Case Study:
Embracing Technology


According to Anna Hodges, Talent Acquisition Partner, Novartis pre-boarding is a vital component of a robust on boarding process. “Onboarding is a key priority for Novartis as we want to ensure high engagement is sustained from the pre-onboarding, onboarding and continuous development phases.We want new associates to feel connected with the Novartis culture from the pre-onboarding phase and to feel supported by their Manager and to immediately feel part of a team who is aligned with the Novartis mission, values and behaviours from day 1.”


Onboarding at Novartis starts from the day new associates sign the letter of offer. “Associates are in communication with their manager, assigned a buddy and feel connected with the company before they walk in the door for day 1 induction. Two Monday's per month, Novartis inducts all new associates with a dedicated day 1 agenda. The day has been designed by new associates for new associates. New hires are able to navigate the building, get to know the HR team, take part in a dedicated 2 hours with IT, lunch with the team, have dedicated time with a buddy and time to explore the onboarding portal.”


3 months later, associates are reunited to participate in a culture day where they get to know the senior leaders, understand the values and behaviors a little more and hear from a patient. “Managers receive toolkits, access to the onboarding portal and support from the onboarding taskforce for any questions they may have during the onboarding journey.”


"For Hodges, one of the key components of successful onboarding is technology. “We have an Onboarding portal: a one stop shop for associates to find all of the information they may need during their employment at Novartis. The portal consists of short videos (sound bites) followed by a link to a policy/SOP/site etc. to make finding information easy and fun. We also use technology - a digital platform called Enboarder. We have partnered with Enboarder to create an engaging onboarding experience for all new hires.Via a personalized digital platform, it enables new associates to feel connected with the Novartis culture before they even start. It coaches managers through the onboarding process and does this more efficiently and in a more engaging way. The workflows can be personalized for each role profile and department if required.”

Other components of Novartis’ on boarding include:

  • Day 1 induction day: ensuring that new associates have the most exciting and engaging day 1 they could have ever imagined.
  • Onboarding associates: associates from across the business who are the face of the company who spend the day with new hires on Day 1 and introduce them to the Novartis culture.
  • Feedback: feedback is requested during the first 6 months of the onboarding journey to help refine and adapt the onboarding experience for new hires.


In terms of measuring effectiveness, Novartis uses metrics such as Net Promoter Score, turn over rates, and survey results. They are also conscious of the need across different generations. “Similar to those characteristics of Gen Z, we are also able to ensure the onboarding experience is aligned with other generations via co-creating the onboarding experience with associates across multiple generations. We have onboarding associates from across the business who welcome new associates to the organiszation twice per month. We are embracing digital to ensure multiple generations (not just Gen Z) can feel the progression of Novartis in the tech space. The tools that we have available for onboarding allows the manager to personalise the onboarding experience for the new hire.