6 Ways to Onboard and Retain Talent Using AI   

The business environment is growing highly competitive, and in this hustle, attracting and keeping exceptional employees is essential for organisations to succeed. Each business must have its strategies for onboarding and retaining top talents, which can significantly influence growth, productivity, and overall achievements. 

The onset of AI has brought about significant changes in all business spheres, including approaches to talent management. 

This article dives into the importance of talent onboarding and retention, the integration of AI in the process, and the transformative advancements that AI has introduced to this domain.

Why is it important? Organisations with a well-structured onboarding processes can help streamline how well and quickly their new hires are able to integrate and become productive contributors. 

A strong onboarding experience enhances employee engagement and job satisfaction and reduces turnover rates. That’s the foundation of a strong team of game-changers in the business. By retaining talented individuals, companies can build a skilled and loyal workforce, saving both time and resources associated with recruitment and training.

AI technologies, such as NLP, machine learning, and predictive analytics, automate and optimise HR work. AI-powered systems analyse huge amounts of data, providing practical insights into candidate selection, skill matching, and employee engagement. For instance, imagine a large multinational company that receives thousands of job applications for a specific position. Instead of manually filtering through each application, an AI-powered system can quickly analyse the data. 

challenges of traditional onboarding and retention methods

Traditional onboarding and retention methods pose several challenges. Those impact their effectiveness.

  • Lengthy paperwork – Numerous forms, manually inputting data into multiple systems, the administrative burden; are all overwhelming for both sides. This time-consuming process delays the onboarding timeline and increases the chances of errors and inefficiencies.
  • Lack of personalisation – In the traditional onboarding process, managers deal with all the candidates equally, meaning every new hire goes through a standardised process. Not personalising the process, however, might cause the loss of talented potential team members.
  • Difficulty in tracking employee progress and engagement – Manual tracking, dealing with spreadsheets, or paper-based systems are all prone to errors. They can be time consuming. Without real-time insights into employee progress, organisations may struggle to identify areas of improvement, provide timely feedback, and address potential issues that may arise during the onboarding process. 
  • High turnover rates – Traditional onboarding methods increase turnover rates as they fail to meet employees’ evolving expectations and needs. The discussed issues result in disengagement and dissatisfaction. 

AI solutions play a crucial role in addressing various challenges by enabling effective retention strategies. These technologies help by automating administrative tasks, personalising onboarding experiences, and leveraging analytics to track progress and outcomes.

6 Ways to Successfully Use AI for Efficient Onboarding

Utilise digital onboarding platforms

Digital onboarding platforms powered by AI technology hold advantages over traditional manual processes. They provide a centralised hub for all necessary documentation, forms, and tasks, from integrating chatbots in the interview processes to using a contract maker for the agreements. AI algorithms can automate data entry, document processing, and compliance checks, reducing administrative burdens and ensuring accuracy. 

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits, with examples of each:

  • Enhanced Efficiency: Time-consuming tasks, like filling out forms and validating the information, can be automated. This will be a time won back for the manager to spend on learning more about the candidates.
  • Improved Accuracy: Decrease the errors with automated data entry and validation, for instance, AI cross-referencing information to flag inconsistencies.
  • Streamlined Compliance: Integrate compliance checks and verification processes, for instance, AI flagging missing documents or discrepancies.
  • Enhanced User Experience: Provide a user-friendly interface and personalised support, for instance, AI-powered chatbots answering new hires’ questions. The chatbots perform so much like a human would, based on the text annotations used in the supervised learning processes.

Some examples of digital platforms that organisations can consider for efficient talent onboarding include: BambooHR – for customisable checklists and automated workflows; Workday – for personalised onboarding experiences and compliance tracking; and Appical – for creating engaging mobile-first onboarding experiences with virtual tours and gamification elements.

Implement learning management systems (LMS)

Especially with the trends of hiring online, HR managers often find talents with fewer skills than required for the position. This includes extra training and sponsored lessons to upgrade the skillsets and fully qualify the talents for the job. Learning Management Systems (LMS) integration can bridge this skill gap effectively in less time. The value of LMS integration has become even more significant after the pandemic, with the rising necessity of training to survive in the online environment, with jobs switching to gain technical and digital skills. 

LMS effectively bridges the skill gap in a shorter time frame, providing a valuable way to upskill and reskill their workforce continuously. By leveraging LMS, organisations can efficiently address the evolving needs of the job market and equip their employees with the necessary skills to thrive in a rapidly changing professional environment.

AI systems have made it possible to have a more personalised learning experience, providing recommendations based on skills needed to stay relevant and up-to-date with the requirements of the role.

Combine virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR)

No matter how fancy the terms VR and AR seem, they greatly assist the human resources department by creating engaging and interactive experiences for new hires. When implemented correctly, these technologies enable effective learning and adaptation to roles, enhancing the onboarding process.

