Leadership & Productivity

Don’t let the festive post delay employee onboarding

4 min read

30 November 2017

With the Christmas period approaching, how do you ensure that important documents don’t get held up in festive post rush?

Finding and hiring new employees is vital to success in a growing business at any time of year. But with the festive period approaching, how do you ensure that important documents don’t get held up in the postal rush? We look at how you can keep employee onboarding on track throughout the holiday season.

During the build up to Christmas Day, millions of extra cards, letters and parcels will be sent all over the world. In the UK alone, Royal Mail employ around 19,000 temporary workers and open additional sorting centres to help sort and deliver this extra mail.

The busiest period of the year on Amazon.co.uk is Black Friday week which sees Christmas shoppers taking advantage of deals and discounts to order over 5.5m items in one day.

For HR and hiring managers, the process of turning successful candidates into effective employees can be subject to delays and holdups at any time of year, but this can be amplified by the extra strain on postal communications during the festive season.

To demonstrate the impact of delays, Melanie Guy head of HR for webexpenses carried out an experiment with a typical manual onboarding process and a fictional onboardee. From preparing and sending out an official letter and documents to having them signed and returned, it took a total of 19 working days, not including weekends and Bank Holidays.

That’s almost one whole calendar month before anyone in the business could open the envelope and deal with the contents. That kind of delay can really hold up your business and the whole employee onboarding process.

The manual onboarding slow down

The main problem with the traditional onboarding process is that it is resource hungry and time consuming when this is managed manually.

For example, in the onboarding diary experiment, it took 50 minutes to complete, check and print an official offer letter and documents. That is per candidate and before they could be sent out to the successful candidate. 69 per cent* of HR professionals state that they spent time chasing candidates for details and signatures for paper-based documentation.

The digital advantage

Using digital technology as part of your onboarding process can help to speed things up, by automating tasks and ensuring that you can send out information to new starters in a timely and consistent manner.

Sending documents electronically means they can be received and returned without the risk of postal delays seasonally, or any other time of year. Your new employees will also appreciate the convenience of avoiding standing at the post office, behind a long queue of people wanting to send cards and presents all over the world.

Digital onboarding technology can also automatically remind candidates of documents they need to complete, without the need for HR teams to constantly chase them up via email or telephone. With all the seasonal distraction and disruption, digital technology does of all the hard to keep things moving.

By removing manual processes and the paper trail, cloud-based software, such as webonboarding, can help businesses get the right talent onboard with fewer delays.

Read the full onboarding diary here.

*data from a survey by webonboarding 2016

This article is part of a wider campaign called the Scale-up Hub, a section of Real Business that provides essential advice and inspiration on taking your business to the next level. It’s produced in association with webexpenses and webonboarding, a fast-growing global organisation that provides cloud-based software services that automate expenses management and streamline the employee onboarding process.