Finding a High-Tech, High-Touch Balance is Critical for New Hires

Alexandra Levit, People Results
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(Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from Alexandra Levit of Inspiration at Work). 

Last week, SilkRoad presented a second panel webinar with best practices on mapping workplace culture to the employee experience, especially as it pertains to onboarding. We talked with Tanya Papahristos, Director, Human Resources, AccessLex Institute; Jill Sorn; HR Director, Talent Acquisition, IRI Worldwide; and Sarah Wilson, former Head of People, Indigo Books, and boy was it a dynamic discussion!

The AccessLex Institute informs students of the economic realities of law school without limiting their aspirations. The non-profit organization conducts and commissions research to illuminate the latest data and evidence on the most critical issues facing legal education today. From an HR perspective, though, AccessLex faced the daunting challenge of retaining millennials. “We realized our recruitment and onboarding efforts had to drive retention right away, so we wanted new hires to be immersed in the company by Day 1,” said Tanya Papahristos. “Today, we focus on providing an experience that’s attractive to the various generations, and we customize everything. The ongoing communication and engagement really helps us keep people.”

Indigo Books is Canada’s largest book, gift and specialty toy retailer, offering a selection of books, toys, home décor, stationery and gifts. After a series of mergers and acquisitions in the Canadian bookstore industry, Indigo stands as Canada’s last remaining national bookstore chain. Like AccessLex, Indigo seeks to build a unique story with each employee through a combination of technology and human touchpoints. “The strategy was for our employees to be connected to the organization’s heart, soul, and core no matter their role or location,” said Sarah Wilson. “Our onboarding portal offers a consistent user experience across the employee lifecycle, integrated with all of our HR technology systems and supplemented by manager interaction.”

In IRI Worldwide’s culture, the key word is flexibility. The organization has a variety of remote workers, so mobile access to all HR information is imperative. And the fact that many onboarding activities are digitized allows the company to keep tabs on what’s working – and what isn’t. “It’s not only about experience, it’s about results,” said Jill Sorn. As one of the original innovators in Big Data, IRI Worldwide integrates the world’s largest set of otherwise disconnected purchase, media, social, causal and loyalty data to help CPG, retail, over-the-counter health care and media companies grow their businesses. And although according to IDC, 1 in 5 HR organizations aren’t tracking onboarding success metrics, IRI has prided itself on doing exactly that.

The organization’s heritage of providing reliable, insightful data to its customers has created a culture of ongoing measurement and improvement. As Jill Sorn told our live audience: “We are constantly innovating in the realm of analytics. By turning data into action, we know what we need to do to create a work experience that’s interesting, fast-paced, and meaningful.”

Interested in hearing the full discussion? Register here to download the free recording, and be sure to let us know if you have additional questions from our panelists!

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