How to automate your employee onboarding process with AI

How to automate your employee onboarding process with AI

Hanna Kleinings

Success Builder

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Are you looking at onboarding a new employee?

The employee onboarding process is the first impression that your company gives to new hires, and it can make or break their experience with your organization.

Not to mention, research shows that the cost to replace a salaried employee is 6 to 9 months' salary on average.

But how do you make an onboarding process for employees? What if you want to onboard someone remotely?

Is there anything you can do to take some of the burdens of HR, making them more productive in other areas, while also improving employee satisfaction and retention rates?

There is, and this article will take you through everything you need to know.

What is an Employee Onboarding Process?

To start this off, let's first discuss what an employee onboarding process actually is.

This process entails developing and implementing a strategy to transform promising potential individuals into high-performing personnel.

The onboarding process begins the second you make an offer and continues until the employee is operating efficiently in their role. Onboarding includes basically every activity that takes place within that time frame, including the orientation program, training strategy, performance metrics installation, and a feedback cycle.

Now that you know what the onboarding process is and what it entails, let's discuss why it may be necessary for you and your business.

Why Have an Employee Onboarding Process?

There are many reasons why having an employee onboarding process is important.

Here are the top 5 main reasons:

Acclimatization

Acclimatization is the process of familiarizing your new employees with what is expected, and how to get help when needed.

Employees who are acclimatized in the workplace, for instance, are familiar with the company's requirements, expectations, and resources. But new employees can only engage once they've been properly acclimated and introduced to the business and their positions.

Faster Time to Productivity

A solid onboarding process minimizes inefficiency and confusion, while also allowing the employee to get started on important work sooner.

For example, findings suggest that businesses that implement strong onboarding processes boost new employee retention by 82%, and productivity by over 70%.

Engage the Employee

When management is able to engage their team, it creates an atmosphere of productivity, profitability, and provides evidence that management values them and their personal development. To do this, educate new hires about the benefits of being part of your business, and how they will contribute to its success.

A solid onboarding system using a new employee checklist template aids in the integration into the company and enhances employee relationships. It also entails goal setting, frequent manager check-ins, and employee development, ensuring that staff are aware of their duties, where they stand, and how they can improve moving forward.

Increase Employee Retention

You can increase employee retention by extending a warm welcome to continue the momentum of your recruitment process and offer, and provide a smooth transition for those who are going from applicant to employee. Fill their first day with joy, introductions, and early learning by getting any paperwork out of the way before they start.

Continue your onboarding process for at least 90 days to ensure new employees properly adapt and acclimate, and to increase retention rates. This is because research shows that one-third of employee turnover occurs in the first 90 days.

Better Company Culture

To allow new workers the opportunity to embrace the company's mission, vision, and values, you must first show them what that looks like. Effective onboarding processes ensure that the company's values are communicated to employees from the get-go.

Successful onboarding is a matter of ensuring that they're ready to do the work. Hence the importance of keeping them on track throughout the first few days.

Onboarding Remote Employees

Remote work is here to stay, for many companies it has become the new normal. You might be wondering how the onboarding process works if your business is digital and you want to hire remote workers? Here we will discuss the challenges, and how to create an effective remote onboarding process.

Common Remote Onboarding Challenges

Not knowing who to ask for help with "newbie questions" is one of the most common problems that new team members face during remote onboarding. It's critical to assign an onboarding buddy so that team members have a kind face they can chat to when needed.

Onboarding remotely might also cause technical difficulties, such as delayed equipment delivery, account creation troubles, and the need to acquire new technical skills quickly. It's critical to ensure that your IT department has enough personnel to help new staff members in the first few days or weeks.

Crucially, when there are problems with onboarding, new team members may be hesitant to express themselves. Instead, use a feedback loop to obtain any key insights of the onboarding process and use this feedback to consistently improve.

To address the challenges outlined above, remote onboarding must focus on three key areas: organizational, technological, and social.

