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HR challenges between recruitment and onboarding

Difficult access to information and large amounts of documentation to review: what problems HR faces in recruiting and onboarding and why they are a barrier to innovation.

Human Resources: a matter of communication

For a company's growth strategy, it is essential that all departments communicate with each other: this allows everyone to work dynamically and collaboratively, avoiding waste of time and energy.

This requires adequate creation, management and implementation of documentation, together with the ability to consult it easily at any time.

Often, however, this is not the case. The HR department, which is responsible for the management of all staff, has to deal with a large amount of data and information related to the company's human capital and this can generate problems. Let us look at them in detail.

Personnel recruitment: difficulties in accessing and managing documentation

One of the main tasks of the HR department is personnel selection and recruitment, and it consists of three steps:

1. Access to documentation in the candidate research process

In order to be able to select the right candidate for a given position, it is necessary to carefully outline the skills needed for the profile to be sought, through a detailed analysis shared with the managers of each area.

At this stage it is essential to have access to the company's documentation: a research carried out without having all the elements available will affect all the subsequent steps, leading to the selection of an unsuitable candidate.

Furthermore, only by knowing one's own resources it is possible to decide whether they are sufficient to carry out the research internally or whether to outsource it to external agencies.

2. Speeding up the selection of curricula received

After the candidate search phase, which aims at receiving as many CVs as possible relevant to the open position, each CV is examined.

A problem encountered in this phase is that of managing the large amount of documentation to be viewed. Often there are no tools in the company that allow the automatic selection of resumes with certain skills: this would prevent employees from wasting time in manually eliminating those that are not in line with the search.

Furthermore, in order to speed up the selection phase, resumes should be well organised using shared company policies: without them, staff may not have immediate access to the necessary documentation, which will lengthen the time and waste energy.

3. Interview phase for candidate selection

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Interviews are the core of the selection process. After the first recruiting step has been passed and it has been ascertained that the candidate's professional background is similar to what is required, individual meetings are held to examine the various aspects of the CV and provide the potential employee with more information on the contractual component, as well as on the company in general.

At the end of the first interviews, the recruiter will decide whether to carry out further interviews or whether the available information is sufficient to make a decision.

The selection phase, if not well organised and structured, may be very long: candidates waiting for the outcome will therefore continue to interview and send their CVs to other companies, thus decreasing the chance that, once selected, they will accept the job. 

Onboarding and training: difficulties in integrating a new employee into the company

What is Onboarding: meaning and importance

After the personnel recruitment phase, it is necessary to integrate the new resource into a work team and to initiate him/her into a task.

This is the onboarding phase: the newly hired employee has to acquire all the knowledge, skills and behaviours to become an integral part of the company, both at organisational level and in terms of corporate culture.

From a human resources management perspective, onboarding is a crucial process when adding a new member to the team. Through this phase you will (or will not) be able to transfer the necessary knowledge to make him/her fully operational in the work team.

What is technically referred to as Onboarding Process is nothing more than the process of training and integrating new employees and providing them with everything they need to "get on board" and keep up with other employees: team members and roles, useful tools, policies, customer information, workplace regulations, etc.

The challenges of the onboarding process

Onboarding is not just a synonym for “training”, but has a broader meaning: it serves to build and consolidate the relationship with the company, the colleagues and the managers. The main competitive advantage of onboarding for the company is to enhance and exploit the "knowledge" of employees.

Also with regard to employee retention (i.e. the ability to avoid dismissal and resignation of one's own employees) a good onboarding process can have a positive influence. 

The proverbial enthusiasm of a new employee can be dampened by a very poor learning process in which he or she is inundated with information that is difficult to navigate, which may result in potentially talented people choosing to leave the company in the future.

Therefore, onboarding has several challenges to overcome:

- familiarising the new employee with the company's tools and systems;

- teaching company jargon and values to better interact with colleagues;

- convey the importance of a training process that is not long, boring and confusing, but provides concrete and useful information;

- pay attention to all the information transmitted during onboarding: employees often do not really pay attention to training because they come from similar backgrounds or have already used similar tools.

The limits of traditional strategies

Traditional onboarding often consists of long orientation sessions, seminars, slides, PowerPoint presentations that never seem to end, with the result that new employees become confused by the amount of information transmitted.

Or they are given long manuals and compendia containing everything they need to know to join the team. These written documents do not ensure that the employee spends time reading them and, above all, they do not allow for a direct exchange of views in order to ask for clarifications and insights.

It also involves a greater effort to keep this type of documentation up to date, especially if it is distributed in hard copies.

Efficient onboarding should instead be based on short, targeted sessions based on the tasks the new recruits will then perform.

Personnel management: difficulties in sharing internal company documentation

Once the search phase for the professional is over and he/she is introduced into the company, the HR department will take care of other aspects of personnel management.

Assessing employee performance

To understand the performance of each employee, it is necessary to monitor the results and KPIs of both the individual and the team.

This research and analysis phase is simplified by the ability to search for information within company documentation so you can quickly understand the level of performance with all the data available.

This data also needs to be shared with employees, who can see how their performance is progressing and take action if it is not as expected.

Without having the data available and making it accessible to staff, the assessment phase would not lead to conscious professional development, and would only risk increasing employee frustration.

Increasing employee satisfaction (and productivity) 

To increase staff satisfaction it is necessary to enable people to work productively and effectively. 

Being able to share knowledge with colleagues, both inside and outside your division, allows you to get the best out of it and grow your business.

Often, the company does not pay enough attention to establishing a good culture of Knowledge Sharing, which allows the exchange of advice and information on procedures and best practices for problem solving, based on each person's skills.

Promoting corporate culture

Corporate culture is made up of the values and relationships on which the company is built, a series of elements that the employee perceives in the working context of which he or she is part.

One of the tasks of the HR department is to promote corporate culture by identifying problems and implementing strategies to deal with them.

One of the biggest problems in this area is the lack of clear and universally agreed corporate procedures for structuring work and documentation in an organised and standardised way.

When the company culture conveys positive values among its employees, such as sharing and collaboration, it is easier to bring out innovation practices and to grow the whole company.