Table Of Contents:
What is onboarding software?
Onboarding software is a tool used by HR professionals to onboard new hires digitally, without the need to print or scan documents. Using onboarding software enables all authority-given HR professionals to have access to the same onboarding platform - therefore warranting easy collaboration with one another to ensure the new hire is quickly and professionally onboarded.
Many organisations are beginning to acknowledge the importance of digital onboarding as a critical tool to increase efficiencies , custom-build their compliance process, and create beautiful candidate experiences. How?
Natively built in onboarding software are complex features, automation, and integration with HRMS systems. Enterprise-grade onboarding technology provides users with the ability to; customise workflows, custom build onboarding packs and save them as templates, create a compliance process that incorporates probity checks (psychometric talent assessment, reference check, police check), build e-forms and documents, and automate SMS/emails to candidates and stakeholders.
Digital onboarding also empowers candidates to self-onboard on any device, at any time. Alongside being mobile-first, digital signing enables candidates to be completely onboarded within minutes!
Let’s deep dive into the benefits and features you need to know about.
The benefits of using digital onboarding
Beautiful candidate experiences
Your candidate doesn’t want to have to print, sign, scan, and send back their onboarding documents! It’s 2021, we live in a digital world. Digital onboarding is mobile-enabled, therefore your new hires can fill in and sign their documents on any device, at any time! This presents your company as modern and progressive, and demonstrates that you value the time of your new employees.
Once a new employee has completed their onboarding pack, all appropriate stakeholders (Procurement, Provision, Manger, Buddy, etc) are notified of their start date and are continuously reminded to ensure the new employee is appropriately greeted and equipped on their first day.
HR professionals can utilise the automated communication system (Emails/SMS) by scheduling personalised and branded messages to new employees which keep them engaged and excited to begin working.
The time, effort, and care you invest into your new employee leading up to their start date will dictate their retention, productivity, and determination to your company. SO, make sure you nurture them!
Digital onboarding software integrates with your recruitment software, and all other HRMS systems your company uses. This integration capability results in a seamless data flow... the data that is collected in requisition, recruitment, and offer approval seamlessly flows into your onboarding software.
Therefore, auto-generating your contracts and auto-filling in details of necessary onboarding documents. Thus eliminating the need to input data multiple times and ultimately reducing data inaccuracies.
The completed onboarding pack is also pushed into your Payroll system in a single click , further reducing the risk of inaccurate data as the data pushed to Payroll is the data entered directly by the new employee.
Within your digital onboarding platform, you can brand documents and custom-build e-forms that are role and department-specific. These onboarding documents can be saved as templates and retrieved for future use!
Therefore, by creating standard templates the in-house recruiter only needs to spend a few minutes personalising the templated documents and reviewing the auto-generated contract, rather than having to start from scratch for every new hire!
Your onboarding platform also has a countdown timer feature. Apply a count-downer timer to onboarding packs for each new hire. Set the deadline for the candidate to complete their onboarding pack before, and reduce the time-to-hire by creating urgency!
By introducing beautiful candidate experiences your candidate is less likely to accept another offer from a competitor because your branding and modern onboarding process have enticed them to work for you. By introducing efficiencies, decreasing the time to hire, and eliminating regularly incurred bottlenecks in your onboarding process, you eliminate the need and chance of candidates even seeking employment from other companies.
Therefore, not only do you onboard new employees quicker, you ensure the time your employees and company invest in onboarding is never misspent on a candidate that drops off.
Heightens employer branding
Internally and externally, every piece of communication or document is branded to be an extension of your company . The consistency in branding heightens your employer branding by demonstrating your well-structured and organised organization. Whether this is automated SMS/Emails, onboarding documents or job ads, your company excellently executes and displays your brand, which resonates with current and potential employees.
Typical features of modern onboarding software
At MyRecruitment+, we like to refer to the below as the pillars of digital onboarding , and are a must for all modern digital-onboarding vendors.
- Mobile-enabled candidate self-onboarding portal
- Branded onboarding packs
- Custom-built & branded document/e-form templates
- Digital signing
- Content manager
- Induction & Training videos
- Automated SMS/ Email system
- Automated notifications to stakeholder
- Countdown timer
- Induction & Training videos
- Payroll integration
Considerations when purchasing onboarding software
Integration capabilities & partnerships
HRMS and Payroll integration is a must. The data your new employee enters into their onboarding pack is automatically stored and saved in your onboarding system...meaning data doesn’t need to be entered multiple times!
Your onboarding software will push the employee data into your payroll system. Therefore ensuring there are no data inaccuracies while simultaneously reducing the manual input required from HR professionals. Thus, reducing the time to hire.
Make sure you know your onboarding software will integrate seamlessly with your Payroll system and other HRMS you utilise to create a harmonious HR environment with optimised efficiencies.
TOC / Hidden costs/ Setup costs
Before you sign a contract with your onboarding software vendor, make sure you know the total cost of ownership (TCO)! You must know if there are setup costs, and if they’re included in the proposed TCO (by the way, there shouldn’t be any setup costs… if there are, I would advise against the vendor).
