HR Leads Business

May 17, 2019 | Geoff Whiting

Onboarding Seamlessly: How AI Is Transforming the Experience

Onboarding is an essential aspect of employee recruitment, and you want to make the process as convenient, effective and fast as possible.

To achieve those goals, many companies are turning to artificial intelligence. AI’s role in onboarding can start at the beginning of the process to simplify tasks and even provide feedback to make the next hire smoother.

Here’s a quick look at how AI is already playing a role in today’s onboarding procedures.

By Easing the Administrative Burden

AI can minimize your HR tasks by automating the delivery and receipt of necessary paperwork.

For new employees, automated tools can provide an overview of company policies and deliver login information for programs or portals relevant to a given job. AI can track that a document has been thoroughly read and capture electronic signatures as new hires finish steps, removing the need for HR to confirm this completion manually.

“From the employer standpoint, many of the administrative tasks like having to key in a lot of information and file away paperwork have been removed from everyday work,” says Shelton Blease, director of HR operations for Lucas Group.

An important aspect of AI in this setting is its ability to adjust what’s presented based on the job. An intelligent system can give proper permissions or schedule meetings required to understand a role.

By Allowing Onboarding to Happen 24/7

With AI, onboarding doesn’t have to happen within regular business hours or at a fixed office location. AI and chatbots can work around the clock, guiding a new hire through all aspects of onboarding and answering questions as they arise.

This lets employees get the help they need while minimizing calls, emails and meetings with HR. Remote support is especially useful since the majority of the world’s workforce reportedly now telecommutes at least part of the week.

By Allowing Faster Integration of New Employees

There’s often a concern that onboarding is rushed or that employees feel uncomfortable asking questions. AI can help make these tasks more engaging and less stressful — for example, by using chatbots to answer questions about leave or remote-work policies that a new hire might otherwise be uncomfortable asking on their first day.

“This can allow new hires to integrate more quickly into the organization even before their first day on the job,” says Susan Power, founder and CEO of Power HR. “Ideally this is done through gamification to make it a more interactive, fun process.”

However, Blease cautions against making your onboarding process fully automated. “With this shift in more efficient and simpler processes, it’s important that HR doesn’t lose sight of the human side of onboarding,” he says. “Joining a new company is often a very big change in a person’s life, so if you only make onboarding simpler without making the individual feel truly welcome, you may inadvertently ostracize the new employee. HR needs to take the time to find ways to connect with them throughout the onboarding process and make the new employee feel uniquely valued.”