Virtual onboarding may soon overtake traditional onboarding as the method of choice for new hire induction as HR teams seek innovative ways to engage and equip new employees, both locally and globally, while cutting costs. Effective onboarding has become crucial as it affects retention rates and the pressure is increasingly on HR to succeed in a short period of time. Moreover, companies that are split across geographies can see costs skyrocket.
A 2012 survey completed by Allied Workforce Mobility showed that companies lose nearly a quarter of their new hires.
If that number didn’t shock you, a PWC study determined that the cost of losing a new hire can be as high as 50 to 150 percent of the annual salary for the job. On the other hand, if you have a structured, standardized onboarding program in place, you can significantly decrease costs associated with time-to-competency.
The good news? There’s a solution on the horizon. Companies around the world are now adopting Virtual Onboarding Event Platforms coupled with Webinar technology to solve these issues.
While structured training can be administered in-person, virtual onboarding provides employees with a self-paced environment to naturally accumulate learning. HR managers can easily host or upload pre-recorded training webinars, facilitate internal networking and distribute important company information.
If you’re an HR executive considering a virtual onboarding fair but are not yet convinced, look no further. Here are six reasons why other HR professionals around the world are quickly making the switch.
1. Setup your Event Hassle-Free and Reduce Overheads
The format of virtual fairs mirrors aspects of their physical counterparts, such as conference halls, with the aim of making navigation easy and intuitive for first-time users. New employees simply sign in and are presented with options to explore documents, images, and videos to help them learn about the organization at a comfortable pace.
2. Deliver Consistent Training Quality Around the Globe
For big organizations that span different geographies, it’s important to be consistent. Training new hires globally is a major challenge for HR professionals due to differences in time, language and culture which is why many MNCs rely on their regional hubs. But if you’ve ever played a game of Chinese whispers – or ‘telephone’ as it’s known in the U.S. – you’ll understand what it feels like to develop a training program at a corporate level, only for the message to be lost at a local level.
With virtual onboarding fairs, you’re able to deliver the same content, material, information with the same impact consistently all year round. This global process standardization establishes a uniform benchmark for new hire training. Additionally, the platform offers multiple language support which allows seamless international communication.
3. Get Real Acceleration in New Hire Productivity
New employees can take 8 to 12 months to be fully productive in their positions. The longer it takes for an employee to get up to speed, the higher the costs go up. These costs include the supervisor’s and employee’s time, instruction materials, loss of productivity and travel costs to network and collaborate. (Now, multiply these costs for every new hire - yikes!)
To mitigate overhead costs, you can create an interactive curriculum that balances learning with an employee’s on-the-job training. The platform is available 24/7 and can be accessed from desktop, tablet and mobile devices, creating a self-paced environment. New employees can participate in workshops, simulations, role-plays, games and quizzes on a schedule that works for them within a set timeframe. They can also save documents and content to take a look at later, giving new employees the flexibility to learn about their role while executing their daily responsibilities.
4. Enable Personalized Learning at the Right Pace
Virtual onboarding events provide employees with material and learning environments. Some might say that you still need a human element to explain the material in a more vivid, eloquent manner, and of course, lend itself to an interactive discussion. Well, virtual webinars cater to just that. Virtual fairs can support pre-recorded, semi-live and live webinars as well as entertain Q&A sessions which allows employees clarify issues and questions they might have.
5. Encourage Networking and Collaboration
Whether your firm is based in one location or spread across the globe, your new hires can connect with other employees in your organization on a much wider scale. Networking lounges create a central space for senior leadership and new employees to interact through group chats, thread discussions and business card exchanges. Employees can view who is participating (or who has participated in the past), providing an opportunity for follow up. This dialogue brings the organization closer together and enhances the employee experience without the burden of scheduling logistics and travel.
6. Keep Improving Content based on Engagement Metrics
Monitoring employee understanding is difficult to ascertain from physical onboarding but is a key benefit of virtual onboarding. By tracking new employee progress, you can jump in with support and nudge employees along using virtual message boards. Because of the openness of the platform, new hires can rate their experience and provide feedback to strengthen the program for future new hires.
To sum it all up, virtual onboarding simplifies and structures the training period for new hires at a lower cost with better results. The on-demand access to centralized information, the power to communicate directly with all employees and the ability to track and drive development sets virtual onboarding uniquely apart from traditional onboarding.