Employer Perspective; Remote/hybrid onboarding - here to stay?

Posted in: Advice, Career Choice, Career Development, Careers Resources, Commercial Awareness, Employer Visit Report, Sector Insight, Tips & Hints

The pandemic has taught us all about working from home. Love it or hate it, some elements of ‘hybrid working’ will remain for the foreseeable. But how are employers addressing the advantages and disadvantages of a remote workforce – especially when it comes to hiring and onboarding new talent. How do you recruit and welcome someone you’ve never met?

The Institute of Student Employers held a panel event with representatives HSBC and Meet&Engage to discuss just that.

So what is research telling the employers that early talent want and need?

  • Personalised, frictionless processes
    • Micro-moments
    • Using a smart phone
  • Using online content to lift the lid on organisational cultures and values
  • Balance and blend of content
    • For all learning styles
  • To be upskilled
  • To feel included and connected
    • Buddying, mentors to provide support and guidance to a new organisation (the regular engaging of a new recruit and mentor is proven to aid retention and job satisfaction)
  • Consistency of experience; no matter where in the world
  • Customisable and flexible
  • 24/7 access to information

Early talent are amongst the most digitally ‘savvy’ professionals around and they are looking to employers to mirror this level of skill and offer intuitive platforms to facilitate interactions.

Great onboarding leads to 82% better retention and poor experience leads to twice as many to leave the organisation. (Glassdoor)

HSBC worked with Meet&Engage to design an international virtual onboarding experience during the pandemic:

  • Utilised a Meet&Engage digital product ‘Timeline’
    • Minimum of twice weekly correspondence/articles/polls to read and engage with
    • 86% of offered candidates joined the timeline (75% within the first 48 hours of receiving an offer)
  • Clear timeline of ‘keeping warm’ activities and communications regardless of application and start date
  • ‘Live’ chat held once a month – 230 candidates joined from 25 countries
    • Also had ‘private chat’ function for questions
    • Recordings were then shared for those who couldn’t attend
  • 77% of candidates felt more confident joining HSBC following their ‘Timeline’ engagement
    • Feedback is informing content moving forward
      • Preparation guidance
      • Tips for entering world of work
      • Graduate ‘day in the life’
      • Well-being support networks
      • Life at the bank insights
      • Job-role and division specific information

What have been the advantages of digital onboarding for employers and candidates alike?

  • Consistency of candidate experience across the world
  • Dynamic – being more ‘available’ to candidates
  • Inclusivity
  • More touch points
  • Sustainability

So what will be the future of onboarding as we move to hybrid working?

  • Meet&Engage warned employers to be mindful of the effects of personal circumstances resulting from ‘sleeping in the office’ (what needs to be done if you are working in your bedrooms)
    • Buddy/mentor to check in regularly
    • Encouraging ‘getting out and about’ and taking regular breaks
    • Implementing face-to-face where possible
  • Consideration of personal learning styles/personality types
  • Clarity, autonomy and trust in new hires
    • Is manager training needed?

The general feel was that not all elements of remote onboarding will stay or go. Recruitment will become a hybrid suite of activities. A return to in-person working, wherever possible, will be preferred some at least some proportion of time. After all, it's hard to recruit and engage with cameras and mics off...


Posted in: Advice, Career Choice, Career Development, Careers Resources, Commercial Awareness, Employer Visit Report, Sector Insight, Tips & Hints


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