Is Virtual Onboarding A Necessity Or Just A Trend
Welcoming new employees on board is an intricate process and an important one at that. It involves numerous steps, and every single one of them holds its value in the bigger picture. In-person onboarding has a human touch with formalities completed manually. Manual onboarding has been the norm for the longest time, and as a result, companies have become comfortable with it.
But the advent of the pandemic in 2019 has brought unavoidable changes to this practice. In the wake of work from home mandates, virtual onboarding emerged more like a necessity rather than a choice. Virtual onboarding is the process of digitally inducting new employees and similarly completing their training and development.
Now, when the work is returning to offices in a phased manner there’s an ongoing debate over the status of virtual onboarding. The conflicting views revolve around the conflict of whether virtual onboarding is a necessity or just a trend that will pass. The traditionalists argue that there’s no way that virtual onboarding can replace the personal touch of in-person onboarding, because of the lack of a human element.
But there’s a strong case made by the proponents of the virtual mode — they believe in the capability of virtual onboarding in providing better efficiency in training and development, live feedback enhanced monitoring and increased engagement from the new hires. To understand this better, let’s take a look at some vital benefits provided by virtual onboarding:
- Attract the best of the best
Not restricting the hiring to fixed geographic locations provides a larger pool of qualified talents from different parts of the world. This enhances the options available to the companies for recruiting the best talent and strengthens the position of a company with increased output. Virtual onboarding allows for creating a truly global team — with a diverse set of skills and the most talented people to be at the helm of affairs.
- Better Training and Development Prospects
Virtual onboarding with the help of software programs like UserGuiding gives the option to HR managers to design customized training modules based on the strengths and weaknesses of the new employees. It allows for improving the skills they already possess and infusing the other required ones. The software also allows for real-time monitoring of the training progress and reduces the chances of any gaps in learning.
- More flexibility and accessibility
The virtual nature of the onboarding process also provides the much-required flexibility to the new hires — especially in the wake of the pandemic induced changes in their working habits. Virtual onboarding enables the convenience of choosing their preferred work timings and allows better accessibility for remote employees.
- Gamification of the learning process
With the introduction of quizzes, videos, games, infographics, and the like, the learning experience can be drastically improved. Employees feel more engaged while learning the skills they require to start their new job roles and better retain the knowledge for application in their work. Virtual onboarding aided by software programs like UserGuiding provides the option of adding gamification to the learning process.
- Hybrid Working Environment
Since remote work is becoming a norm even after a return to some semblance of normalcy, led by big corporations, the need for a hybrid working environment has grown by leaps and bounds. Virtual onboarding is a step in the right direction to incorporate hybrid working practices into the foray. With employees having the option of interacting with their peers online through video conferencing, the loss of the human touch is also taken care of.
- Saves cost and time
With the replacement of traditional onboarding processes with a virtual one, businesses can save costs involved in hiring training professionals and replace them with hi-tech training modules provided via onboarding software like UserGuiding.
Not just that, the cost of stationery and other miscellaneous items used in the in-person onboarding process can be minimized or eliminated. In addition, the efficiency of digitally monitored processes helps employees save their time and be more productive.
It’s very clear that virtual onboarding is an effective process and eliminates many inefficiencies involved in the traditional ways. The cost-benefit analysis also weighs in favour of virtual methods — an important factor companies have to consider before taking an executive decision. Therefore, the cynicism around virtual onboarding being a fad rather than a necessity is unfounded at best.