For instance, by wearing VR or AR glasses (based on need), the potential employees will get a chance to behave in a typical situation for the position. Observing this immersive experience, the HR manager will understand the candidates’ competence. At the same time, potential employees will feel what’s it like in the position. They will become more comfortable with the job when it comes to actually being on board.

Let’s project the example on a big retail store that can incorporate virtual reality simulations to assess and train its employees. The use of VR technology will create immersive scenarios where employees can practice various situations, such as dealing with holiday rushes or managing difficult customer interactions. The skill assessment and necessary improvement, as well as the candidate selection, will get more streamlined.

Realistic scenarios and experiences benefit both the hiring manager and the candidates. While HR managers gain insights about the candidates, the new hires learn and adapt more effectively. 

Use Employee Engagement Platforms

Engaged employees will be more likely to be productive and work-centric than isolated employees. Employee Engagement Platforms have emerged, changing how organisations foster employee satisfaction and productivity. The platforms that include Slack, ClickUp, Microsoft Teams, 15Five, TINYpulse, etc., leverage the power of AI to enhance employee engagement, streamline HR processes, and drive positive workplace culture. Starting from automating tasks, and scheduling messages up to generating AI-based content, the tools prove to save up time and resources. 

The help and benefit of these platforms include the following:

  • Personalised onboarding experiences
  • Continuous feedback
  • Rewards and recognition
  • Communication and collaboration

Let’s look at an example of the employee engagement platforms with their benefits in place. Lana, a new marketing associate at a digital agency, joins their employee engagement platform for streamlined onboarding and enhanced engagement. She receives a personalised onboarding dashboard with tasks, timelines, and a welcome message from the CEO. The tool in use facilitates communication through dedicated channels, provides a resource library for learning, and offers a task management system for accountability. Lana receives recognition from colleagues, provides feedback, and feels supported from day one. As a result, her integration is accelerated which sets the stage for a successful and engaged career.

With all the benefits included, these platforms promise a productive and effective workflow. 

From pre-boarding to further feedback, employee engagement platforms can accompany HR during all the stages. 

Conduct Data-driven Analytics for Talent Management

Utilising data-driven analytics powered by AI , HR departments can gather, analyse, and interpret extensive employee data, including performance reviews, skills assessments, and engagement levels. This enables the identification of patterns and trends that inform better decision-making in areas such as hiring, training, and development mentioned earlier.

However human the HR department is, most tasks’ assessments can be automatically simplified thanks to technology. Pairing the technologies with strategy interviewing processes will help onboard the best talents. Like food service interview questions, each industry can compose thorough lists of questions to single out the best candidates.

For example, artificially-powered technologies can be used to:

  • Identify high-potential employees: By analysing employee data, AI can help identify employees likely to be high performers. This information can then be used to provide these employees with additional training and development opportunities.
  • Predict employee turnover: This data gathered with AI can help detect potential turnovers; the data can then be used to retain these employees by providing them with more challenging work or offering them a promotion.
  • Personalise employee development plans: AI can be used to personalise employee development plans based on their strengths, weaknesses, and career goals. This can help employees to develop the skills they need to be successful in their current positions and to advance their careers.

This will drive better decisions in HR management when dealing with potential and current hires. 

Ensure Data Privacy and Security

The lines between the legacy digital landscape and AI have merged, changing many organisations’ operations. Organisations must navigate the delicate balance between harnessing the power of AI and safeguarding sensitive data. AI can help ensure data privacy and security while optimising HR processes, especially taking into account the swathes of personal and confidential staff data.

AI systems can positively impact staff data privacy and security in the following ways:

  • Secure storage and management of sensitive employee data
  • Anonymised or pseudonymised personally identifiable information (PII) within HR datasets, to protect employee privacy
  • Analysis of user behavior patterns within HR systems, to detect unusual or suspicious activities
  • Automated data scans to identify sensitive information, and ensure compliance with privacy regulations, such as data retention and consent requirements
  • Prediction and mitigation of risks associated with employee data breaches, to enable proactive security measures and incident response planning
  • Entrust employees with greater control over their personal information

For example, AI algorithms can analyse HR documents to ensure compliance with data protection laws, such as anonymising data when necessary or flagging non-compliant practices for review. 

In this respect, new technologies can significantly contribute to the most burning topic and the biggest concern of those who more or less face using the Internet in their operations.

Upscale Hiring With AI

Integrating AI-powered technologies in talent management, including onboarding and retention, offers numerous benefits for HR departments. Tools like chatbots and other virtual agents can help streamline the process of selecting candidates, gathering employee feedback, enabling managers to make data-driven improvements, collect valuable insights, identify patterns, and address concerns. This can improve employee experiences, engagement levels, and retention rates. Using AI will empower HR managers to iterate and continuously strengthen their strategies based on real-time feedback, resulting in a more effective and satisfying employee experience.

Author: Hripsime Manukyan – SEO Content Writer, SayNine.

Photo credit: Monstera

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