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How to Future-proof Your Onboarding for 2021 and Beyond

COVID-19 has changed onboarding forever.

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Unleash Your Curiosity The pandemic has catalyzed a major shift in the onboarding landscape, but it hasn’t changed the fact you still only have one chance to make a good first impression.

  • How to foster a human connection during onboarding in remote environments.
  • The digital tools and tech you’ll need for onboarding in 2021 and beyond.
  • What the next generation of employees will need (and expect) from YOU!

Although we can all, to some extent, breathe a sigh of relief that 2020 is over, HR teams now face new challenges: being able to anticipate and plan for the changes that COVID-19 will continue to bring in 2021 and beyond.

The pandemic has shown us that it’s impossible to predict what the next industry curveball will be but we do know it’s possible to future-proof HR processes such as onboarding.

Our panel of industry experts is on hand to explain how. Here’s a glimpse of some of the key themes they discussed:

The importance of flexibility and adaptability

As governments across the world roll-out COVID-19 vaccination programs, it’s possible that some organizations may return to the office in 2021. Even though there’s now light at the end of the tunnel, organizations are still battling considerable uncertainty.

With this in mind, it’s vital that HR teams remember that every decision, no matter how big or small, will be subject to change. This is why agility and flexibility must be at the core of every onboarding process.

Human connection is the biggest challenge

“Beyond logistics, the lack of human connection that comes with remote onboarding is still the greatest challenge for organizations today,” explained Brent Pearson, CEO and Founder of Enboarder.

Organizations need to be extra cautious that they don’t fall into the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ trap when welcoming new hires. Instead, they need to concentrate on fully immersing new employees in the cultural aspect of the workplace.

The experts discussed why it’s important to hold managers accountable and empower them to take action in making new hires feel included.

They also pointed out why managers must be careful about what experiences are reserved for face-to-face interaction once we return to the office.

It’s important to note that some virtual and remote tools are now the preferred method of communication by many people joining the workforce for the very first time.

Personalisation is key

The experts also discussed how organizations need to continuously listen to employees and why this must form the basis of any onboarding experience.

“Personalisation is key and we should be looking at the consumer world to see what will soon be expected of the employee world,” Josh Gray, Senior Director of People Experience & Analytics, at WPP pointed out.

Organizations should be anticipating what is needed before it is needed. If you are able to curate multiple experiences at the same time, you will get value.

Furthermore, onboarding is now envisioned as a two-way process, with employees wanting to know how much the organization knows about them, and them being able to learn as much as they can about the organization.

Moderated by:

Chris Havrilla, VP, HR Technology & Solution Provider Strategy, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Chris leads HR technology and vendor strategy and research at Deloitte. She has spent more than 20 years leveraging her unique blend of technical, HR practitioner, business, and HR tech vendor experience to enact digital transformations.

Panellists include:

Brent Pearson, CEO and Founder, Enboarder

Brent is the CEO of Enboarder, the first experience-driven onboarding platform designed for new hire engagement. Brent’s credentials in the HR tech and startup space span more than two decades and including senior executive roles at Monster and LiveCareer. He has experience co-founding successful tech startups, including recruitment process outsourcing company HRX — now part of PeopleScout.

Josh Gray, Senior Director of People Experience & Analytics, WPP

Josh Gray’s career has been focused on helping organizations adopt and operationalize human-centered design approaches that deliver consumer-grade employee experiences. Josh is currently a Senior Director of People Experience & Analytics at WPP where he is leading the development and incubation of key talent programs across the WPP network that bring to life an inclusive employee experience

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