Employee communications

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Balancing Employee Onboarding Videos with a Human Touch

09 January 2018
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Fear not, recruiters and HR personnel! Robots, algorithms, and digital programs won’t be taking your job just yet. While employee onboarding videos and automated onboarding software is rapidly making an impact in the recruiting process, a balance must remain between automated solutions and a human touch.

A study by Randstad USA, published last summer, revealed what many HR and employee recruiting professionals already know: that proper recruiting these days is a careful balance between automation and human interaction. According to the study, most job-seekers appreciate an onboarding and recruiting process made easier with digital solutions, such as employee onboarding videos and easy-to-use information portals.

What job-seekers don’t appreciate, however, is automation gone wild. When technology and fancy gadgets and videos supersede friendly smiles, firm handshakes, body language, and that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you’re welcomed personally into a new office, new employees feel left out and don’t perform well.

Trying to Find a Balance

Slap a few employee onboarding videos together, use social media and other technologies to find ideal candidates, and toss in a handshake or two, and do you have the perfect recipe for finding your ideal candidate? Not quite.

The answer is subtle. HR has to tailor their approach to finding candidates that fit open positions and make those candidates feel welcome.

Let’s look at a few common recruiting and onboarding tricks HR departments use these days and analyze how they might affect different candidates.

What Tools Should HR Use to Onboard?

Employee handbooks are great because they contain everything a new employee needs to know about their new work environment. The rules, the policies, even tips to get ahead are all great examples of useful content to put in a handbook. But employee onboarding videos can distill most of the information in the handbook into a brief, even fun learning experience to allow employees to hit the ground running. Here’s a great opportunity to use both a handbook, which has all the information a new employee could ever need, and a video, which goes over the especially important information in the handbook. The recruiting and onboarding department at once provides new employees with the information they need while underscoring the most important information.

No matter how friendly the people in the videos are, there is never a replacement for a friendly manager or onboarding specialist guiding a new employee in their first days, weeks, and months of employment. An algorithm, unless it’s incredibly complex, can’t answer questions on demand (yet). Managers need to look out for their new recruits and help them along the way. Human interaction when a new employee feels most vulnerable is not to be understated in importance.

So while computers may have a hard time answering questions as they come up, they can give all new employees the same baseline information, which can be altered at an enterprise level, bringing new recruits up to speed immediately with new information or any changes. The core concept remains, however: people interact best with other people, and anytime anyone starts a new job, it’s easy for them to feel alienated and lost in the shuffle.

It Starts With People

Any good recruiting and onboarding effort starts at the human level. When employees feel welcome, they feel comfortable and stable. That’s when you can pepper them with information using employee onboarding videos and other digital communication systems. These digital systems can not only purvey information, they can receive it and record it faster and easier as well. Employees appreciate data input systems that allow them to record their mundane information, such as tax withholdings and identification, but when these systems attempt to weed out the messiness of human interaction, it leaves employees feeling left out.

Think of recruiting and onboarding as a soup (yes, really, a soup). Too much salt spoils it. A good soup takes careful ratios of ingredients all heated together. Too much technology spoils your recruiting balance.

Ben Renner

Ben Renner is an HR expert, writer, and Senior Editor of the Employee Communications Council. He has lived and managed his own business in Denver, Colorado since 2013. Connect with him on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ben-renner-97708099/

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