onboarding tips sunsuper illeesha carroll

We were honoured to have Illeesha Carroll as our keynote speaker for our latest Melbourne onboarding event. She spoke about Sunsuper’s digital journey – from the transformation decision, scoping, pain points and the overall impact. Let’s dive into the top 5 employee onboarding tips from Illeesha Carrol, Sunsuper:

Learning #1 Change is inevitable to enable growth

Before their digital transformation in 2014, Sunsuper was powered by paper; with 35kg of mail hitting their office every week. The unsustainability of repeatable manual tasks highlighted it was time to change.

You might be familiar with this typical picture of a recruiters workspace:

  • Paper commencement packs with +45 pages
  • A dedicated room to keep all contract documents and assembling packs
  • Contracts being lost in the mail, damaged in weather or even in one unfortunate case, being eaten by a dog and found in the street!
  • Approval processes requiring management signatures that never seem to be at their desk when you need them
  • And after all that, frantically running to the 3 pm mail out deadline each day

You might not even have to imagine it, just take a peek around your office! If that’s the case, we can help you with an onboarding invention whenever you need us. In a nutshell, a whole lot of stress and anxiety wrapped up in time-consuming, repeatable processes! It was clear the team needed to be relieved of a huge amount of administrative activity, to support business growth. This is where HROnboard came into Sunsuper’s digital transformation story – creating seamless employee onboarding experiences. If only to save a poor dog from eating their weight in paper! Empowered by Sunsuper’s CEO, Scott Hartley, and his vision for a productive and efficient workforce – Sunsuper embarked on a company-wide digital transformation.

Learning #2 The ultimate savings/return on investment

Sunsuper’s time to onboard is down to 4 days from creation, through approvals to completion of offer acceptance – a fast experience considering their approval process and background checks made during hiring. Most importantly; there is a 94% positive feedback rate, employees simply love it.

With less time being spent on offer creation, Illeesha and her team are spending more time creating an emotional connection with their new employees.

Their focus on creating an amazing journey ticks both the compliance and experience boxes.

After accepting a job offer through a personalised portal, all new employees are engaged with tailored onboarding content, tasks and team messages, from before day one and beyond.

Sunsuper’s onboarding journey looks like today:

  • Minimal data entry
  • Automated provisioning emails
  • Electronic signatures: managers can’t escape you!
  • Notification reminders to complete tasks
  • User and device friendly
  • Authentic Sunsuper story-telling
  • Creative use videos and messages from CEO
  • Personalised communications
  • High engagement rates with all content
  • Measured impact with feedback set up through the app

And the benefits don’t stop there.

Since having her head lifted from the mountains of paperwork, Illeesha has been able to take a more strategic role in the company and gives back to the community:

  • 37.97 trees
  • 2 tonnes of carbon emissions
  • 2.85m3 of landfill
  • 43,905 litres of water from reduced paper production

Learning #3 Don’t set and forget your onboarding journey

Having a seamless onboarding process sets the scene for ‘who you are’ and what to expect.

Ensuring that the company message matches a new hire experience is essential. Sunsuper have a printed onboarding journey map which is used as the Northern Star to keep the process aligned with the company goals.

Illeesha reflected on how they started the mammoth task of creating an onboarding journey map. Here are Sunsuper’s guiding tips:

  1. Get out the pens and butchers paper – let the creativity flow
  2. Map out problems first
  3. Engage different people into this process (different perspective)
  4. Ask your most recently hired employees about their feedback (fresh perspective)
  5. Use sticky notes to iterate key components
  6. Now attach solutions to each problem
  7. Search for a platform that will solve your needs
  8. Ensure that your map reflects the company story
  9. Print a visual version and stick up in office to remind you

Most importantly – do not set and forget. ‘Forgetting’ about processes only makes for more work when you wake up one morning 6 months from now and realise you’re out of touch (again!).

For an excellent onboarding strategy, revision and potential re-direction needs to be ingrained in your HR culture.

Pro Tip: Use your original ‘Northern Star’ map, and revise current onboarding processes every 6 months as an iterative approach

Learning #4 Need to hire fast? You don’t have to compromise the experience

The one certainty with recruitment and onboarding is change. Candidates and team leaders want positions filled quickly – sometimes within hours of the final interview.

While you might prefer that new hires take a break and mentally recharge, for many reasons you might need to welcome them onboard sooner than you planned.

So how do maintain the employee experience? How do you ensure using a digital platform that helps you move faster, doesn’t overwhelm new starters?

The answer is, yes!

Some hires have to start urgently just days after accepting offer. Dedicated onboarding solutions like HROnboard enable you to personalise every person’s journey. HR teams can shuffle around the delivery of important information or add in content unique to each individual.

Plus, you can configure your offer acceptance experience so new hires can accept their offer (which kicks off internal provisioning etc) while you set a time limit (a few days) for them to provide supporting information like background checks, TFNs or Super details.

That way, you’ve got the essentials covered, while remaining fluid to the realities of your businesses needs. Being too rigid with your approach to digitally transform is a common pitfall.

And don’t forget the basics – pick up the phone and communicate; don’t rely on the tech to replace all the human connection. By reassuring candidates of the process and expectations, you are naturally building a supportive environment.

Pro Tip: Checkout our onboarding checklist to ensure you haven’t missed any essential process or documents


Learning #5 Onboarding connects human…so let tech be a compliment

Onboarding involves humans so use technology as a means to help connect – not takeover.

Digital change can be daunting, so it’s important to be mindful when introducing tech into how you work & the existing tools you use. The use of technology should be complementary to the way you and your team leaders communicate with new hires. Illeesha reinforced that ‘although it’s just another day at work for our team; for the new hire, this job could be a life-changing event – never forget how significant those memorable moments are’.

Illeesha calls all successful candidates to share the exciting news and be apart of their excitement. She also uses this as an opportunity to explain the digital onboarding journey they will go through – establishing a clear plan and giving candidates the confidence to move forward.

Bringing the seamless support of a digital platform alongside a personal connection sets up the employer-employee relationship for long-term success.

Pro Tip: Connect with your new hire by calling them for the job-offer and then explain what systems are in place for their onboarding experience

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