Going through the hiring and interview process can as much an ordeal for employers as it is for candidates. Companies take an average of 24 days to wrap up selection. Even in countries with the shortest averages, it could still take more than two weeks to successfully hire someone. In the US, employers even spend $4,000 in the hiring process – an amount which includes costs for job sourcing, background checks, assessment, and recruiting staff.

Given the time and costs it takes to find the right candidate, companies could only wish new recruits can be productive right from Day 1. But the reality is that this is often just wishful thinking. Hiring a new employee is one thing. Getting that person up to speed is another.

New hires can encounter various stumbling blocks while settling into their new roles. Many feel clueless during their first days and yet there are a lot of tasks they have to accomplish during this period like filing paperwork, familiarizing themselves with technologies, figuring out daily routines and standard procedures, and even knowing colleagues’ names.

Companies have to ensure that their onboarding process can help new hires overcome these issues. While most HR departments have procedures in place to cover most of these concerns, they can still make onboarding better through digital adoption. Organizations should leverage new technologies to help them address the pain points typically associated with onboarding.

Here are three ways companies could take advantage of digital solutions to improve their onboarding processes.

1 – Guided Walkthroughs

Each organization’s IT context is unique so companies shouldn’t be presumptuous and think that new hires would be able to figure these out all by themselves even if most of them are tech-savvy millennials. In fact, it would be careless to let new hires handle actual work on live enterprise systems without any training or orientation. Human error continues to be the leading cause of costly and damaging IT security incidences.

Because of this, subjecting new hires to end-user training is essential. Some companies already incorporate basic training modules in their orientation materials. Another way companies could handle this is through the use of digital adoption platforms to create walkthroughs for their enterprise applications. These tools can be integrated with the applications’ user interfaces to display helpful step-by-step hints and callouts that guide users on how to accomplish tasks.

Digital adoption platforms also feature tracking and analytics functionalities, allowing administrators to track how new hires are actually using the software. By monitoring user behavior, it would be possible for them to provide additional training if necessary.

2 – Collaboration and Involvement

Another important aspect of employee onboarding is acclimatizing new hires to the organization’s members and its culture. Companies can use communication and collaboration platforms to integrate peer interaction features to their employee portals and provide new hires with means to get in touch with their new colleagues.

Companies could even set up their own social networks within their infrastructures. A number of organizations are also starting to use them as employee advocacy platforms where staff members can curate, share, and discuss various content and topics that advance key initiatives within the organization.

These technologies could also allow new hires to seek out teammates and colleagues who share the same interests, giving them some common ground on which to converse whether digitally or face-to-face within the workplace. Allowing them to engage others could help break the ice and make new members feel welcome and involved in the organization.

3 – Continuous Support

Onboarding demands proper follow up and follow through. Even with proper classroom-style training and orientation sessions, new hires would likely come across some question or issue that hasn’t been discussed. This is why it’s crucial for companies to provide open channels for support to employees.

One way to guarantee that such issues get resolved quickly is through self-service support and automation. Organizations could make available knowledge bases and support channels that allow users to review policies and standard operating procedures on their own. Self-service interfaces can present information as frequently asked questions (FAQs) or scenarios so that topics can be easily searched. Companies should also craft content that relates to their own ways of working so that the details would be relatable and specific to their situation.

Companies could also explore using chatbots in their support channels or messaging platforms to allow employees to quickly ask questions and get immediate responses to their queries.

Bridging the Gap

Given how competitive business is today, companies should be able to maximize all of their efforts and investments. The real value of successful hiring isn’t in getting a candidate to sign a contract. It is only realized when new employees perform and deliver in their respective roles. Onboarding helps bridge the gap between hiring and productivity. Fortunately, new technologies for digital adoption, collaboration, and support are now available to help companies create better onboarding programs.