How to meet millennial expectations through employee onboarding

Onboarding is a crucial part of the hiring process, allowing the human resources department to integrate new employees into the business more quickly. A positive onboarding experience can enhance employees’ long-term productivity and attitudes towards the company, as well increase the likelihood they will succeed in their role.

With millennials already making up half the workforce, digital employee onboarding is no longer an optional HR extra, but something expected from a modern workplace. Millennials want their work experiences to match the standard of the digital products they are accustomed to in their daily lives, driving the consumerisation of HR.

However, research by Talmundo and Vlerick Business School in Ghent, Belgium has discovered a large gap between the views of HR professionals and people who recently started a new job. None of the HR professionals in the study said onboarding is not important, yet more than a third of the employees had not seen such a programme at their organisation.

Nine out of ten organisations approach onboarding with a one-size-fits-all solution, dealing with employees of all seniority levels in the same way. However, millennial and generation Z employees favour HR technology and automation tools that personalise the onboarding process to their needs, along with engaging and customised content.

Talmundo’s study exposes the perception discrepancies between HR professionals and employees. Nearly two thirds of new hires said onboarding should address the lack of clarity they have in their new role, while only 29 per cent of HR pros recognised this as a challenge. Meanwhile, 61 per cent of HR professionals thought employees want help navigating the company culture during onboarding, but only 37 per cent of new hires agreed.

It’s clear that HR needs to stop dwelling on their processes and focus on building an onboarding experience that employees want. If the process isn’t tailored to each employee, the company risks alienating them before they even start. By automating onboarding tasks, HR can bridge the gap and empower new hires to manage their own experience, while freeing their time to co-ordinate and improve offline activities.

“Treating new hires like your customers and brand ambassadors creates a swift, smart and automated employer brand experience every step of the way,” says Stijn De Groef, co-founder and chief executive at Talmundo, whose platform has onboarded more than 27,000 employees in over 100 organisations. “On their first day, your new hires expect to be exposed to your company mission, vision and values in a fashion suitable for digital natives. Talmundo helps create employee onboarding for today’s digital world.”

By using Talmundo in Belgium, KPMG has increased new hire retention and created a system that integrates employees quickly. Previously it had no pre-boarding, which was particularly an issue with graduate hires, who often wait months to start their job after signing a contract. With no system for direct communication in the interim period, graduates took longer to adapt to the environment and culture.

As the cost of replacing a graduate hire is between 80 and 100 per cent of their annual salary, KPMG aimed to boost retention in the period after contract signing by adopting Talmundo to send key documents and gradually introduce new hires to their culture through engaging videos, contact information and testimonials.

KPMG’s onboarding process now begins months before each employee’s first day. Talmundo’s solution not only assists new hires to their start date, but also continues to support their onboarding journey with crucial content during orientation activities and new milestones and feedback checkpoints after one, three and six months. Employees now rate their hiring experience at 4.45 out of 5 and their first week experience at 4.12.

“There is now a structured process,” says Wouter Van Linden, HR director Europe, Middle East and Africa at KPMG. “We have identified the key moments of the new hire journey and pinpointed the instances when you should pay attention to the employee. As a result, new hires integrate into the company faster.”

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