Companies and Seasonal Hires Want Better Onboarding for the Holidays

As the holidays quickly approach and people get into the gift-giving spirit, more shoppers are rushing to stores to buy their loves ones –and even themselves—a little bit of holiday cheer.

For retailers with brick and mortar locations, this time of the year also marks a period for a surge in temporary hires, as they look to staff their stores to better serve the masses of consumers shopping for the holidays. A new study by Adobe, which surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers and 250 human resources (HR) professionals this past October, has found that for companies hiring this season it is a stressful process for everyone involved.

Indeed, 55% of HR professionals surveyed said the holidays are the most stressful time of the year for companies in terms of onboarding staff. Summer comes in a distant second (24%) in terms of the most challenging time for professionals to bring on temporary staff. More than half (59%) of employers plan to hire up to 250 temporary employees for the holidays, with the delivery industry (such as UPS, USPS, FedEx and others) planning to hire upwards of 3,000 new employees for the season. Many delivery companies see this time of the year as an onboarding nightmare.

What’s more is that seasonal employees also expressed similar frustrations with onboarding. Most people struggle to get started in their new temporary jobs, mostly due to the time and paperwork involved. 20% of seasonal employees spend 30-59 minutes filling out paperwork when being hired. And 16% spend at least an hour filling out those hiring forms.

79% of HR staff reported that the time taken to onboard new staff is a challenge, and 72% said handling the paperwork associated with onboarding is a struggle. In fact, it’s taken nearly a third (31%) of companies more than a day to onboard a seasonal worker, and nearly a third (27%) of HR staff reported that it takes over an hour per hire to input paperwork information into their online system.

“It’s a shorter shopping season this year, and for a lot of retailers, the holiday season either makes or breaks their revenue for the year. That’s one of the biggest reasons for the surge in temporary hiring that’s so common this time of the year,” said Mike Prizament, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Adobe. “It’s very stressful for hiring companies and temporary employees, especially when it comes to onboarding. It’s clear that it’s still very much paper-based and one that lacks the basics of efficiency. The good news is it doesn’t need to be this way.”

According to the survey, seasonal employees believe that new hire onboarding can be vastly improved through online and mobile document workflows. A whopping 86% say moving from paper-based processes to online signatures would improve their onboarding process for seasonal work. Less than half (49%) of seasonal employees think the current onboarding process is efficient**.** People who didn’t use mobile to onboard want to (66%), while those who used mobile to onboard overwhelmingly liked the process (83%).

No Happy Holidays for Seasonal Employees from Adobe

Companies and HR professionals also recognize that online and mobile workflows is the way forward for their new employees and hiring processes. A nearly unanimous number of HR staff respondents (93%) say that moving from paper-based processes to online signatures would improve the onboarding process. Most HR staff (71%) who don’t use mobile document workflows believe that mobile would make the onboarding process easier. Nearly all HR staff respondents who use mobile say that it makes their job easier (91%).

“Many of the holiday gifts that we give and get are so modern and advanced. The way we work should be the same way,” said Prizament. “It’s stressful enough for retailers to hire new, temporary employees, so the last thing they should worry about is tons of paperwork. E-signature solutions like Adobe Sign can make onboarding easier and faster, so companies can focus on growing their business during the holidays.”