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Microsoft 365-based solution to streamline employee onboarding

Project Overview

We worked with our customer’s HR team to digitise and streamline their manual and paper-based method for onboarding new hires.

Microsoft 365 Services
SharePoint Online

Brief

Moving away from printing and scanning documents

Our customer was in search for a new process for taking new hires through a series of preselected declaration forms and tests as part of their standard onboarding process. The HR department had so far relied on an outdated paper-based method which included printing, signing, photocopying, scanning and saving onboarding documentation. Managing all these tasks added a heavy burden on the HR admin team trying to cope with the expansive growth of the company and reduced their capacity to focus on the strategic requirements for improving the experience for new employees joining the company.

The challenging task of keeping up with the increasing number of new hires, which included a mixture of permanent employees and contractors, was made even more challenging due to the restrictions introduced by the Covid-19 pandemic. The admin team was not only forced to work remotely for prolonged periods, but also had to support the organisation’s wider efforts to minimise physical contact as part of the health and safety guidance. This made activities such as filling out and handing paper forms all the more difficult and cumbersome from a health and safety perspective for both new joiners and staff.

The pressing need for new hires combined with an expansive set of health restrictions posed a significant risk to the company’s growth in the short and medium term and became a top priority for our customer to address.

Solution

Automation using Microsoft Forms, Lists and Power Automate

After engaging with the HR admin team, we designed a modern onboarding solution based on the Microsoft 365 platform to address the customer’s priorities.

The solution leveraged Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Forms and Power Platform tools to create:

  • A SharePoint site that new joiners could access to find all resources they needed as part of their standard training
  • A Microsoft Team that new company members would join to ask questions and get guidance on various subjects
  • A collection of digital Declaration Forms and Quizzes that new joiners could fill in and submit as part of their training
  • A set of SharePoint Lists, including a top-level Dashboard, that HR admins could use to keep track of onboarding progress for new hires
  • A set of Power Automate workflows that kept track of Form and Quiz submissions and sent automatic notifications to both new employees and HR admins regarding onboarding process completion status.

Outcomes

Our solution enabled a self-serve experience for new hires whilst streamlining and simplifying the overall management process for the HR admin team
  • Onboarding throughput was allowed to continue during the pandemic and was not impacted during lockdown periods imposed by the government. As the HR Project lead stated “Without this solution we wouldn’t have been able to perform any onboarding tasks during strict lockdown periods”
  • Significant time savings for the HR admin team resulting from the removal of activities such as printing, signing, photocopying, scanning and saving onboarding documentation, typically including 15 documents per new employee, each ranging from 2-16 pages
  • The onboarding digital dashboard enabled the admins to more efficiently track and manage stage completion progress, thus accelerating the entire end-to-end onboarding process for new hires which could now be completed 3 times faster on average vs. previously
  • The new system received positive feedback from new joiners who could now begin the onboarding process before they were able to physically attend the company premises and prepare in-time for their new roles
  • Legal and Commercial compliance was incorporated into the process saving additional time from having to email and chase new hires on relevant subjects
  • The new digital process reduced carbon footprint, brought time and material savings related to printing, and eliminated physical space requirements for storing onboarding documentation for the company.