“With an onboarding portal that reinforces our brand, we now have an ongoing dialogue with new hires on mission, vision and values before they even step through the door.”
Will Thorn, Redwood Credit Union
- Engaging, personalized candidate and employee experience
- Providing new employees with a personalized orientation
- Employer brand presentation that attracts and engages
- Day One readiness goals achieved
- Metrics visibility through a central dashboard
- Disconnected employee experience
- Building employer brand awareness to attract and retain talent
- Not prepared for new hire first day
- Process and paperwork efficiencies
- Manual metrics tracking
Growth Pains Create Employee Experience Opportunity
It takes an outstanding culture to be recognized as one of the top 100 financial institutions. “People helping people” guides the mission of Redwood Credit Union, a not-for-profit financial institution of 500 employees in a territory that spans 8 northern California counties, from San Francisco to the North Coast. As success brought rapid growth, it also brought growing pains, especially with onboarding and Day One readiness.
As the HR team assessed future needs, it also saw an opportunity—create a “wow” employee experience. “HR is entrusted with the big responsibility of successful onboarding so that new hires engage in the culture, thrive in their position and add value to the organization,” said Will Thorn, Employee Relations Manager, Redwood Credit Union. “We wanted a focus on employees to be at the core of our onboarding program to create highly passionate and motivated employees who understand the Redwood Credit Union difference.”
Redwood decided to look for a new recruitment and onboarding platform to create a dynamic employee experience and simplify program administration.
SilkRoad Meets Employee Experience Needs
Redwood Credit Union discovered the answer in SilkRoad Recruiting and SilkRoad Onboarding.
“We defined our new employee experience as starting with the web site during recruiting, followed by the onboarding portal for a new hire,” said Thorn. “After assessing over 10 different solutions, we selected the SilkRoad platform because of its sophistication, flexibility and scalability.”
Powerful Support of the Redwood Employer Brand
To wow candidates and new hires, Redwood Credit Union focused in on a dynamic presentation of their employer brand. “To build a relationship with prospective talent and new hires, employers need a level of brand awareness that is engaging, sophisticated and accurate,” said Thorn. “By experiencing the brand, new hires start prepared but are also impassioned about the organization and what it means to them. SilkRoad really listened to our needs and helped us incorporate our brand into the employee experience.”
Multiple aspects were considered, including different devices, font, layout and the overall look of the onboarding portal; no stone was left unturned. “We really appreciated the strong desire, attention to detail and overall willingness of SilkRoad to bring our brand to life,” said Thorn.
Reshaping the New Hire Experience
Bringing the brand to life played a big role in reshaping the new hire relationship. “We did not have a way to stay connected after an offer,” said Thorn. “With an onboarding portal that reinforces our brand, we now have an ongoing dialogue with new hires on mission, vision and values before they even step through the door. It helps new hires grasp the nuances of the organization.”
Personalization also had a big impact. “Personalization is a small touch but one that really makes a difference in preparing new hires, and setting them up for success. Through the onboarding portal, we share expectations and what the first day will look like. It helps new hires feel welcome and focus on the cultural identity of the organization,” said Thorn.
Another advantage was completing paperwork and other key basics before an employee walks through the door. “Our employee orientation can now focus strictly on building excitement and helping new employees develop a deeper understanding of what encompasses ‘Redwood Credit Union.’ We drive engagement quickly through conversations and dialogue,” said Thorn.
Preparations Ready on Day One
In addition to engagement, Redwood Credit Union is able to meet its Day One readiness goals through SilkRoad Onboarding: ensuring people receive the right information at the right time. “The form builder offers powerful customization and categories for employees. We can drill down by role or individual skillset to create a personal new hire plan,” said Thorn.
Redwood also eliminated duplicate processes and simplified task management through automated task assignment. Self-service features empower employees and managers to locate or update information on their schedule.
Another efficiency was implementing digital documentation. “As a growing organization, digitization has become much more important. We created a single point of entry and central archive for all forms and documents for our new hires, which ensures information is current while also creating greater flexibility in how it can be accessed,” said Thorn.
Thorn emphasizes that SilkRoad puts even more power into the hands of the client. “We streamlined processes without compromising individual needs to achieve our goals,” said Thorn. “To us, this was instrumental in selecting the right onboarding partner for our organization.”
Positive Feedback and Plans to Use for All Employee Transitions
To assess results, the HR team focused on measuring a richer employee experience, reduction of duplicate tasks, ongoing communication and follow-up.
The team worked closely with the leadership panel. “Although there was hesitation about investing in a new system, feedback was overwhelmingly positive,” said Thorn. “Everyone is ecstatic now. Great feedback came in on the portal, delivering information at the right time and avoiding overload.”
The solutions also enhanced metrics and reports functionality beyond the capabilities of the old system. “Anytime I hear the word Excel for tracking purposes, I cringe. Now, we have both a rich employee experience and a real-time dashboard for analytics,” said Thorn.
And the future holds big plans. Redwood plans to expand system use for all employee events—transitions, promotions and employees taking careers elsewhere.
“We’re excited about our accomplishments and future possibilities,” said Thorn. “Our relationships are driven by people helping people and SilkRoad fits spectacularly into that with their passion for serving clients.”