Be certain you have access to complimentary support and training. Similar to any other software, your onboarding software will see many updates and new features, therefore it’s important you know included in your subscription is ongoing training and support for issues and updates to the platform! Many vendors will keep these costs hidden, so do be sure to ask to ensure you know what you’re entitled to.
Customisation & flexibility
Your onboarding process is unique to your business. Your digital onboarding vendor must recognise this and provide enterprise-grade flexibility and customisation. Onboarding packs sent to your candidates will leave a lasting impression, therefore you want to be certain the system allows you to brand each document, personalise the message, and the presentation of the email. This is a critical component in enhancing your employer branding which in-turn, re-assures your new hire they’ve made the correct decision.
Many onboarding software vendors will claim to be completely digital, but then require you to print documents to sign them and scan them back. Be cautious of this! You must ensure your onboarding technology provides you with the ability to digitally sign appropriate documents and e-forms on any device (mobiles, tablets, laptops, etc).
Your onboarding platform will be integrated with all other HRMS systems you use, and hold valuable information about your employees - including bank details, home addresses etc. It’s critical that you question the onboarding software’s vendor about security they have in place, and even request to see evidence of their claims to ensure your data will only be owned by you, and will not be breached!
It’s easy for a vendor to give themselves a 5-star rating, however, their self-reflection may not always be accurate. Be sure to ask if you can speak to existing clients, or review client testimonies, before signing a contract to be certain you’re making the correct decision!
Relevant onboarding software trends
Videos for learning and welcoming
Industry data shows that the use of video learning is the highest it’s ever been. Therefore, it’s no surprise that induction and training videos are growing in popularity! Use videos to personalise the new-hires onboarding, and provide them with a glimpse of the culture they’ll be joining! Hearing and watching fellow colleagues welcome them onboarding creates excitement as they perceive the company to consider them a valuable new recruit.
Users can also use video content to educate your new employee on appropriate methods and procedures prior to their start date, as well as set clear expectations. This helps ensure your new hire knows exactly how to begin adding value on their first day and hit the ground running.
Completely paperless process
Paperless onboarding is being quickly being seen as a necessity by many companies. This recent trend is majorly influenced by the insane influx of remote working (thanks to COVID19). Organisations have begun to realise paper-based processes are incredibly timely and costly, not to mention completely archaic. Furthermore, in 2020, companies globally quickly updated their operations to incorporate more modern-day technology. Because of this, in 2021, organastions have acknowledged that paper-based processes leave a poor impression of the brand, and ultimately leads to candidate-drop off.
Digital onboarding software not only saves time and money, but provides HR professionals with instant access to data, tracking, and great accuracy when adhering to government specifications.
Candidate / New employee experience
Personalised onboarding packs are becoming an increasingly prevalent method in allowing new employees to keep up to speed with your company's work culture. With the use of aesthetic branding as well as personalised videos, new employees can arm themselves with information that is necessary to become successful in their new position and hit the ground running.
The importance of workplace cultural assimilation is also on the rise. Research shows that when new employees experience strong initiation rituals, they gain a stronger sense of belonging to the team. Storytelling can be a particularly powerful tool for this, which can be done through videos and scenario-based learning (Learning Management System) which effectively enhances the productivity of a new employee. These methods are accessible and optimally effective through digital onboarding.
Onboarding software pricing
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Over 3 Years
NOTE: We’re assuming here that you’re looking at a fairly modern vendor that’s CLOUD / SaaS and one that offers a subscription-based model.
Your TCO should cover the entire cost of acquiring and adopting onboarding software in an organisation over 3 years.
There are many factors that will affect the TCO, so be sure you do your calculations before signing a contract!
The below are costs you must consider in order to accurately estimate your 3-year TCO:
- Subscription cost
- Setup costs
- Implementation costs for company-desired customisations
- Ongoing support (emails, phone calls, live chats, Zoom, etc.)
- Initial training for all users
- Ongoing training for new users
- Training for new features and developments within the platform
- Ongoing bug fixes
- Ongoing access to new features
Over time, the previous method of “purchasing onboarding software” has been made redundant and replaced with a “subscription model”. So, rather than purchase the software, you only pay for your right to use the software for a certain period of time. The time-frame is entirely dependent on the company, it may be a month, 6 months, a year or so on. Subscription-based models are widely adopted by modern, enterprise-grade vendors.
Set up costs used to amount to roughly 20% of the TCO and be a huge deterrent for many SMEs to take advantage of enterprise-grade technology. However, the time for that is long gone.
Nowadays, your onboarding software vendor should provide FREE set up, which is incredibly important for you to know so that no big vendor can take advantage of you!
The most commonly incurred hidden costs are support and training. A big sign that these are hidden costs is if vendors don’t discuss support and training during initial conversations. Be incredibly aware of this before signing the dotted line on any document as these costs may end up leading to an unsuccessful adopting of onboarding software and a poor investment decision. As mentioned above, be sure to know your EXACT TCO and what you’re entitled to.