Open/Close
English
HR insights
HR insights

Blog: Digital solutions for a smoother onboarding

The integration of new colleagues is one of the most important tasks of the HR-work. Outstanding employers are using more and more intelligent software solutions for a smooth onboarding.

Who starts as a beginner into his occupational life, or changes as a young professional to a new employer, wants to know the company as soon as possible. It’s clear: The way how novices manage this orientation phase, vitally depends on the active help they get during their vocational adjustment. Positive experiences are especially important in the first few weeks of work so that the new employees “keep it rolling”.


In this important settling-in period, top employees almost always use digital solutions. This shows our latest HR Insights report, which, among other things, includes the topic on-boarding. On the basis of our “HR Best Practices Survey 2016” the data of 600 certified top employee companies, with each more than 3,000 employees in 102 countries, were used. According to that, digital portals, that supply new colleagues in the vocational adjustment phase with checklists, manuals and appointments, are standard. 88% of the evaluated companies offer respective solutions. 

The electronical management of recruiting does not only save time and effort. A lot of companies also report a lower error rate. After all, the vocational adjustment process can be standardised and continually checked with digital on-boarding. Errors in the procedure or unclear responsibilities can be easily recognised and amended this way.

Programmes directly show achieved milestones
The HR-Management of 34% of the evaluated companies already work with programmes that document the on-boarding and show which milestones the new employee already achieved during his vocational adjustment. So the times are over, when the case worker had to pull out the personal file from the cupboard – now a fast click on the keyboard is enough. It’s a relatively new trend to immediately give the newcomer on his first day in the office access to a so-called entrance platform. Currently, only 18% of companies make this possible. There is however every indication that this development will become an established practice in the upcoming years. The surveyed personnel managers at least rated this as a great benefit, if the formalities on this digital path can even be done before starting work. 

The HR-Administration already relies on software solutions when it comes to starting a personal file from payroll accounting to the creation of a certificate. The experiences that are made here can be transferred to on-boarding. Processes have to be defined, checked and partially corrected. Additionally the HR-Experts need the support of external specialists, who develop the right digital modules for the company.

Create the basis for a bond that stays as long as possible
Leading companies report that digital on-boarding improves the communication between all involved and that the first steps into the job are much easier for new employees. An exemplary example comes from the worldwide operating Indian IT service contractor Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). TCS already wants to establish the fundamentals for a long term attachment with the on-boarding. Employees should get the big picture from the start and should identify with their new employer. The company places importance on not just “doing your job” as an employee of TCS, but to be a part of a big organisation that offers a long-term career prospect. The on-boarding here takes place in two phases that are called iBegin and iBelong and is supported by electronic platforms.

The iBegin phase starts immediately after signing the contract. The tool provides information about the company, the future workplace and project team, as well as career prospects. The new employee receives his initiation plan via the platform, can contact his supervisor of Human Resources and gets to know all important contact persons in the company.

With iBegin he can also virtually establish his office work place and equip it with all essential work materials. In the end, the novice will get a “Mentor” via iBegin that helps him to quickly get used to his new surroundings. So iBegin shouldn’t prevent interpersonal dealings, but quite the contrary, encourage communication with each other. The new employee should feel welcome in TCS from the start.

iBelong accompanies new employees on their first year
After the trial period, the on-boarding at TCS is continued via iBelong. A personal coach introduces operating cycles in different departments of the company in depth. Most information will also be provided via the digital platform.

The program supports the employees with predefines learning objectives by delivering comprehensive technical information and introduces the right contact person on the management level.

The digital platform also enables informal communication with new employees. iBegin and iBelong help novices to find their way in their first year in the company. Afterwards they will be members of KNOME, as all the other employees of TCS. The internet networking tool is designed based on the model of popular social networks like Facebook.

Every user can create their own profile, follow other colleagues, like other content and share it, as well as put up content themselves. Via the virtual network, opinions can be exchanged, blogs posted and work groups about special topics are formed.

iBegin, iBelong and KNOME underlie a strict monitoring at TCS. For example the degree of participation of the employees or the intensity and sustainability of the participation can be measured. A points system should encourage new employees to intensively use the platforms. Even the responsible employees of HR are rewarded for good integration.

Posts and discussions about the history and the tradition of the company, its values and goals, is by the way part of the most shared content within the community. This way TCS already achieved one of its most important goals of the human resources policy: the identification with the topics of the company. The example of TCS shows: Employers that are characterized by a great leadership of employees take beginners in the first weeks and months by the hand and make them familiar with the new surroundings. The digital on-boarding is a great help here. Additionally, young job starters know the virtual interaction from social media. From there, it’s often just a small step to participating in the interactive platform of the new employer, especially if he offers an attractive and user friendly user interface. Therefore popular employer portals orient themselves by examples of the social media world.