Get onboard | Why how you deliver the candidate-to-employee experience matters more than you think

Why how you deliver the candidate-to-employee experience matters more than you think

In today’s tough labour market, getting your offer accepted by the preferred candidate is a cause for celebration. Except that many organisations are finding that the expected time-to-value from these hires is not being achieved, that they are quitting early, in some cases before they have even started.

Why is this? In many cases, particularly for those digital-native generations, it is down to the experience of the previously overlooked, but increasingly vital, onboarding process.

The onboarding process

The onboarding process, the experience of those first interactions and structured introduction that a new joiner has with your organisation, matters like never before. The days of having a new employee arrive at the office to find that there might, or very often might not, be a workspace and maybe even a computer assigned to them have long gone.


Research suggests that the average newly hired employee is required to complete 54 different tasks and activities comprising a typical onboarding process1. This includes a range of administrative tasks, documents to complete and training activities. Information requests of the new employee come from many different sources within the company, from payroll through IT as well as line and functional management. They also typically include a number of external third parties, often requiring personal data and include multiple types of media including digital input, written and printed documents and even photographs. So a lot of information, to a lot of different stakeholders, in many different forms.


As the number and complexity of the tasks that constitute onboarding have grown, so has the need to drive what is a standardised, repeatable and homogeneous experience across those new hires. Why this is so important now, for both the individual and the company, is worth exploring for a moment.

More aware and informed candidates

Employees are more mobile, more open to changing companies and careers than ever before. They also have large extended personal networks and are willing to share experiences not just within those networks but also more widely across social media channels, such as LinkedIn, and dedicated informational sites, such as Glassdoor. Consequently, their reference points about what constitutes a “good” or “bad” experience is more informed than ever before, along with their propensity and willingness to act upon that information.

Employer brand experience

Companies have also become more aware of the linkage between a good onboarding experience and the subsequent length and value of that employee’s tenure. According to recent research, new employees with a self-described good onboarding experience are 18X more committed to their employer2. Conversely, 2019 statistics reveal that a negative onboarding experience doubles the chances of an employee seeking another opportunity3.

One company

In some organisations, the quality of the onboarding experience can even vary between individual departments – so the experience of someone working in Finance may be very different from that of someone in Facilities. Of course, the role-specific processes and systems will be different but the core elements of what the company is, what its values are and how it treats its people are central to employer brand identity and must be consistent to achieve strong employee engagement across the enterprise.

Impact on recruiting effectiveness

Given the cost to hire, lost working hours and impact to wider teams and business performance that can be attributed to poor onboarding, getting this right has become a priority for HR teams.

Unifying technology across your organisation

Solving the onboarding challenge requires that you:

  • Provide a common access point or portal for all your new employees

  • Make it easy for them to interact with you, even before they have joined, using their own mobile phone

  • Provide seamless access to all the systems, and third parties, they need to interact with via the same common platform

  • Guide them through the process steps they need to complete within your systems of record at every step of their employee journey

  • Engage with them wherever and whenever they want, irrespective of location

  • Offer guided help and support at every step of the journey

The first steps in every journey are important. Getting your employees off to a great start on their career journey with you, engaged with your organisation and confident in the decision they have made, matters now like never before.

To find out how many of the world’s leading companies have reimagined their onboarding processes using ServiceNow, click here

Find out more about Employee Onboarding

References / sources:

1,2, 3 Sapling HR, Bamboo HR - 

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