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Enhancing Onboarding Experiences to Gain a Competitive Edge

Proper onboarding affects the employee experience and has a direct impact on the cost of a new hire. It also helps mitigate company risk. My first post in this series discussed the role of onboarding in compliance. Last week, I discussed what KPIs staffing firms should be tracking as part of their onboarding programs.

The goal of all onboarding process improvements is to provide the best onboarding experience for all involved, be they the candidate or the recruiter. This post addresses how to do just that.

You might presume that providing a great candidate experience means more work for the recruiter. But thanks to technology, elevating the candidate experience no longer means working your recruiters harder. In fact, the opposite is true.

Good for the Recruiter, Good for the Candidate

The most effective way to elevate the onboarding experience for candidates is to first elevate the onboarding experience for recruiters, which you can do through smart tools.

“The candidate and recruiter experience go hand-in-hand. You can’t have one at the expense of the other,” confirms Gibree. She has already instituted a wealth of changes, including automating background checks and much of the Form I-9 process, and is currently working to streamline all processes through a single portal. The feedback from recruiters has been overwhelming. “These are huge pain points for us, so we’re really excited about the shift.”

EG has also reaped serious rewards for both recruiters and candidates with their onboarding enhancements, says Hoke. “It used to take candidates about an hour and a half to complete their onboarding documents. A lot of recruiter intervention was needed. But now that we’ve automated with Able, candidates get through the process in 10 minutes, and with minimal recruiter intervention.”

By removing a large amount of the work and seriously simplifying the complexity, EG’s recruiters were left feeling “very, very pleased” with the new onboarding system, giving it an NPS score of nine.

PREMIUM CONTENT: US Staffing Industry Pulse Survey Report: July 2021 Selected Highlights

The Key Traits of a Great Onboarding Process

What exactly does a great onboarding process look like? As new technologies continue to be adopted, the shape the best onboarding experiences is beginning to become clear:

  • Mobile-optimized: Candidates are becoming less and less willing to put up with long and complex onboarding and application processes. Both must be able to be completed on a smartphone, ideally in minutes.
  • A single portal: Your onboarding process must be simple and streamlined for both recruiter and candidate. A single portal should solicit every piece of necessary information in an intuitive way.
  • Automated: Your firm should challenge itself: What are we doing manually today that we could automate tomorrow? What are some of our most labor-intensive tasks, and can they be automated?

A smart solution isn’t a silver bullet. Remember that 70% of technology implementations fail – you can’t just slap a tech solution on a problem and expect it to be fixed. You need to be considered in your choice of solution, you need to develop an implementation plan and you need recruiter buy-in.

The Surprising Perks

The benefits of enhancing your onboarding processes stretch beyond candidate and recruiter experience, and even beyond increased efficiency, productivity and revenue for your firm.

The staffing industry struggles with retention — one out of every four account managers and recruiters leaves a staffing firm in any given year. But enhancing the recruiter experience can see you beating those odds by freeing them up to focus on the fun and exciting side of staffing: building relationships and making money. Not only will you retain the best, you’ll attract the best.

Investing in your onboarding processes also serves to future-proof your business and make it more resilient in turbulent times, a fact laid bare by Covid-19.

At the end of the day, enhancing onboarding comes down to one thing: technology. If you choose the right solution and implement it in the right way, you can turn the current pain of onboarding into some serious gains.

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