It isn't all doom and gloom. At this event, we discussed not only the common challenges with regards to onboarding but the main incentive was of course to offer some of the solutions.

In our peer discussions and the insightful talks provided by our speakers, we managed to narrow down some of the main points for improvement that will help to transform your onboarding. A large proportion of the issues stemmed from team members, specifically - hiring managers, not having a full understanding of what onboarding is and how it can enhance an organisations' success in a variety of ways. Due to its powers being under-estimated, not enough time and effort was being dedicated to it. Change starts with the right attitude, so the first step in transforming your onboarding process is to properly train hiring managers and ensure that they understand its importance not only for candidate experience but in overall productivity. Having a strong onboarding process in place will save you time, effort and funding when done correctly.

Keep Candidates Engaged

As earlier noted, candidate engagement tends to peak in the application process. After this, the candidate's interest tends to decrease. The central focus of your onboarding process should be to keep your candidates engaged through various means such as ensuring good communication between them and their manager, as well as having a high level of organisation- making your candidates feel valued and looked after. These initial stages can be very overwhelming, so creating as smooth a transition as possible will help to reduce such negative feelings.

Enboarder offer a workflow tool which has an abundance of engaging content designed by HR teams which is accessible to both hiring managers and candidates. This includes videos, images and even virtual reality tours of offices. This will help the onboarding process feel more fun, interactive and approachable.

Make the Connection Between Onboarding and Retention

Onboarding is directly related to retention, and it is important to bear this fact in mind from the early stages of a candidate coming on board with you. Steve cited an article by MITSloan Management Review which emphasises how the onboarding process solidifies candidate's perception of your company and most importantly, their existence within it. The article details how onboarding typically consists of indoctrinating individuals to wholly encompass and abide by company values to the extent that individuality is suppressed.

"Moreover, newcomers actually may not internalize the organizational values even if they appear to comply through external behaviors; over and above compliance, leaders need employee engagement if they want employees to contribute on their own and in ways that are not programmed."

Get to Know your Candidates

Gathering data about your candidates will help you to tailor your onboarding process to them. Understanding that candidates have different needs is intrinsic to their well-being and subsequently how well they flourish within your organisations. Equally, it is important to gather data from candidates who have left in the form of exit interviews. This will be valuable in knowing what aspects of your onboarding process need improvement.

A study of 1000 hires found that candidates who went through a process that was candidate-centred (asking them questions about themselves, making them feel as involved as possible) opposed to the traditional onboarding process, the long-term results and retention was much stronger. Those in the 'personal identity' control group which went to these lengths to make candidates valued had a 57% less turnover rate than traditional onboarding.