Ellis Health shares how they utilized onboarding automation to reduce ghosting retain new hires
Ellis Medicine is a privately held teaching healthcare system that offers an extensive array of inpatient and outpatient services. In business for over 100 years, this mid-sized community-based hospital is committed to seeking new solutions that achieve better outcomes, reduce hospital stays and lower costs for patients.
- Industry: Healthcare
- Total Employees: ~ 2,700
- Annual Hires: 600 positions
- Headquarters: Schenectady, New York, USA
- Locations Serviced: 4 Hospitals plus Primary Care Facilities & Blood Draw Stations
- ATS: Symplr
When the Ellis Medicine team approached Click Boarding in 2022, their outlook on employee onboarding was bleak, to say the least. This point of view, held by stakeholders across all functions of the hospital system, stemmed from a few critical issues:
- A new hire ghosting rate of 53%, representative of candidates that accepted the role but never filled the position.
- An atrocious time to complete required onboarding steps, equated to over 100 days on average per new hire.
As if these hard stats weren’t enough to raise a flag, participating team members from HR, IT, Operations and Compliance all stressed the extremely manual and disconnected nature of all employee transitions from preboarding and onboarding throughout their tenure and exit.
From a technology standpoint, Ellis was operating with a home-grown, custom built IT platform. As such, their HR systems tied to background checks, payroll, verifications, and more were completely disconnected. This resulted in duplicative, laborious work on behalf of onboarding coordinators who were constantly chasing down new hires and internal team members to complete manual, paper-based tasks and steps. Not to mention the multiple requests for new hires to actually visit a facility in person to complete activities, such as i-9 documentation, occupational health details, and other miscellaneous forms.
Perhaps the biggest challenge for the Ellis team was the lack of visibility into progress. When hiring managers and supporting staff members couldn’t check on the status of employee activities, they were left in the dark. On the employee end of things, this chaotic experience that was unclear and inefficient ultimately led to an extreme number of employees lost in the process. Which became literal ghosts in the dark as they were marked “no shows” on day 1.
In the less than 50% chance that an employee would ultimately fill the role and show up, it took over 100 days. Even worse, the team frequently ran into missed steps and incorrect data or errors that required rework and backtracking. A clear example of this was the disjointed and disconnected background screening process that was often riddled with inconsistencies. When new hires did make it through the outrageously long onboarding period, they were left exhausted by administrative steps that added no real value from an experience standpoint. Certainly not a great way to start a new gig.
Thankfully, Ellis’ cross-functional team knew the shortcomings of their lack of process and, therefore, had a strong list of requirements that their solution of choice would have to satisfy:
- Address ghosting issue for no shows following offer accept.
- Widdel down time from offer acceptance to start date.
- Reduce paper-based steps and demand for in-person activities.
- Expedite background check completions, ensuring data integrity.
- Support a connected ecosystem, preventing the need to jump between systems.
- Reduce manual labor through automation – so team members can focus on meaningful work.
- Gain visibility into employee profiles & progress of activities, with automated triggers for notifications.
- Capture insights tied to reporting of processes and desire for predictable outcomes.
As a complex hospital system, Ellis Medicine’s preboarding and onboarding needs included various intricacies to ensure regulatory compliance and standards, as well as the various policies and procedures required in the healthcare sector. These non-negotiable demands took shape in the following use cases that Ellis set out to solve for:
- Welcome new hires into the organization.
- Initiate background checks, including drug tests, physicals, etc.
- Fully remote Form i-9 completion, eliminating in-person visits.
- Request credentialling requirements, by role (i.e. Education verification).
- Introduce medical check-up steps and expectations.
- Administer wage notifications and complex state tax forms.
- Support badge set-up & fingerprinting forms.
- Automatically connect to Occupational Health for status.
- Leverage Process Flows to share new hire content, materials and assets in a strategic cadence.
- Deploy IT procurement for equipment needs and system access (i.e. email creation).
- Promote comprehensive benefits & HR Programs (i.e. Tuition Reimbursement).
- Ability to build configurable process flows by unit (i.e. ICU vs. Med Surg units).
- Initiate new hire trainings or orientation by job role/function.
- Enable process flows to crossboard existing employees for internal transitions.
- Support employee exit experiences through compliant offboarding workflows.
Once again, the Ellis Medicine team had stepped up to the plate to identify exactly what they needed to solve for. And they knew they needed a vendor specialized in fully compliant, modern employee experiences from hire to retire. Including a team of experts that live and breathe onboarding and transitions day in and day out…
Our team of human capital management advisors were thrilled with the potential to solve Ellis’ unique challenges. In fact, we gave them major kudos for knowing their onboarding drop-offs and timelines. These KPIs presented an unbelievable opportunity to impact their bottom line and transition the hospital’s HR division from a cost center to a revenue-generating function.
Click Boarding worked with the Ellis buying committee to build a comprehensive solution that addressed all of their reported challenges… and then some! In the words of their CHRO, together we created a true fix to their daunting list of problems.
And the results are clear.
- Before Click Boarding – 47% of those that accepted a job actually ended up filling the role.
- Before Click Boarding – the time to fill a role and then offer letter to day-one was over 100 days.
- Before Click Boarding – New hires had to come in physically at least 3 times to complete paperwork and required steps.
- After Click Boarding – 99% of those that accepted a job filled their role. That’s an addition of 52%, or a 111% increase.
- After Click Boarding – the time to fill a role reduced to 14 days for nursing and 11 days for non-nursing. Another extreme impact of up to an 89% decrease.
- After Click Boarding – New hires could complete all steps virtually through the software, rather than going into a facility.
Aside from these hard and fast stats that prove the impact Ellis Medicine has seen, there’s a laundry list of post-implementation benefits and improvements that must be acknowledged. And while they aren’t always quantifiable, we’ll take the anecdotal comments of relief and smiles of success any day!
- Process Efficiency: Ellis has gone from mountains of paperwork and manual trails to an automated solution that just works. As a result, teams can focus on meaningful work.
- Unmatched Compliance: Ellis is confident in meeting compliance standards and certification requirements in healthcare. Click removes the potential for human error, verifying data integrity and accuracy along the way.
- Fully-automated Workflows: Click Boarding connects the dots in a synchronized cadence between the various new hire tasks, accessible for the internal team members in one comprehensive view. Equipped with automatic notifications.
- Integrated Ecosystem: Click was built for integration at scale. Ellis’ unique technology stack now works together in concert given our open API network and flexible options.
- End-to-end Lifecycles: Ellis leverages Click’s intuitive and configurable workflows for employees from Day 0 through an exit. As such, employees feel supported and prepared for what’s next.
If you’re struggling with manual, disconnected employee onboarding and transitions, take a hint from Ellis Medicine. The longer you wait, the farther you become from optimal experiences… and the more it hurts your bottom line. If you’re unsure of your KPIs today – no worries – our team of technology consultants can help you quantify where you’re wasting time, preventing productivity, and ultimately losing employees.
Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO)