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Drowning in paperwork? Get onboard!

Drowning in paperwork? Get onboard!

What is onboarding?

Onboarding is the process of inducting new employees to our organisation which includes all induction paperwork and information. New employees receive information to read, and forms that they need to complete and return to us prior to starting their job.


What are we trying to achieve?

Historically the onboarding process has been manual with paperwork going back and forth between the new employee and our organisation, requiring a lot of time and resources to manage. This has been ineffective with any hold ups or issues not able to be tracked, resulting in delays and cost to the organisation in terms of time (to hire) and dollars.

Our goals are to:

  • ensure that all new employees start their role with complete paperwork
  • reduce the variation in time between job offer and time to hire
  • reduce onboarding costs for the organisation

What did we find?

A review of new hires between Sep 2012 and Sep 2013 showed:

  • 35% of new employees were starting before hire date (when they are officially entered into system with complete paperwork)
  • an average of 27 days between paperwork being sent and returned
  • a cost of $5.60 per candidate pack (for paper, printing and postage)

What have we done?

We identified three phases for our project to improve onboarding:

  • Phase 1: Introduce an initial electronic onboarding system using Taleo, our recruiting management system
  • Phase 2: Further streamline the process and integrate system; explore best practice
  • Phase 3: Move all personnel files online (contracts, personal info, etc)

To date we have implemented the following improvements:

  1. Implemented an online onboarding tool
    • With targeting information allowing easier and quicker access for candidates
    • Providing improved visibility and tracking on boarding process with reporting capability
  2. Reviewed and reduced hard-copy forms
  3. Reviewed and updated our staff handbook
  4. Initiated a 24 hour/7 days document drop box for our recruitment office
  5. Time taken new employee paperwork being sent and returned

Did we make a difference?

  • Improved experience for new employees
    • 86% candidate satisfaction for onboarding process, up from 53%
    • new hires found it easier to complete paperwork after introduction of online onboarding
  • Reduced time to follow-up and process candidates
    • 89% of online tasks completed within one week
    • average time to hire reduced to 17 days from 27 days
  • 44% reduction in costs to produce candidate packs ($3.13 down from $5.61 per pack)

Time taken new employee paperwork being sent and returned
Time taken for new employee paperwork to be sent and returned to complete onboarding process


Where to from here?

  • We will continue towards onboarding of all new employees online and having all paperwork completed before employees start work
  • Our organisation was the pilot site for the Auckland region for the electronic onboarding system, and this is now being implemented across other DHBs