Top 5 Differences Between Old School Onboarding & Modern Onboarding

Top 5 differences between old school and modern onboarding

You wouldn’t break out an old school Nokia flip phone while interviewing a potential candidate, would you? So why are you greeting them their first day with a stack of onboarding paperwork?

What is modern onboarding?

Just like technology has changed, onboarding has evolved from a boring exercise in compliance paperwork, admin, and company policies, to a holistic tool designed to engage and retain hard won talent. Modern onboarding represents that critical moment when candidates turn into employees and is a prime opportunity to lay the groundwork for long term, highly engaged employees. As SHRM has shared, 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding.

The great risk of clinging to old school onboarding practices is how it taints new hire’s perception of the company. A poor onboarding experience makes new hires question their decision to join the company and disengage – the last thing you need after all the time and resources spent finding the ideal candidate.

Top 5 differences between old school and modern onboarding:

1. Paper vs. Digital

Old school onboarding consists of soul-sucking stacks of paperwork – for everything from tax forms to benefits. Modern onboarding is a digital paperless experience with a slick, mobile-first user interface that’s a breeze to complete. New hire’s information is saved in a secure, central, cloud-based repository that’s GDPR and Soc 2 Type 2 compliant. Their information directly flows to other systems, such as to the HRIS to set up the employee profile.

It’s as simple as ordering a package from Amazon and no one has to worry about the security of sensitive employee information being lost or improperly stored. 

2. Manual vs. Automated

Gone are the days where HR kicks off a manual process on the new hire’s first day, where their information has to be painstakingly typed into different systems and the opportunity for mistakes due to human error is high! Modern onboarding is automated, guided workflow of activities that begins the moment your new hire accepts your offer. Their journey can start on their mobile device, Ipad or laptop – and it all syncs up perfectly because it’s automated.

3. Boilerplate vs. Curated

Old school onboarding provided the exact same experience for every employee. Employees in different roles and locations need standardized but curated onboarding experiences.  Modern onboarding has standards that all employees experience with customized modules based on their particular situation.

4. One day vs. Ongoing

Onboarding used to be a one-day experience for new hires, but modern onboarding understands the importance of engaging new hires with pre-boarding activities and continuing onboarding well into their first couple of months and even throughout their first year on the job.

5. Compliance vs. Integration  

Old school onboarding saw the process simply as a means to an end – to make sure each new hire was compliantly brought into the company, from a tax, benefit, and admin perspective.  While compliance is the bedrock of onboarding, it’s not the only thing it should be charged with achieving.

Onboarding is a prime opportunity to make new employees feel welcome and like a valued part of the team. As a comprehensive onboarding program that includes expectation setting, social mobilization and more, it can accelerate productivity and drive engagement.

If your onboarding process has any of the old school components from the list above, it’s time to modernize your new hire’s experience and witness the many benefits of modern onboarding. Contact us today!

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