Employee onboarding plays an important role in helping your new hires adjust to their roles and getting them up to speed with their tasks and responsibilities. Still, 88% of employees think that their employer did a poor job with the onboarding process. Luckily, advanced technologies such as AI have disrupted employee onboarding and ensured that it’s carried out properly.
So, how is AI changing employee onboarding? Employee onboarding determines whether your new hire will integrate into the organization successfully, and AI can help make this process smooth and effective. Some of the benefits of implementing AI in this process include expediting document exchanging, allowing onboarding to happen 24/7, eliminating mistakes, streamlining administrative tasks, and obtaining employee feedback, to name just a few. By implementing this technology, you’ll ensure that your new employees will meet your company’s expectations and vice versa.
This article will discuss different ways AI is changing employee onboarding and some of the best practices that you can leverage.
Many organizations invest significant resources into attracting and recruiting top talent, but they spend very little time showing their new employees the ropes and easing them into all the business processes.
First of all, we shouldn’t forget that onboarding is your new hire’s first experience as an official member of your organization, meaning that it will set the tone for their initial employee experience. And since starting a new job means a lot of paperwork, long email threads, and training, new employees have a hard time finding their feet and balancing all their tasks and responsibilities.
Onboarding is that make-it-or-break-it moment when employees subconsciously decide whether they’ll be engaged or disengaged. If the process isn’t carried out as it should, you’ll have an army of disengaged workers looking for an opportunity to leave and find a better employer that will know how to keep them.
As we’re talking about too much to process within a relatively short timeframe, modern technologies that automate and streamline this entire process can do wonders for employee experience and your retention rate.
A lot of different documents are exchanged with your new hires throughout the recruitment, hiring, and onboarding process. This means that you’ll have to make sure that all the information within these documents is accurate and in accordance with the latest local, state, and federal laws and regulations, and that’s a challenging task.
AI and natural language processing (NLP) can help you with these issues and allow you to quickly update all the documents that you send to your employees. Besides that, NLP is capable of auto-generating offer letters, contracts, and all the other paperwork related to hiring and onboarding your new employees.
With the help of AI-powered optical character recognition (OCR), companies can tremendously improve the accuracy of their documents. This technology can extract the information from both paper and digital documents, including photocopied and scanned copies, as well as PDF files, and turn them into a machine-readable format.
In other words, you can have all your documentation stored, edited, and searched electronically. This way, your new hires won’t have to go through a pile of papers when they’re looking for a specific piece of information. The entire process is accelerated as they can simply search the document or database by entering the phrase they need into the search box.
Apart from facilitating the learning process, going paperless can have a great impact on showing your new hires that they have joined an organization that is adopting the latest technologies. And that’s an excellent employee retention strategy.
Your new employees’ schedules are packed from day 1, meaning that it will be difficult for them to find enough time for their training sessions with the HR team.
24-hour onboarding is a great solution because it allows your new hires to learn at their own pace and in their own time. There’s no need to limit them to your regular business hours when they can learn more about their job whenever it suits them and from the comfort of their own homes.
It’s a good idea to leverage AI-powered chatbots for onboarding new employees, as these intelligent programs are available all the time and can help with a number of simple tasks and queries such as
• How to set up an email account
• Log off protocols
• Using specialized software and tools
• Company rules and regulations.
Instead of tasking your HR specialists with helping recruits navigate the onboarding process and answering frequently asked questions, conversational chatbots can pick up the slack and boost the productivity of everyone involved. This way, your employees will get all the help they need without having to call, message, or email HR.
The onboarding process is supposed to be efficient, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll have to rush it. New employees might be under the impression that they should understand everything immediately, which can make them feel uncomfortable to ask questions. Chatbots can eliminate this obstacle and create a place in which your new hires will feel less stressed to ask anything, even the questions about leave or certain work-policies.
Last but not least, many companies have switched to long-term remote work due to the current pandemic, which means that in-person onboarding won’t be possible in the foreseeable future. Therefore, if you want to grow your company and make sure that every new employee is ready to fulfil their full potential, adopting this technology is a must.
How are your new hires progressing with their onboarding?
Is your process well-planned?
Are there any points that should be tweaked to make onboarding more effective?
Getting direct and indirect feedback from your new employees is essential for the success of your onboarding process, and AI can help you understand both. NLP allows you to extract valuable insights from large quantities of text and identify employee sentiment, general effectiveness of onboarding, as well as whether a certain employee needs to be additionally instructed.
For example, by analyzing the results of a safety training test, you can find out that more than 50% of your new employees don’t understand how to protect themselves from a certain workplace hazard. Such information will show you that there’s a weak link in your safety training and prompt you to improve your procedures.
A one-size-fits-all approach fails when it comes to onboarding.
Every employee is different, and your training should reflect this and allow for more personalized onboarding sessions. By requiring your new hires to attend generic classes that are of no relevance to their particular role, you’ll just waste their time and hinder their productivity without achieving your desired outcomes.
With AI, it’s possible to adjust the information that’s presented to new employees based on their specific roles and job requirements. Big companies with a substantial employee base can benefit from an AI-powered onboarding platform, as it will give adequate permissions, eliminate redundant information and inaccuracies, and minimize lag times.
Thanks to its sophisticated analytics, AI can identify the behavioral patterns of your employees, thus enabling the creation of individualized learning programs that fit their particular needs and skill levels. This will result in immersive learning experiences, and subsequently, better employee engagement and higher retention.
Employee turnover is expensive, and having the right onboarding and training strategy supported by AI can significantly reduce the number of disengaged employees who are only waiting for an opportunity to leave and find a better employer.
No matter how hard we try to keep them under control, our biases tend to emerge and skew our judgment. As the decision-making process should be as objective as possible, eliminating unconscious bias from the picture is of paramount importance.
AI is great at this and can help you make informed decisions and assessments by preventing potential prejudices that you might have. This technology can help HR teams hire the best candidates for the job and put aside discrimination based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.
In addition to that, AI can mimic only the positive human qualities during corporate training, meaning that it won’t get tired from answering the same question over and over again. An AI chatbot is always polite and patient, which means that hires won’t have to worry that they will come off as annoying or incompetent.
By implementing AI, you’ll make sure that your training evaluation won’t be based on subjective assessments but sophisticated data analytics.
1. Should my onboarding process be fully automated?
While automation and implementing AI will streamline your onboarding process and make it smoother, a human touch is still necessary. You should make your new employee feel welcome and connect with them on a personal level throughout onboarding. Touch base and ask them how they’re progressing and whether there’s something they need.
2. Will AI render HR teams unnecessary?
Although AI seems like it can take over the entire department, this won’t happen any time soon. People are still indispensable thanks to their critical thinking skills. New technologies are here only to assist us in performing and accelerating certain tasks, and we’re still a long way from being replaced by robots.
Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael's work at Qeedle. .
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