All companies strive to integrate new employees as quickly and seamlessly as possible, as a smooth onboarding process allows for greater productivity and overall cost efficiency. The sooner an employee is equipped with the devices, access, and information he or she needs, the sooner meaningful work can begin. Effective onboarding is also important because a company that fails to afford new hires an easy transition provides a poor first impression of corporate operations and imposes unnecessary delays and challenges, both of which can affect new hire retention rates.

Employee onboarding has traditionally been conducted using manual methods; however, this approach is no longer optimal as it requires the coordination of multiple departments that a hiring manager must each depend on to be timely and efficient.

For example, using manual onboarding methods, when a manager hires a new employee he or she will first need to notify the company’s human resources department. The human resources manager will then email other relevant departments, such as finance, IT, and facilities, to prepare for a new employee. Each department will in turn create relevant onboarding tasks to complete; the IT department will need to order and configure a new laptop, tablet or smartphone, the finance department will need to add the employee to the company payroll, and the facilities team will need to begin set-up of a new workstation. Each of these tasks could take multiple days to complete, and only once all are reported back to the HR department is the new employee ready to begin work.

So what does a more effective approach to onboarding look like? Onboarding can now be completed in significantly less time with innovative service automation. Using service automation software, a hiring manager will submit a “new employee setup request” which will automatically implement a hardware and software profile for the employee based on his or her position within the company. Required software applications will be automatically provisioned to each new device, and once completed the company’s service desk will confirm that each of these automated tasks meet service level agreements. From there, the service desk will ensure that the employee’s devices and access are running optimally, and the new hire is ready to begin work!