Onboarding is a critical stage of the talent acquisition and retention process, beginning the moment a position is offered, and so is a major part of the role of the HR manager. Despite this, there are consistent inefficiencies in the traditional manual onboarding process, potentially costing UK businesses up to £200million a year. Sourcing and attracting candidates is a competitive market and a delayed or poor onboarding experience can leave businesses exposed to counter offers. However, advances in technology and the use of cloud-based software now provide HR decision makers with a solution to reduce this hidden cost to businesses in both time and money.

Traditional onboarding inefficiencies

For many, one of the key inefficiencies in the traditional onboarding method is that it is a manual process, which leads to time delays and inaccuracies. For instance, our research shows that issuing contracts in a timely and accurate way has caused problems for the majority (69%) of HR decision makers, with 45% saying inaccuracies have caused them issues later down the line in the process.

Issuing and exchanging paper-based documentation is a resource hungry exercise with more than two thirds of decision makers citing they spend valuable time chasing successful candidates to return completed or missing information. Even when the information has arrived, time-stretched HR teams are then faced with the task of transferring data onto HR and payroll systems and with 58% still doing this manually, it’s no surprise that errors occur.

With so much of the process remaining manual-based, and HR teams generally spending a quarter (24%) of their time on the onboarding process, digitalising (and therefore streamlining) the process means businesses could be making significant savings on these overheads.   

The impact of technology

In today’s job market, candidates expect to be able to communicate with future employers online; from application through to joining the business. Inefficiencies at this stage of the process can also mean businesses are potentially losing out on retaining the best talent, if prospective employees become disillusioned with the company before they’ve even joined.. Employees expect clear and regular communication with their prospective employer from the start of the process. However, our research has shown a lack of this, coupled with a less than adequate induction process, means more than a quarter (27%) of those who leave a new job in the first year do so within the induction period. Not only does this hinder businesses in productivity and expansion, but it also incurs immediate costs – according to our research this comes at a cost of at least £195 per hire, and this is on top of the candidate sourcing and hiring costs meaning the overall impact on a business will be even higher.

Webexpenses has recently launched webonboarding – the very latest in onboarding technologies which tackles some of the key problems faced by HR decision makers. It provides a cloud-based system – the key benefit of which is its reporting capability. This addresses the problem areas outlined by our research. Firstly, it enables businesses to gain a wider picture of each stage of the process, so they can track the process and status along the way, reducing the need to manually chase for documentation and ensuring it arrives in a complete and standardised form. It not only provides peace of mind for the HR team but also the onboardee. It ensures they are engaged from day one, and can access the latest updates to their recruitment process at any time – meaning they feel part of the business before they even start.

The research conducted by webonboarding highlights how traditional onboarding processes are outdated and inefficient in comparison to the technology now available to businesses.  Cloud-based software such as webonboarding provides the solution HR and business decision makers need to ensure they retain their hard won candidates and strengthen their employer brand during the crucial first stage of onboarding.

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