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Author's profile photo Margit Bauer

A fresh approach to onboarding: Get to know what this means for our strategic customers and how we can support them in this transformation

Onboarding is one of the most exciting experiences for nearly every employee. Just think about your own professional life! How nervous have you been thinking about your first day at a new company or in a new job role? Did somebody care about you from day one? Did you know where to go and what was expected of you? How long did it take to really be a part of the team? Bersin by Deloitte research1 shows that new hires want meaningful work and they want to contribute fast. Successful onboarding can lead to benefits such as:

  • 5 times higher profit growth
  • 2 times greater profit margins
  • 2 times greater revenue growth per employee

So, if research is telling us that effective onboarding leads to real business impact, then why aren’t more companies investing in it? What is preventing organizations from having best in class onboarding? Here are some causes of ineffective onboarding:

  • Complexity and number of systems and processes involved in onboarding
  • Onboarding seen as only a day-one activity instead of being extended until productivity
  • Improper learning and development personalized to new hire productivity
  • Lack of alignment between new hires and manager/company goals
  • Lack of hiring manager time and engagement for effective onboarding
  • No ability to measure onboarding efficiency and time to productivity

We think it is time for a fresh approach to support onboarding without compromise. A lot of companies focus on the tactical aspects of onboarding – i.e. ensuring legal compliance, making sure all the right forms are filled out and the right signatures are captured. While this is an absolute necessity, it’s just the beginning of what effective onboarding can do for your company. Here are some effective best practices to support the more strategic approach of onboarding:

  • Simplify the process for all stakeholders involved
  • Make paperwork as simple and effective as possible by also using mobile devices
  • Utilize technology
  • Define your goals, objectives and company mission
  • Onboarding begins before day one
  • Make sure your hiring managers are on board
  • Assign a peer sponsor or buddy and support collaboration
  • Continuous engagement (30-60-90-120 days) including development, recognition and feedback
  • Accountability and tracking of the process

Have a look at our great customer stories and their best practices: Loud in the Cloud: SAP Success Factors Onboarding

How can the SAP Success Factors Onboarding solution support the transformation to a more strategic approach?

By using technology as an integral part of your employee onboarding program your company can greatly improve the new hire experience, engage hiring managers and give HR the tools needed for administration and monitoring.

With our SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding solution we effectively support three tenants of great onboarding:

  • People: Create a welcoming environment for new hires and internal transfers by connecting them with the right information at the right time, and help them build their formal and informal networks to establish the relationships they’ll need to be successful.
  • Process: Leverage modern onboarding capabilities through best practices, mobile capabilities and digital processes, giving new hires a positive experience with your organization from the start.
  • Productivity: Align seamlessly with other talent management processes such as learning and goal setting to give new hires the resources and focus they need to be productive quickly.

As we look to the future of Onboarding, we are guided by the concept of “it takes a village.” From the tactical to the strategic, people of many roles contribute to the success of a new hire; hiring manager, buddy, team members, facilities representatives, IT managers, recruiters, HR specialists, administrators, company leadership and more. Our approach has always been to drive best practice behavior, but we are excited to take the next step in the evolution of our product by enhancing it from top to bottom, touching every role who participates in Onboarding.

For the new hire, a new, Fiori based end to end experience will bring consistency and familiarity with the tools they will be using as an employee.


For the hiring manager, a guided set of best practice onboarding ensures they are doing the best for the new hire.

For the HR specialist, a simple, new dashboard will allow them to track Onboarding progress within their organization and quickly identify bottlenecks and responsible persons.

For administrators and implementers, reuse of Platform technologies and EC structures greatly simplifies implementation, and a single location for configuration and administration of Onboarding simplifies day to day operations of the Onboarding system.

Lastly, a more flexible RBP driven permission system will allow participation of anyone in the “it takes a village” approach to Onboarding.


Would you like to get more information on a fresh approach to Onboarding and how we support this transformation with our current and future product capabilities?

We are pleased to share that at SuccessConnect in Las Vegas 2017, we will bring those new innovative approaches into the center of our sessions as customers, partners and industry thought leaders come together to share forward-looking ideas and innovative best practices on onboarding and recruiting:

Session schedule Recruiting and Onboarding track

Despite the valuable customer sessions we would also like to draw your attention to three interesting sessions about our SAP Success Factors product offering and roadmap as well as best practices:

Talent Activation: Introduction and Overview of SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding

You’ve heard of talent acquisition, but what about talent activation? In this session we’ll show how the SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding solution provides a comprehensive option to onboard and activate new hires and internal transfers so that they’re productive as quickly as possible. We’ll dive into the experience before day one and show how customers engage with new hires early on, making them feel welcome and prepared to make an effective contribution from their very first day.

Speaker: Jeff Mills, Director Solution Management, Talent Acquisition

Wednesday, August 30, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Castellana 1 – Conference Level 3


SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding: Roadmap and Direction

Join us for this session with product managers for the SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding solution. These experts will share their vision for SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding, and they’ll talk in detail about the future direction of the solution. There will also be ample time for you to ask specific questions.

Speaker: Brenda Reid, VP Product Management

Steve Chong, Product Manager

Wednesday, August 30, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Gracia 2 – Conference Level 3

Onboarding: Making the Most of the Tools

A panel of customers will share how the SuccessFactors Onboarding tool has helped to increase the efficiency of their Onboarding process, while increasing employee engagement. Using the standard functionality, the panel will share how they’ve gotten creative to solve some of their most challenging onboarding processes. Come also learn about their approaches to governance and release strategy as it relates to the Onboarding module.

Wednesday, August 30, 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Gracia 1 – Conference Level 3

Safe travel to Las Vegas!

1 Bersin by Deloitte: Onboarding Software Solutions 2014: On-Ramp for Employee Success, Key Predictions for 2017


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      Author's profile photo Janine Zeh
      Janine Zeh


      Dear Margit,


      thanks for the great article. When will the Interfaces and functions from your screenshots be available in Onboarding?

      Best regards,


      Author's profile photo Margit Bauer
      Margit Bauer
      Blog Post Author


      Hi Janine

      we don't communicate concrete shipment dates yet and first deliveries will be shipped as part of an early adopter program to selected customers.

      BR Margit