Articles

Dec 8, 2023

Transitioning from manual to automated: Case Onboarding

Niko Salkola

Product Designer

Introduction

The onboarding process is a critical phase in an employee's journey, laying the groundwork for their experience and success within an organization. A traditional onboarding program, as exemplified by our detailed task table, encompasses a myriad of manual, repetitive tasks.


This post aims to highlight the advantages of transitioning from these traditional methods to automated processes, using the outlined onboarding steps as a benchmark. We will explore how automation not only streamlines these tasks but also retains the essential human touch that is integral to the HR process.

Analysis of a comprehensive yet time-consuming to-do list

This basic onboarding program outline consists of 18 distinct actions, but it's worth noting that we’ve helped our customers automate onboarding programs with over 100 tasks. This is where automation can be particularly transformative. It enables the execution of a more detailed and granular set of actions without adding to the workload, thus enhancing the onboarding experience without increasing the HR team's burden.


Key milestones and activities in onboarding

The onboarding timeline in our outline extends from 2 weeks before the start date to 2 weeks after, encompassing crucial steps such as sending offer letters, setting up initial meetings, and scheduling probation period checkpoints.


Beyond these, it includes comprehensive milestones like crafting the first week's agenda, enrolling in benefits, initiating vesting periods, and more. These tasks, ranging from straightforward activities like IT account setups to more involved processes like benefit enrollment coordination, are fundamental to a new hire's integration into the company.


Despite their importance, these tasks are often time-consuming and repetitive. For example, tasks like ordering company-specific clothing or configuring workstations, while essential, can cumulatively consume several hours. This significant investment in time, dedicated to routine tasks, can detract from the HR department's ability to focus on strategic initiatives that foster organizational growth and development.


By leveraging automation, organizations can streamline these processes, freeing up HR professionals to concentrate on more impactful activities, such as employee engagement and talent development, thereby enhancing the overall efficacy of the HR function.



The checklist has been upgraded to an automated workflow in Introist, now automatically initiating upon the hiring of a new employee.

Transitioning to automated onboarding

Reducing time on messaging:

  • A close analysis of the onboarding outline table reveals that a significant number of tasks are related to communication. For instance, a simple task like ordering a key card from the reception typically involves drafting and sending an email. Automation, particularly with a platform like Introist, can handle these communication tasks with remarkable efficiency.


  • Introist seamlessly integrates with your HRIS, using the data therein to automate and personalize communications. When connected to an email client like Outlook or Gmail, Introist can send emails directly from a real person's email address. This level of integration means that the recipients of these automated emails would be hard-pressed to notice that they are not manually composed.


  • Furthermore, if any response or query arises from these automated emails, the reply goes directly to the sender's inbox, ensuring a continuous and seamless line of communication. This capability not only saves significant time but also maintains the personal touch often associated with direct emails, enhancing the overall effectiveness and responsiveness of the onboarding process.



Reducing time on scheduling:

  • Introist's scheduling tool is designed to navigate through the calendars of all participants to identify suitable time slots. It operates within predefined parameters, such as ensuring that certain meetings occur within a specific time frame after the new hire's start date. This flexibility is crucial; for instance, a meeting that needs to be held within the first two weeks doesn't have to be rigidly set for the third day. This adaptability helps in accommodating the varying schedules of all involved parties.

  • Another standout feature is the ability to automatically include new joiners in pre-existing and recurring meetings. This ensures that new employees are seamlessly integrated into the regular workflow and communication channels of their teams, without the need for manual intervention each time a recurring meeting occurs.


  • Introist goes beyond mere scheduling; it also creates logs of which mandatory meetings or events the new joiner has attended. This functionality is particularly valuable for compliance purposes. It ensures that all necessary onboarding procedures, especially those required for regulatory compliance, are tracked and recorded.


Key considerations in transitioning to automated HR processes

As organizations move towards automating their HR processes, particularly onboarding, there are essential factors to consider. These considerations are pivotal in ensuring the transition enhances efficiency while preserving the quality of the employee experience:

Consistency and accuracy:

Automation significantly reduces human error in tasks like scheduling and administrative procedures. This ensures that every new employee experiences a consistent and error-free onboarding process, thereby elevating the quality and reliability of these crucial initial steps.

Efficiency across company sizes:

Automated onboarding is beneficial for all organizations, not just those that are growing. It streamlines processes, making them more efficient and effective for companies of any size. This efficiency is crucial for maintaining smooth and consistent touchpoints throughout the employee lifecycle, from onboarding to offboarding, enhancing the overall organizational structure and employee experience.

Personalization within automation:

Even within automated processes, elements of personalization, like custom welcome messages and tailored meeting schedules, can be incorporated. This personal touch, coupled with the time saved through automation, allows HR teams to focus on meaningful interactions with new employees, making them feel more valued and integrated.

Continuous improvement through feedback:

Integrating feedback loops into automated onboarding processes facilitates continual refinement and personalization. Regular surveys and check-ins post-key onboarding milestones ensure the process remains aligned with employee needs and expectations.

Essential human oversight:

While automation brings efficiency, human oversight is critical to maintain the balance between streamlined processes and personalized experiences. HR professionals play a pivotal role in monitoring these automated systems and stepping in when a more human touch is required.

Conclusion: Embracing the future of HR with automation

Conclusion: Embracing the future of HR with automation

The move towards automating onboarding processes is not just about saving time or reducing workload; it's about enhancing the overall onboarding experience while freeing HR professionals to focus on more strategic, impactful work. By using the detailed tasks from our traditional onboarding table as a guideline, we demonstrate how even simple, repetitive actions can be transformed through automation, paving the way for a more efficient, personalized, and human-centric approach to HR.

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