(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is sponsored by our friends at iCIMS, a leading provider in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) talent acquisition software solutions. Join me in congratulating iCIMS in earning a spot on the Inc. 500|5000 list of America’s Fastest Growing Companies for their robust revenue growth. Enjoy the post!)
Standardization and personalization are not mutually exclusive concepts. Companies do not have to choose between creating a standardized process and offering a personalized experience. In fact, I’d argue that you need standardization in order to offer quality personalization.
Let’s use onboarding as an example.
Onboarding is the process of bringing new employees into the organization. It involves recruiting, orientation, and new hire training. Some of those steps every employee must complete. Examples include:
Sign new hire paperwork
Learn the company history, mission and values
Review company policies and procedures
No matter who you are, you must do these. It only makes sense to standardize these processes. Standardization allows companies to scale the activity, utilize fewer resources, ensure consistency, and save money. One of the most common ways to standardize a process is to automate it.
Automation creates consistency and efficiency. When we look at functions like onboarding, it accomplishes a few other things. Automating an employee’s new hire paperwork can send a positive message and start the engagement process early. Why? Because the first thing new hires want to know is when will I get paid and when can I sign up for benefits. Companies that use automation tools can send employees their new hire paperwork with just a couple of keystrokes.
As a result, the employee is happy because their top two questions have already been answered. Human resources is happy because something on the new hire checklist has been completed and the employee is connected to the business. The company is happy because the whole process took minimal resources and the employee can start focusing on their work.
iCIMS recently released a new whitepaper, “Onboarding: Automating the Process to Realize Significant Return-On-Investment”. You can download a copy here. The whitepaper takes a deep dive into automation and shares the savings calculation when companies automate aspects of their onboarding process.
Now, that’s where personalization kicks in. Jobs are not identical. And even if two people have the same title, they bring different knowledge, skills and abilities to the company. One aspect of onboarding might have some consistent pieces. For example, if you work in the restaurant industry, you have to make sure every employee knows proper hand washing techniques. But there will be others only certain employees know – like the proper way to clean a frying machine. Being able to automate the tasks everyone needs to know allows companies to personalize the interactions with smaller groups and individuals.
New hire turnover is a concern for most businesses. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reported nearly 50% of all hourly workers leave jobs within the first 4 months and 50% of external senior hires fail within 18 months. It makes no business sense to spend time, energy and company resources to hire someone only to have them leave within a few months.
Onboarding must be strengthened to create greater initial engagement. That’s the reason smart companies are designing onboarding programs that combine standardization / personalization in their approach.
One of those companies is Arise Virtual Solutions. They are a leading global provider of virtual business process outsourcing and crowdsourcing solutions for brands seeking to improve their customer experience. Arise wanted to simplify their onboarding process for corporate employees in order to save time and money but also because of their tremendous growth.
Angela Miller, senior manager of talent acquisition and retention, shared how the iCIMS Onboard solution created a significant return for their company. “The onboarding software saves up to 45 minutes for every new hire, every week, and eliminates paperwork. For example, the entire new hire onboarding packet is completed online before a new hire’s first day. This allows the new hire to spend more time getting oriented with their manager and their team on their first day.”
Automating processes isn’t a bad thing. The key is automating the right ones so you can focus the business on the tasks that should be personalized.
Oh and P.S. iCIMS has a free Onboarding Software Buyer’s Kit that can help you determine the key questions your company should be asking when evaluating onboarding providers. Enjoy!