Report reveals the onboarding challenges facing UK employers

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More than two-thirds of all UK employers have struggled to fill vacancies within the past 12 months, new research has revealed.

The study by CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) found that 44 percent of organisations are finding it harder to meet HR demands with 70 percent unable to fill positions within the past 12 months.

It’s a problem that’s linked to the falling number of migrant workers arriving into the UK as a result of the uncertainties created by the ongoing Brexit negotiations.

As well as the recruitment challenge, these shortages are also making it harder for organisations to retain their existing staff. But experts have warned HR managers that it will take more than rising salaries to stay competitive.

Looking beyond salary increases

Creating a positive company culture and a welcoming workplace environment are becoming increasingly important elements in the battle to secure the best talent.

To help achieve this, HR leaders are having to reassess the methods and tools their teams are using to handle new hires. This has placed a particular focus on the role of onboarding within the hiring cycle.

Onboarding starts the moment a successful job applicant is chosen and covers all of the HR processes required to integrate them into the organisation. This includes everything from contract handling and policy guides to welcome packages and first-day preparations.

Consequence of onboarding inefficiency

For more than a third of UK employers (68 percent) this crucial stage of the hiring process is still being handled using traditional manual methods - a combination of mailed paperwork, phone calls and emails.

It creates a slow and error-prone onboarding process which leaves hiring teams ill-equipped to deal with the demands of today’s volatile and competitive recruitment environment.

Long and frustrating onboarding experiences lead to higher rates of dropout. A 2017 study by webonboarding found that 39 percent of employees encounter onboarding issues, causing 15% to drop out.

Advantages of cloud-based management

The switch to cloud-based management systems transforms the way HR is able to handle new hires, creating a fast, efficient and user friendly process. All of the communications between HR, hiring managers and onboardees are handled via an online portal.

By removing much of the administrative burden, hiring teams are able to focus on creating a positive and engaging experience for new starters. Company guides and personalised welcome packages are easily integrated, helping to communicate a positive company culture.

In today’s recruitment arena, this change of approach can make the difference between successfully recruiting productive employees and losing out on talented workers to rival organisations.

With predictions that recruitment pressures are going to worsen and more limits set to be imposed on EU migration in 2021, smarter onboarding is going to play a vital role in ensuring that organisations can meet their hiring needs.

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