Can Onboarding Be ‘Delightful’?

Stovepipes are great for chimneys–but for organizations? Not so much, said Katherine Jones, principal HCM analyst at Bersin & Associates, during a presentation at Bersin IMPACT 2012 on the latest developments in HR technology. “The key trends we’ve discovered include a move toward integration,” she said. “Companies are trying to get to one interface, one vendor–‘one throat to choke,’ if you will.”

Although “social” is one of the hot new buzzwords in HR technology these days, says Jones, it will soon no longer be necessary to use terms such as “social networking” or “social recruiting” simply because the use of social technologies in these processes will be a given. “Companies that have embedded social technologies into their organizations have revenues that are 24 percent higher than their non-social counterparts. Social leads to increased productivity, revenue creation and cost reduction,” she said. “Processes such as recruiting and performance management are inherently ‘social.’ Adding the word ‘social’ to them will soon sound as archaic as terms like ‘e-recruiting’ do today.”

Citing research that shows more than 8 billion mobile phones and 119 million tablet computers in use today worldwide, Jones said mobile technology is also changing the way organizations do business. “Keller Williams Realty built libraries for leadership skills development and rolled them out to their employees via mobile devices,” she said. “Some companies place QR codes on T-shirts that their representatives wear–by scanning the code with a cellphone, you’ll be taken to a video that shows how great it is to work at that particular company. People can apply for jobs, complete onboarding, do time-and-attendance, complete their learning and manage their shift schedules–all via their mobile devices.”

Gamification is another trend that lets HR take a new approach to old processes, said Jones. “There’s a vendor called MindTickle that offers gamification tools for onboarding. I don’t know whether they’re effective or not, but MindTickle advertises them as ‘making onboarding delightful.’ Now, who would have thought that onboarding would ever be described as ‘delightful’?”