Organizational Onboarding

The first and most frequent stage of onboarding is to teach new employees any necessary information they may need to get through the workday efficiently.

For example, for on-site work, you could show new recruits where to park their car and acquire an ID card, how to get around the building, etc.

For remote employees, this might look more like a digital welcome meeting with the team. As well as what platforms are needed, how to work them, etc.

Improve this by including new employee checklist templates in your onboarding process. Furthermore, it's critical to teach them your company's language and culture. New employees must be given the assistance they need to adapt to the new organizational values and standards, particularly during the first year.These can be done at three key stages within the first year: three, six, and nine months. Use the new employee checklist template to gather feedback at each stage.

Hiring managers should formally have discussions about the company's history and brand, how performance is measured and rewarded, and how development possibilities emerge.

Technical Onboarding

Here you will need to define what good performance metrics are.

Someone may be hired for their abilities and experiences, but that doesn't imply they know how to utilize them in your organization. Sometimes, new employees with vast areas of expertise may feel like novices and become insecure.

This leads to validating their skills by recalling prior accomplishments. However, this can drive them away and drain the energy of their coworkers. Just imagine a new team member starting each sentence with, "In my previous job...".

To avoid this problem, begin with clear communication. New employee checklist templates provide a clear description of responsibilities and any limitations on authority or access to resources that they should be aware of.

Next, establish early goals and wins. Giving new employees clear objectives is another excellent method since it enables you to communicate fair expectations. A great way to do this is to assign duties with a timeframe in mind so that they will be completed at the three, six, and nine-month periods.

Begin by setting goals that you are confident your new employees can achieve. If everything goes as planned, gradually extend the degree of authority associated with each job duty.

Social Onboarding

You will want to start your social onboarding by building a sense of community.

According to recent studies, 40% of adults reported feeling lonely. This sense of isolation is heightened for new employees. As a result, developing relationships with others during the first year may make new employees feel less lonely, more at ease, and more confident.

Newly hired individuals, in collaboration with their supervisor, should choose 7-10 people (superiors, peers, direct reports, and internal and external clients) for them to work with or learn from in the first year.

There are always teething issues when onboarding new employees, whether it be in-person or remote. But, by adopting this integrated method, leading organizations enable their employees to stay in their jobs and thrive.

The Benefits of Using an Employee Onboarding Automation

The onboarding process has four main levels (otherwise known as the 4 C's) that you can use as guiding principles when crafting your onboarding process plan. They are:

Compliance – this is the lowest and most basic level. It entails teaching staff the basic legal and policy-related norms and laws.

Clarification – refers to ensuring that employees are aware of their new roles and all relevant expectations.

Culture – this is a bigger category that involves giving the new employees a sense of the organizational norms - formal and informal.

Connection – this refers to the crucial interpersonal connections and networks that new employees must build.

The four C's of employee onboarding
The four C's of employee onboarding

With these 4 C’s in mind, here are the benefits of employee onboarding automation:

  • Onboarding templates can be used. No need to build an onboarding process from the ground up. This leads to less paperwork, manual labor, and a lower likelihood of human error. You just simply provide the template to your new hire.
  • Consistent standards for employee onboarding. This ensures that no information is overlooked. Additionally, newcomers to the company have the same onboarding experience as previous employees in the same role.
  • Decreased workload and time, for onboarding and checking employees. Automating the onboarding process reduces HR's workload, as well as lessens the time and efforts of onboarding buddies.
  • Speeds up the onboarding process. This means that the new recruit can actually start on their work, and reach top productivity levels quicker. Employees who are able to perform their tasks more efficiently and on their own will be more productive in the long run, too.
  • Creates a positive onboarding experience for new employees.
  • Improvements to the onboarding process are streamlined and more efficient. With the ability to assess feedback quicker. For instance, you can also conduct an onboarding survey or interview, and make adjustments as needed.

With these benefits in mind, here’s how you can automate the onboarding process.

