You start a new job. When you show up on the first day, no one’s there to meet you, you aren’t sure where to sit, you don’t have an email inbox set up and you spend your afternoon filling out HR forms.
Onboarding! There has to be a better way. The winner of our UNLEASH America startup competition, the Minnesota-based company Click Boarding, is building a better way to onboard employees and set them up for success.
We caught up with Click Boarding’s head of enterprise market strategy, Jess Von Bank, to learn more about the company’s vision and solution.
Tell us the origin story of Click Boarding.
Curt Marks is the founder of the company. Before Click Boarding, he ran the fifth-largest background screening company in the U.S., Verifications Inc. It was background screening plus onboarding, but onboarding in the traditional legal sense — form completion and provisioning a new hire into payroll.
After he sold that company to First Advantage, he spotted a hole in how employers managed onboarding. You start a relationship with a candidate, you extend a job offer, and their engagement is highest at the moment that they say “yes.”
The challenge is to keep them engaged as they come into the business. Of course, we know that engagement leads to higher productivity and long-term retention. To keep the momentum, onboarding has to start well before the employee’s first day.
He realized that onboarding shouldn’t be a commodity or a transaction — it’s a business process that truly drives retention and engagement, and matters to the bottom line. So he set out to build a best-of-breed point solution to improve onboarding.
How does your solution work?
Click Boarding is mobile-first, self-guided and highly configurable.
A really good onboarding experience has to start prior to day one. So that means it has to be built mobile first. If you wait until an employee’s first day to start interacting and sharing information, you’ve already missed a lot of opportunities. You can’t wait until they have a corporate email set up. You have to start delivering information immediately.
So a new hire receives a welcome email to their personal email address to kick off the onboarding process. Once they’re into the platform, they can see everything on their phone, their tablet or their laptop. Their onboarding platform says “Welcome to the company. We’re so excited you’re here. Here’s what we have in store for you,” and that can include whatever the employer wants to cover in the onboarding experience. That might be a welcome video or a letter from the CEO or their hiring manager. Maybe it’s a virtual tour of the office, or an introduction to the mission or values statement. Here’s the dress code, here’s a map of where to go on your first day. You can also start collecting information from the employee before their first day. You can share policies and gather tax forms, direct deposit information, emergency contacts.
All of that information is delivered prior to day one to reduce anxiety, get them ready to start and make them feel welcomed and prepared so they can hit the ground running their first week. The idea is that when they come in to work, they’re able to do actual work, instead of sitting with a stack of papers, and chomping at the bit to get started.
The platform is also configurable, and the onboarding activities can be sequenced over whatever period of time an employer wants. We also integrate with the rest of the HR tech stack. On the front end, changing a candidate to “hired” status in the ATS can kick off onboarding. On the back end, we integrate with the HCM or talent suite that would provision the employee into payroll, for example.
From a compliance perspective, especially now with GDPR, how we handle employees’ information is really important. Click Boarding tracks all of the policies and forms every employee has acknowledged and when. Having everything automated in a platform with compliance as its bedrock means all that data has a trail of breadcrumbs, and can be easily managed.
How do your customers measure ROI?
We get asked a fair bit about ROI and reporting. To me the most interesting story about onboarding is its downstream effect. Did employees who were onboarded more quickly or more efficiently, with a better experience, have a higher level of productivity? Were they high-performing employees? Were they better retained than employees where that was not the case? So we would need other data inputs to tell a really great ROI story around onboarding.
But we do measure things like NPS. We have one customer who surveys all new hires religiously. They send tens of thousands of new hires through our platform every year, and they drastically improved the experience. Their net promoter score is now 77. Anybody who understands NPS methodology knows that that’s a little bit unheard of. So when you consider the level of engagement and excitement of those employees coming through the door, and what the business is able to do with them, you really start to see the effects of onboarding.