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How to avoid drowning in new-starter paperwork

December 1, 2016
Borderless Leadership

Onboarding is the process by which a newly hired employee adjusts to their role and learns what is required of them to operate efficiently within the organisation. There are many challenges to keep these processes running smoothly – here are some things to look out for.

On average, HR decision makers spending 24 per cent of their time dealing with the onboarding process for recruits. This is according to Webexpenses, the cloud-based expenses platform, which also found that around 60 per cent of HR professionals have encountered problems with the process of issuing offer letters and contracts of employment.

So what are the drawbacks to manual recruitment and onboarding processes?

Human error

When it comes to sending out offer letters and contracts, the current manual processes leave a fair bit of scope for errors, and quite often there is a lot of back and forth as employees and employers hammer out the details, such as start dates, salaries and timings.

During its research, Webexpenses came across an example where a new employee was left waiting for their contract past their agreed start date. “Both the individual and the company are missing out in that time,” said Adam Reynolds, Webexpenses.

In addition, the manual process is expensive, and to top it off nearly half (47 per cent) of HR decision makers claimed they have lost their preferred candidates to a counter offer following delays issuing paperwork.

Seasonal workers

The problem is exacerbated for companies who have a seasonal business model – the more new starters, the more room for error.

“Christmas time is a great example. Royal Mail take on about 19,000 people at Christmas. All of those people need a contract,” said Reynolds.

Reams of paperwork

Many companies are committed to creating a paperless environment and attempting to move away from hard copies of documents, yet so many still send out reams of new starter paperwork during the onboarding process.

“20 years ago, expenses were largely managed on Excel,” Reynolds pointed out. “It’s about trying to automate and make the back office digital.”

First day on the job

One thing businesses often forget is to properly prepare for onboarding a new starter – there’s a bit of admin limbo in between the interview and the first day on the job.

“I think there’s nothing worse, and most of us have had it, where you turn up for your first day of work and they’re not quite ready for you,” said Reynolds. The challenge for employers is to work on reducing that – is the new employee needs a laptop, a desk, a chair – it’s about making sure all of that is ready from the get-go.

“Your first impression is going to be how that induction is dealt with, and if that’s poor then that gets you off on the wrong foot – what does that say about the brand or its culture or how important its employees are? It really is about pushing that positive message from the first interaction.”

If, however, a company manages to hit the nail on the head and provide a seamless induction for a new starter – from offer letter to the first day on the job – it provides a stronger image of the company as whole.

Webexpenses has developed a new online tool to help HR managers automate its new hire processes, which it hopes will enable new businesses to address these challenges.

Source: realbusiness

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