There is no doubt that last year has been a year of adaptation: adaptation to flexible working models, new and different routines and schedules and, finally, physical distancing. The transition to remote working over recent months has been the new reality for many companies and teams. Teams have had to find new ways to collaborate productively and different departments have needed to reinvent many of their processes.
One department that has had the most need to reinvent itself during this period is the Human Resources department. We know that some of the crucial activities for this department have still been dependent on a physical presence in an office and, in many cases, involved several manual tasks requiring human intervention. Let’s consider, for example, job interviews and the onboarding process through which a new employee is integrated into the company.
In many companies, the onboarding process can be a somewhat complex reality and often involves a mixture of digital processes, manual processes, and information spread out across different organisational systems. Furthermore, the digitalisation and automation of this process have often been postponed due to a lack of time and internal resources. However, nowadays, not modernising this process is not an option. In an increasingly digital reality where hybrid working models are the norm, it is crucial to ensure that the integration of new employees can be carried out digitally in an equally effective and engaging way.
Identifying the challenge and building a solution that would address the needs of the Human Resources department in this new reality was the starting point for Xpand IT’s participation in the Teams Partner Challenge, an annual competition promoted by Microsoft for its partners.
Thus, POM (Power Onboarding Manager) was born. This solution aims to simplify and digitise the onboarding process for new employees, supported by different Power Platform components and Microsoft Teams. POM allows organisations to optimise their investments and encourages creating internal efficiencies within the Human Resources department, not only through the reduction of paper-based documents but also by creating synergies between the recruitment teams and the teams responsible for the integration of new employees into the company.
Starting as soon as the future employee accepts the job offer, the goal is for our solution to facilitate the bureaucratic process of collecting personal data in a quick, easy, secure way. When they then submit a form, different automatic processes are triggered so that various departments can process and use the information, such as creating new credentials and carrying out additional legal requirements.
After this, the process is centralised in Microsoft Teams as a collaborative hub. After having received the hardware at home and being granted access to all the applications, the new employee will be directed to an onboarding channel on Teams, where they will find an embedded Power Apps application containing all the information they need for the first days at their new company: colleague contact details, the “buddy” responsible for their integration, upcoming events (such as onboarding sessions or specific sessions related to their specific Business Unit) or the HR bot, whose mission it is to answer the most frequently asked questions asked by new employees such as “where should I submit my timesheets?”, “how do I access the intranet?”, and “how can I book holidays?”, among others.