A Step-By-Step Employee Onboarding Flow

First, it's important to note that a formal onboarding process, for example, might last anywhere from 30 to 365 days.

The length of time it takes to complete each stage of onboarding varies from company to company, but it can generally be divided into these four phases:

  • Phase 1: Day 1 - Day 7. Make sure the employee is compliant and familiar with their roles and responsibilities.
  • Phase 2: Day 7 - (end of) Month 3. Provide employee training essential to job performance. Introduce them to their coworkers who are essential to their function. Help them gain an understanding of the company's culture.
  • Phase 3: (End of) Month 3 - (end of) Month 6. Analyze their progress and performance and ensure that they have everything they need to do optimal work. Take note of their comments and feedback to determine how engaged they are.
  • Phase 4: (End of) Month 6 - Month 12 (full year). The employee should have a comprehensive understanding of their role, the market, the company, and the industry. There should now be new employee assimilation into the company and work culture.

Now that you know the steps, let’s look at how AI can help with your employee onboarding.

Phases of an employee onboarding flow
Phases of an employee onboarding flow

Using Artificial Intelligence to Help With Employee Onboarding

Having a new employee onboarding process is vital to reduce time and cost for onboarding.

That being said, there is a way to speed this process up and reduce workload even further with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Research shows that AI is already utilized by around 68% of businesses for their onboarding processes. So, in order to ensure that you can stay relevant and reduce costs and workload as much as possible, you're going to want to invest in AI.

During the employee onboarding and checking process, AI can provide:

Chatbots

HR Chatbots are vital in reducing the overwhelming screening part of the onboarding process. It can improve your employee experiences and provide you with valuable feedback. It can also help you identify issues with unsatisfied employees, and address them.

Not only that, but Chatbots can also be used to share learning courses, and answer all new starter employees' FAQs.

Smart Checklists & Remote Support Applications

AI software uses internal processes or relationship management systems to generate notifications to the appropriate person when they need to request a form or send information in sequences.

Check Employee Onboarding Documents for Completeness

Often, one of the biggest problems when boarding new employees is operations and leadership time constraints. There are many documents that must be handled in addition to the product manager roles, such as contracts, tax declarations, passports, driver's licenses, Employer Identification Numbers, and work agreements.

AI can be utilized for document automation and can be used to check employee onboarding documents for completeness. As such, it's the first step in bringing on new hires.

This is where Levity comes in with its soft plug. Here are Levity’s use cases on checking onboarding documents and how to check employee onboarding documents for completeness.

Feedback Insights

In order to optimize the onboarding process further, AI onboarding tools can be applied to examine and interpret feedback survey answers in order to enhance the onboarding process.

Yet again, Levity can do that for you. Our software will automatically detect sentiment (positive, negative, neutral) in your employees’ responses and understand the topic. You’ll also be able to filter for the urgency of the response.

To take a sneak peek at how this works in practice, here is our ‘analyze survey text responses’ use case.

And there you have it – an AI solution for your new employee onboarding process automation for your business.

Summary

I'm sure by now you’ve realized that if you don't have a way to improve your employee onboarding process, the time to get on that is now.

Not having a set structure for your employee onboarding process can result in hours of lost productivity and reducing your employee retention rate. Ensuring that your new employees have a solid understanding of their responsibilities and their role’s expectations - as well as being aligned with your company's mission, vision, and values - is crucial to establishing a smooth transition for your new employee and a solid basis for them to build on when working towards meeting their role’s goals and expectation.

Integrating automation in your employee onboarding process can save you hundreds of hours, as well as enabling an even smoother process for you and your new employees.

Reach out if you would like to know more about how we can help you automate your employee onboarding process. We’ll happily discuss how we can assist you in getting new hires up to speed so that you and your HR team can focus on other ongoing work.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Now that you're here

Levity is a tool that allows you to train AI models on images, documents, and text data. You can rebuild manual workflows and connect everything to your existing systems without writing a single line of code.

If you liked this blog post, you'll probably love Levity.

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