Smarter onboarding needed to handle seasonal hiring demands


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The uncertainties being caused by Brexit are making the challenge of managing seasonal hires a whole lot tougher for UK businesses. As the future availability of overseas workers remains in the balance, hiring teams need to review and adapt their strategies.

With increased competition and the potential for a much smaller pool of available talent, employee onboarding is becoming an increasingly critical area of HR operations.

Onboarding covers all of the tasks that are required to integrate new hires into an organisation - from contracts and offer letters to welcome packs and compliance policies.

It’s a complex administrative process that can be pushed to its limits by the surging demands of seasonal hiring. HR teams face tight deadlines and the need to handle a large volume of hires within a limited timeframe.

It’s a particular issue for the agricultural sector where around 90 percent of seasonal fruit and vegetable pickers workers have been overseas workers. But it’s also an issue for any industry with seasonal recruitment - whether it’s retail Christmas preparations or manufacturing work.

Ineffective manual onboarding

Managing this is a particular problem for HR departments that are still using traditional onboarding methods. Typically, this means relying on a combination of posted paperwork, calls, spreadsheets and emails.

It creates a slow and error-prone process, as teams struggle to manage a flood of information that’s fragmented and scattered across an organisation in a variety of formats.

This lack of control of employee data is a particular issue in terms of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliance and the risks caused by errors, inaccuracies and duplication.

The length of time it takes to complete onboarding is a significant factor when it comes to hitting recruitment targets and meeting tight deadlines. The longer it takes, the less likely onboarding will be completed with delays causing increased dropout rates.

Smarter onboarding systems

To tackle these problems when faced by a volatile recruitment environment, more businesses are switching to cloud-based onboarding systems. With automated processes and real-time data, it allows a business to create a fast and scalable operation.

Webonboarding, onboarding system provides an online portal which manages all of the communications between HR, line managers and new hires. The use of secure digital signatures removes the need for document such as contracts to be emailed or posted.

It allows onboarding to be completed in a matter of hours, rather than days or weeks with contracts and policy documents all handled in real-time via the online portal. By streamlining the onboarding process and cutting times, it aims to reduce the level of dropouts.

Unlike traditional onboarding approaches, it also provides a fully scalable operation. Bulk handling and automated processing can cope with any number of seasonal hires.

While so many uncertainties remain about the future availability of overseas workers, onboarding provides one area where HR teams can future proof their operations. As more industries compete for a limited pool of workers, it’s essential to have fast and effective ways to handle new hires.

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