Making Onboarding a Moment that Matters - Lessons from TfL and Capgemini

During our panel discussion, Hugh was joined by Eric Simpson, Recruitment Manager Permanent & High Volume Onboarding at TfL, and Abbi Anand, L&D Business Partner at Capgemini UK, to answer our audience’s questions about best practice onboarding. As both organisations hire candidates in high volumes, our speakers already appreciate the value of a well-implemented and automated onboarding process on their quality of hires and retention rates.

While onboarding will vary across business areas and professional level, it must carry the same engagement with all new joiners. And technology will help support that. Below we present some of the key points raised by our panel:

Building a business case for investment

You need your key stakeholders on your side to build your business case for investment. Begin by gathering their feedback, Eric advises. It can tell you where the problem lies or if there is one in the first place. You can get a lot of value from hiring managers who are ready to talk to you about how they would like to improve current processes. They will address issues that wouldn’t otherwise be visible to the rest of the organisation. That’s the opportunity for you to secure more investment in order to deliver precisely to their needs.

“If you don’t have enough of your own data to build your case, use data from other organisations on the hard business benefits of onboarding”, Hugh adds.

For Capgemini UK, it was the business that triggered a change in their current onboarding approach. They recognised there were improvements that could be delivered. So Abbi and her team had conversations with key stakeholders to devise a solution that would meet their needs to introduce an approach that would save time while keeping new joiners warm before their start date. They now collect regular feedback from the business to maintain standards with their processes.

Is technology necessary to ace at onboarding?

“It would be wrong to say it’s critical but it’s hugely beneficial,” Eric believes. If you’re a very small, people-centric operation, your market and corporate landscape might get away without using technology for onboarding. But a good piece of software will provide you with huge data insights to help you create a meaningful candidate experience. You need to be in a position to optimise that technology, draw insights from it and partner closely with the provider to build the right strategy for it.

“There’s no point in having the best technology in the world if you don’t have the right people to use it,” Hugh explains. “Onboarding is about getting those connections and relationships with key people and technology will enable you to scale that people side and keep the relationships and conversations happening.”

“You can use technology in a number of different ways when it comes to onboarding. It gives you an edge,” Abbi explains. “But if you are a small company you probably won’t need it to deliver a good onboarding approach as long as you’re personable, showcase the culture of your company and support them from day 1.”

Measuring success

Understand where you are in the process before establishing your baseline for success, Hugh advises. Measure your candidate satisfaction at different stages of the process (from point of offer until they are 3-6 months into the role) because that allows you to see how things are evolving and identify activities within the business that are having an impact on that. “Once you’ve got your baseline, you can start experimenting and see how these changes impact candidate satisfaction and attrition rates.”

On Capgemini UK's onboarding portal, Abbi and her team can track new joiners' engagement with the content and identify those who haven’t logged in at all. After the induction day, new joiners are also asked for feedback which is then used to adjust the experience on a regular basis, she adds.

“We made 3 commitments when we created our function,” Eric adds. “We would know what busy looks like, what good looks like and bring as much science into it as we could, using data and insights to make adjustments. HR has always struggled to prove its strategic influence on the business but when we showcase this data-driven approach to our work, it gives us the credibility and buy-in to start having conversations about what we should be doing with it.”

Balancing compliance with user experience

“We have an offer management team, separate from recruitment, that deal with maintaining compliance and making sure contracts are signed before the onboarding starts,” Abbi explains. “Then once new joiners get to the induction stage, my team comes in to make sure they have an immersive, engaging experience on their start date. We don’t have any PowerPoint presentations on the first day, instead we bring in a panel of speakers from different business areas to offer a good overview of the company.”

Compliance should never come in the way of a good onboarding experience, Eric explains. “We work hand-in-hand with recruitment and have leaned our compliance to the point where, even at its most complex, it is quick, straight-forward and efficient.”

Remember Hollaroo's hierarchy of candidate needs. Compliance issues, such as contracting and documentation, while essential, don't address the most pressing needs of the individual. By following Hugh's pyramid approach illustrated in our previous chapter, you can address elements of onboarding at the right time and allocate the appropriate amount of resource to them.

Watch panel discussion

Panelists (from left):

Hugh Fordham, CEO, Hollaroo

Abbi Anand, L&D Business Partner, Capgemini UK

Eric Simpson, Recruitment Manager Permanent & High Volume Onboarding, TfL

Discussion moderated by Alan Walker