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Company: IBM
Category: Onboarding Professional of the Year

Nomination title: Elena Marcinova



Elena Marcinova joined IBM Slovakia in October 2018 as a graduate and developed into a rising HR talent. Since January 2019, she was able to onboard over 650 colleagues. She is extremely passionate about her role, and gradually developing her technical and soft skills, mainly in the areas of engagement, presentation, facilitation and team collaboration.

As with many other companies, IBM had to also adjust to online onboarding methods, which Elena mastered and pulled together various teams to successfully launch onboarding within a few weeks, whilst even increasing our Net Promoter Scores.

Elena implemented:

-gamification into online onboarding

-pre- hire lounges and pre- hire slack channels to enhance communication with newcomers

-legally correct way to hire touch- less (during Covid- 19)

Whilst doing so and still having the candidate / employee in the forefront, she improved the Net Promoter Scores from (already high) 85 to 90 in 2020. Given the scale of NPS is - 100 to 100, these are extraordinary results and feedback.

To achieve this and more, Elena traveled to other countries to find and share best practice in onboarding.

In collaboration with other HR colleagues, legal and technical staff, Elena has been able to find a legally correct way to hire colleagues, whilst they still are at home, all via online methods and posts. This has enabled us to continue in hiring and adding value to the IBM business units.

The additional value add is coming from Elena with the fact that we hire around 19% of foreign nationals, where cultural adjustment and increased empathy is needed to achieve high satisfaction rates.

Considering Elena is a young HR professional; she has already achieved a lot by also looking at the external market. Part of her job is branding among newcomers, where in an independent survey IBM locally in Slovakia was positioned as the top employer of choice (13%) among the target population – beating competition like Google, Siemens, Dell or Amazon. Continuously improving the new- joiner experience is represented by the current average rating of 9.66 (out of 10) by new- comers, which is well above the average from other countries as well.

In 2020, despite the overall experience of recruitment is dropping because of Covid- 19, the onboarding experience is still improving and is online. Elena found engaging ways to keep this up, with Slack channels, pre- hire lounges and much more.

In addition, Elena in cooperation with her IT colleagues was able to automate part of the administration onboarding process to save time and reduce process errors. This project is saving approximately 20 hours of work on monthly basis.

Besides quantitative numbers, have a read through some of the top comments / feedback received from newcomers who were onboarded by Elena:

-I am very happy, we have covered all necessary areas, also bring experience from existing employees which was fun to listen.

-Great speaker, Answers to all questions and funny quizzes.

-Smooth, fast and pleasant.

-I feel perfect and engaged.