the world, imagine they’re in charge of HR at $10 billion companies – they’re probably spending $2 to 5 MILLION dollars on their employer brand to attract quality talent and make sure that skilled people in the community want to work for their company. Word of mouth is 80% of the effectiveness of this spend.You screw that up and all that money you’re spending has gone down the drain. Imagine an area with thousands of people all working in your company’s space, and they all talk to 100 people about a negative experience, how much would you lose from that? Those hundreds of thousands of bad impressions are a missed opportunity. Turn it into a positive one with onboarding automation software. It just makes sense.
All the best until next time