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In my last post, I discussed the importance of effective onboarding in compliance, such as how education of recruiters and candidates on that importance will drive their own compliance in following the processes. Here, I discuss what data staffing firms should be tracking as part of their onboarding efforts.

There is a wealth of key performance indicators, or KPIs, that can offer up fascinating insights into your current onboarding situation and how it can be improved. But before focusing on the minutiae, we should seek a broader and more complete view.

Understand Your Current Onboarding Process

The hiring process, like the sales process, can be pictured as a funnel. You begin with a wide opening where you aim to attract a large amount of talent. The funnel narrows as you move through “talent activation” — all the steps taken to convert an applicant into an employee. At the very end of the funnel you move into redeployment/retention.

But this simplified view of the hiring process won’t be enough to gain a better understanding of, and deeper insights into, the improvements that could be made to your onboarding process. You should map out your entire hiring journey; all the technology involved, and recruiter and candidate touch points. This more complete picture allows you to better identify issues, inefficiencies, and missing pieces.

“Find your North Stars — the long-term goals that guide your business — then create KPIs designed to work your business toward those objectives,” Brewer advises.

Real-World Onboarding KPIs

As a process, onboarding is less cut-and-dried than screening or hiring. The right KPIs for one firm may not be the right KPIs for another. Nevertheless, inspiration can be taken from how other firms track their onboarding effectiveness.

West Michigan-based EG Workforce Solutions focuses on light industrial and clerical placements. “We look at the amount of the onboarding documents that our recruiters are sending out compared to the amount of completed forms we get back,” explains Michelle Hoke, EG’s Director of Training & Operations Support. “Right now we average about a 50% rate of return, and we’re aiming to get to 60% in the near future.”

A slightly different tack is taken by The Davis Cos., explains HR Manager Claire Gibree. “We look at the time period from a request to an initiation, as well as how long it takes a candidate to complete our onboarding process. We use these KPIs to understand the efficiency of our processes and levels of candidate engagement.”

Other onboarding KPIs include:

  • User experience feedback/NPS: Allow candidates to rate or review their onboarding experience.
  • Compliance: How many errors were made over a certain period of time?
  • Credentialing expirations: A major focus in healthcare (and other specialist fields).

Avoid Setting and Forgetting

As you enhance your onboarding, your goalposts will shift, and you’ll need to find new KPIs that better encapsulate what you’re trying to achieve. Update your onboarding KPIs regularly based on your “North Star,” remembering that this main objective can also move.

Zoom out far enough, however, and the goal of all onboarding process improvements is the same: to provide the best onboarding experience for all involved, be they the candidate or the recruiter.

My next post will look at how to do exactly that.

Read more >


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