The Numbers Speak: The Onboarding Experience is King
At Rival, formerly SilkRoad Technology‘s annual users conference, Chief Research Officer and Co-Founder of Aptitude Research Partners Madeline Laurano shared recent data with the Connections audience. Over the last eight months, Aptitude surveyed over 1,000 organizations to qualify the link between human capital practices and business results.
Laurano and her colleagues found that onboarding is the linchpin to everything related to talent management, and both employers and candidates are asking for a new hire experience that is continuous, dialogue-driven, and meaningful. Seventy-three percent of Aptitude’s respondents said that their top talent acquisition priority was a consistent experience for both candidates and employees, while 83 percent said their top engagement priority was a consistent experience.
Consistency, however, is exactly what is lacking. Sixty-seven percent said they currently have a consistent experience for candidates and employees, but less than 40 percent said they have improved their employee experience, while greater than 60 percent said they have improved their candidate experience. Those numbers speak for themselves.
Not only are our onboarding experiences relatively inconsistent, they are also far too complex. In the last four years, companies doubled their spending on HR technology from $400 million to approximately $2 billion. Fifty percent of respondent companies are using 3+ onboarding solutions, and 1 in 5 plans to increase their onboarding technology investment in 2017. Unfortunately, though, all of these systems have made the onboarding experience quite complicated, and respondents agreed that streamlining and simplifying it is essential. Fortunately, technology providers are now offering experience systems, which differ from traditional HR systems in that they span the entire employee experience, integrate various technologies, are optimized for mobile, and are analytics-based.
Because new hire communication sets a tone for the experience as a whole, we must do a better job with it. For example, nearly 50 percent of employees don’t read company emails, so sending more of those isn’t the answer. Instead, we should customize the approach to how our people consume information. The State of Colorado, for instance, struggled with getting employees to pay attention to key messages. But when it adopted content for video and one-to-one dialogue as opposed to email, participation in open enrollment surged from 10 to 90 percent.