Waiting for access…a day in the life of a new employee

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For many organizations the first day in the life of a new employee tends to be quite unproductive. This is largely due to the fact that access to the systems said employee requires in order to begin training, and working, in a productive fashion have yet to be provisioned. Why is this phenomena so common?

It’s because a staggering number of company’s still use manual, or semi-automated, on-boarding processes. What exactly is happening in the background while this new employee is twiddling thumbs at a desk? The answer harkens back to how the on-boarding process is initiated. With first-hand experience in providing consultative services to hundreds of organizations who were faced with this challenged I can tell you with certainty that a typical on-boarding process looks similar to the following:

  • The new employee starts their first day by sitting down with an HR representative who collects many pieces of personal and organizational information
  • The HR representative enters new employee information into an HR system, such as PeopleSoft, and then completes a new employee form which is sent to the hiring manager via email
  • Upon receipt of the email the hiring manager reviews the form and fills in additional information denoting which systems the new employee needs access to
  • An updated form is emailed to the IT group
  • After a thorough review someone in the IT group manually creates user accounts in EVERY system the new employee needs access to
  • A new email is composed with system access details, by the individual who provisioned access, and sent to the hiring manager
  • Finally, the hiring manager disseminates the information to the new employee who can then access each system for the first time

There are multiple bottlenecks in this process and each of them directly contributes to the access delay experienced by the new employee. This issue only compounds if there is a discrepancy between the access requested by the hiring manager and what the IT group believes the new employee needs. When this scenario occurs multiple exchanges between the hiring manager and IT group are required to resolve the differences and cement the on-boarding request. Furthermore, there is no comprehensive audit trail; deciphering when and why specific access levels were granted becomes a matter of piecing together staggered form versions and email content.

Using a workflow engine, such as the one provided by UMRA, is an exquisite way to streamline this process while providing both accountability and robust historical information for reporting purposes. The implementation of such a solution transforms the aforementioned archaic process into a streamlined one. The on-boarding of new employees now occurs as follows:

  • The hiring manager initiates the on-boarding request prior to a new employees first day by entering information into a web based form which includes name information and required system access
  • Upon submission HR is automatically notified via email and the form is assigned to them
  • While sitting with the new employee HR opens the assigned web form, verifies accuracy of the information entered by the hiring manager, and confirms the new employee is ready to begin work
  • The HR representative submits the form for approval, it is routed back to the hiring manager who is alerted via email
  • Any new information entered by HR is verified by the hiring manager, the request is approved and routed to the IT group who is alerted via email
  • An individual in the IT group reviews the form and approves the requested access levels, at which point in time accounts in EVERY system are provisioned automatically and access details are appended to the request which is assigned back to the hiring manager who is alerted via email
  • The hiring manager disseminates access information to the new employee and closes the request

Wait time is mitigated to the highest degree possible for three primary reasons. First, approval actions associated with the access request can be completed with a single click on any PC or mobile device, such as tablets and smartphones. Second, any discrepancies in the access request are resolved in the workflow itself by updating and re-submitting the request. Third, any manual action associated with provisioning new accounts is eliminated.

Bear in mind that every organization uses a unique on-boarding process, no two are alike. It is very likely that in reading this article you’re saying to yourself, “My organizations process is similar but doesn’t, or shouldn’t, work exactly like this.” Whatever your current processes might be this philosophy can still be applied to yield an outcome which results in increased efficiency and decreased employee wait time.

Learn more about a workflow engine and how it works.

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