Sure It’s an All-in-one HR Solution, but Does It Rock Onboarding?

Posted in Talent & Onboarding

We know you know onboarding matters bigly. (Or you wouldn’t be reading this, right?) We realize you’re also someone who’s no longer shocked when you hear stats like “up to 20% of new hires leave in the first 45 days of employment.”

You’re also savvy enough to know the impact that managers have on employee engagement and retention. You’ve seen the Gallup stat, or something a lot like it, that says managers account for 70% of the variance in employee engagement.

And we’ll bet our dollars to your donuts that you’re aware of all of the powerful, seemingly all-in-one HCM (human capital management) technology solutions that are making a lot of noise out there. After all, the HCM market is expected to grow at a blistering compound annual growth rate of 9.2%, going from $14.5 billion in 2017 to $22.51 billion by 2022, according to the industry research firm HR Technologist.

These big dogs of the HR tech world bundle together something for every corner of core HR, as well as workforce management, applicant tracking, sourcing and recruiting, and staffing vendor management. Why the big (and continuing) surge in these technology versions of the Swiss Army knife? Several reasons, including, as HR Technologist points out, the rise of new technologies combined with the increase in employee mobility. Both trends enable employees to work from anywhere, resulting in a much more widespread workforce – and the seeming silver bullet of all-in-one HR technology solutions.

The problem is, they’re not living up to the hype. According to the 2017 HCM Adoption Trends and Customer Experience report, although the rate of HCM adoption is high, the ROI and customer satisfaction rates are a bust. As research from the digital adoption platform Whatfix reports,

“either the employees just don’t use the software efficiently or the technology is unable to mold itself to the unique problems of the client. These lead to not just delayed or completely lost ROI, but also employee productivity and morale loss.”

The report cites low user adoption rates, fragmented systems, lack of localization, and poor change management as the root causes for low buyer satisfaction.

Still, it’s highly likely that your company has partnered with one of them, expecting it to do everything HR ever thought needed doing, short of entertaining visiting relatives and walking the dog. (Although some of them by now probably offer apps, third-party add-ons, or portals to help you and your employees handle those chores too.)

Still, your onboarding is stuck. What’s up with that? Why can’t your super-duper all-in-one HR technology solution wow your new hires during onboarding, champion your managers to play a stronger role through the entire employee journey, and make you look great in front of the CEO? The answer is that your HR technology platform – or any other of them, from A to Z – isn’t designed or built to make onboarding a journey that’s centered on each new hire’s unique experiences. Unless, of course, you consider unique experiences such as a new hire getting their very own password to get into the benefits administration portal. Yeah, that’s a really special moment.

If you’re using one of these big-dog HR tech solutions to manage your onboarding process, it probably lets you automate the paperwork and administrative tasks. That’s super-nice for HR and OK for employees. But is it anything special? Does it move the needle on employee engagement or have any impact on connecting the new hire to their manager and new colleagues? (Remember, people join companies; they leave managers.) And, really, hasn’t the ability to automate administrative tasks become table stakes in the employee experience? Isn’t that what most of your workforce expects now?

The point here is that too often, “improving onboarding” is translated as “we make the onboarding process more streamlined, more automated, and more digitized.” They say, gee, it shouldn’t be just a checklist. Put another way, when all-in-one software vendors say they’re going to knock the socks off your new hires, the outcomes are usually more about the organization and HR and a whole lot less about the new hire. Because that’s their forte, after all – HR systems. It only stands to reason that in doing that, there’s no way you’re going to wow a new hire.

Fixing onboarding by simply putting a new skin on old processes may be technologically cutting edge and very cool. But it’s also evidence of a stuck and outdated mindset when it comes to onboarding. When you only make onboarding easier, faster, and quicker, you’re missing the potentially very rewarding opportunity to leverage onboarding in a way that can have a dramatic impact on some of your company’s most critical business outcomes – productivity, retention, and even profitability.

When it comes to onboarding, all-in-one HR and HCM solutions for the most part suffer from:

  • Limited onboarding functionality
  • Cumbersome processes
  • Lack of customization or personalization to meet your unique needs
  • No way to easily or efficiently deliver professional, modern content that is meaningful to each new hire

Golly. That list of limitations sounds like the real-world outcomes of the problems Whatfix identified with all-in-one HCM and HR platforms: low user adoption rates, fragmented systems, lack of localization, and poor change management.

Imagine onboarding designed and built from the new hire’s point of view. What if your onboarding technology could dig down deep into every experience and touch point in a new hire’s journey – from the moment they sign and submit their employment contract?

What if your onboarding system not only brought your managers into the loop very early on, but also seamlessly and automatically gave them support and tools to connect with and nurture their new employees from Day One? What if it did all that and made onboarding more streamlined, automated, and digitized?

Can we get an amen?

Imagine an onboarding platform that:

  • Automatically generates a welcome email, from a manager, the moment HR gets a signed employment contract
  • Assigns a buddy (even coaches that buddy) for the new hire and sends an embedded video welcome from that buddy
  • Creates a personal journey of experiences for each new hire, using a simple drag-and-drop interface

We’re talking about a mindset that doesn’t live solely in the realm of HR and makes onboarding more than an induction process. It should be about more than just checklists, compliance, and automating paperwork. That’s modern onboarding.

Learn more about getting the right onboarding partner in our e-book “Buyer’s Guide to Modern Onboarding Software.”

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