How Mobile Apps Are Disrupting Traditional Onboarding in Staffing

Think back for a moment on your first job. Do you remember what onboarding was like? Most likely, the process was in person and required filling out a giant stack of forms by hand, and it took days or weeks to complete.

The reality is, many staffing firms still follow that same process. Although nearly every aspect of our life is digital or supported by tech, onboarding still functions the same way it did 20 years ago.

That may have sustained staffing companies for the last two decades, but it won’t serve them now or in the decades to come. Onboarding is the single most significant chokepoint in the talent funnel. Given today’s fierce competition for talent, chokepoints are something staffing firms can’t afford to have.

Where Is Onboarding Going Wrong?

In its most broad definition, onboarding is the socialization of a candidate to the firm and the vetting of that individual. It traditionally starts after a candidate is exposed to a job opening and applies, and it continues as companies conduct background checks and drug tests, validate certifications and credentials, and have candidates sign all required paperwork. Along the way, the potential for error exists.

Because talent has the upper hand and is driving the market, companies are in a mad dash to find and hire talent fast. When the need for speed overrides quality, mistakes can happen, items can fall through the cracks and errors may not get flagged until it’s too late.

In some cases, mistakes can be easily fixed, but if state or federal regulations are not followed, staffing firms risk six- or even seven-figure fines.

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Mobile Technology to Support Onboarding

One way to reduce risk, speed up onboarding and improve the talent experience is to make onboarding available via a mobile app. Candidates are already on their phones. Their phone is probably within arm’s reach right now. Giving them the ability to complete forms, tests and training on their phone creates stickiness in the process.

Talent expects onboarding to be simple, easy and clear. Mobile technology accomplishes that. It gives talent the consumer-like experience they desire in every other aspect of their life. They simply tap on the app, easily navigate to the next step in their onboarding journey and can even configure notifications to keep the process moving.

In staffing today, 50% of all found talent fail to complete employment forms. Of those who do complete their forms, only 60% show up and stay for their first day of work. Leveraging mobile onboarding is one way to increase form completion and retention.

What Mobile Onboarding Means for Recruiters

Recruiters at staffing firms say traditional, outdated onboarding processes don’t leave them time to do what they do best. Instead of having meaningful, productive conversations with talent, they have to hold their hand throughout the onboarding process. They nudge talent to complete forms, ensure all of the information is correct and help verify that talent is ready for day one on the job.

Mobile apps can do the nudging, flag errors in documentation and notify talent about missing forms. Onboarding can even be used to screen talent before they talk to recruiters. As a candidate builds up his or her profile within a mobile platform, basic screening questions are answered, work history is validated and certifications can be attached. When the recruiter gets involved, all of this information is at their fingertips, making it easier to match talent to the right jobs and get them to work faster.

Make Onboarding Your Power, Not a Pain Point

Done right, onboarding has the power to differentiate your organization, get talent to work quicker, increase talent yield and improve efficiency. For short-term assignments, speed and accuracy matter. It’s the difference between a satisfied client whose open positions are filled and one who wonders why talent consistently bails out.

Don’t let onboarding continue to be a chokepoint for your organization. Make it the reason talent comes, refers and stays.

Katie Schulz

Katie Schulz
Katie Schulz is a professional services consultant with staffing software provider Avionté.

Katie Schulz

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