With procurement teams being as exercised by the seasonal spike in demand as all other business departments over the Christmas period, a survey by Adobe has found that the manual onboarding process for temporary staff such as procurement and supply chain interims is highly stressful for HR professionals and new hires alike.

Onboarding new appointees for short-term procurement jobs and other seasonal roles is regarded by 80% of the surveyed HR professionals as a challenging process given the time constraints – 72% reported that they struggled with onboarding paperwork.

The study found that employers often take more than a day to onboard new seasonal staff, while inputting the requisite paperwork online typically consumes up to an hour per appointee.

86% of the seasonal hires polled said that shifting from a paper-based procedure to online signatures would speed up the onboarding process and make it more efficient – 93% of HR respondents agreed.

Specialist procurement and supply chain recruitment agencies may have some valuable advice for organisations and companies seeking seasonal workers at this high-pressure time of the year especially.

For example, Deloitte Consulting recruitment executive Marc Solow told HR Dive magazine that onboarding should begin before the new hire sets foot in their new role and employers should keep in touch with new appointees prior to arrival.

Solow warns that employers risk losing sought-after and scarce talent to competitors by slipping up on the pre-start-date engagement and communication process, which he considers essential to assuring new appointees that working for the company will be a positive experience for them.

HR veteran Loni Freeman of US public relations agency SSPR goes further, suggesting that onboarding for new appointees should include a comprehensive introduction to their new role, including their fellow workers and the organisation’s culture and policies.

In Freeman’s firm, for example, all new hires are provided with a mentor for their first week, and following a meeting with the CEO, they meet with fellow employees for an informal breakfast and lunch.

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