So you’ve put all the necessary time and effort into landing a hard-to-find tech pro. Finally, a vital role is filled, and you’re ready to see immediate production out of your new employee, right? Unfortunately, this is rarely the case.
It’s often surprising how much work an organization will put into locating the right talent only to leave their onboarding as an afterthought. But a disorganized or slow process prohibits your new tech pro from getting up to speed and accomplishing the very tasks you hired them for. Streamlining IT onboarding can usher in important, long-lasting improvements that ultimately have a positive effect on your bottom line.
Why the New Employee Experience Matters
A new IT pro’s early days with your organization are vital to their retention. During recruiting and interviewing activities, you’re surely making a big effort to come across as an organized and professional place to work. That’s why it can be so jarring for a candidate to have a pleasant experience meeting you only to come in for their first day and find chaos. After all, employees decide within the first six months of a new job whether they will stay with a company for the long term.
It’s disheartening for an excited brand-new employee to realize that there’s no process in place to acclimate them to their new environment, or worse, that the process is antiquated and filled with cumbersome paperwork and endless fine print. Streamlining IT onboarding processes makes new employees 58% more likely to stay at your company for at least three years, an important fact considering it costs an average of six to nine months of an employee’s salary to replace them. It’s no wonder many organizations are looking to overhaul their onboarding in an effort to improve the new employee experience and start things off on the right foot.
Embracing Technology and Automation
The most successful organizations don’t onboard the same way today as they did 10 years ago. Does a new employee really want to sit in a corner and read through a hundred-page employee handbook? Can you imagine hiring a star tech pro, selling them on the position by letting them know they’ll have all the latest technology at their fingertips, only to then hand them a huge stack of paper on their first day?
A chief reason for inefficient onboarding is because it seems like an easy place to save money, so organizations may neglect investing in technology that can streamline the process. However, this slows down staff from reaching their potential. Parts of the process can and should be automated. If one filled out an online application as a candidate, is it really necessary for them to fill out completely new forms now that they’re an employee? A great deal of information should already have been processed, and can carry forward to save time for everyone.
Consider if all the documents an employee needs are available in digital form. Can they be emailed, or are they easy to find online? Employee portals are an increasingly common way to streamline IT onboarding. How professional would it look if a new employee came in, logged into a portal, and saw everything they needed in one place? There could be a calendar that shows exactly what that new employee should expect from their onboarding, including who they will meet with and what HR items need their acknowledgement.
An employee portal could also contain a welcome video from the CEO, a map of where the nearest bathrooms are, and even a list of “first day tips” and welcome messages from their supervisor and immediate coworkers. It could include an employee database to help a new hire remember faces and names, and be mobile friendly so that they can access it on the go. A reassuring way to be ushered into a new company, a new employee can receive access to such a portal even before they start. The possibilities are endless, and best yet, going digital allows you to track metrics and improve things quickly.
Preparing for the Short and Long Term
How often is it that a new employee begins and it takes a full day or more before they can get their work email address to function? Or when they’re handed their computer, do they have to spend the whole first day of the job installing updates, downloading necessary programs, and clearing out irrelevant files?
A fresh tech pro can’t hit the ground running if they have to spend time taking care of minor housekeeping activities. Onboarding is more than just corresponding with a candidate or filing appropriate forms. It includes all the behind-the-scenes actions that should be taken prior to their arrival. Each role is unique, so in addition to a general HR checklist for preparation, role supervisors must provide input as well.
Finally, onboarding doesn’t end after a new employee’s first day or even their first week. The best in the business find onboarding that lasts one year is the recipe for success. Each organization has cyclical changes that come around during the year. Some may be busier during the holidays, and some may have big conferences or major projects that take place every summer. Until your new employee goes through an entire cycle, they will need some guidance along the way. When that direction comes smoothly and easily in the form of long-term onboarding, all parties benefit.
Streamlining IT Onboarding
When a new employee feels reassured in their career decision and is put in the best position to succeed, they can become productive quickly and make an immediate impact. The tech world moves fast, and there’s no time for your new tech pro to waste on tasks that are unrelated to the reason they were hired in the first place. Make an effort to streamline IT onboarding, and you’ll see a direct and positive effect on efficiency, and in turn, your bottom line.