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A perfect recipe for an amazing Global Onboarding Experience

At BMS we have discovered the perfect recipe to deliver a great global onboarding experience starting at offer acceptance:

  • The Cake: A Digital Onboarding experience to jump start integration.
  • The Icing: Localized orientation to provide a warm welcome and smooth day one experience.
  • The Decorations: Leveraging managers to create a sense of belonging.

This case study represents one of the submissions for i4cp's 2024 Next Practice Awards, winners were honored at the i4cp 2024 Next Practices Now Conference. You can also view other Next Practice Award case studies.

Business challenge

BMS has been on a 4-year journey to create a consistently great onboarding experience for all new hires around the globe. 2023 put our onboarding model to the test with the opening of a site in Hyderabad India where we had to hire 500 employees within 6 months with plans to grow further in the future. BMS did not have a presence in Hyderabad previously. We had 3 months to implement a solution that would have to quickly integrate high volumes of new employees into the company but also address concerns of pre-hire turn over due to the highly competitive nature of the local market. 

Solution – Scope & Innovation

We implemented a multi-prong innovated onboarding solution. We compare our solution to a cake. The cake itself, the icing, and the decorations. The cake is our innovative digital onboarding platform which leverages service now technology. Immediately after offer acceptance, every new pre-hire gets access to a standard digital onboarding experience which sets the tone of our culture, market benefits specific to the new hire, guides the new hire through the critical onboarding tasks and measures the experience. The icing is the local orientation. We encourage our business leaders to provide new hire orientation in two flavors, local day 1 site orientation and functional orientation. Finally, our managers are responsible for the decorations on the cake. Our digital onboarding tool guides managers on onboarding best practices to create an immediate connection. The bottom line is every new hire will have cake, the digital onboarding experience owned by HR, but it is up to our business leaders and managers to ice it and decorate it, making it a special experience.

Digital onboarding has been evolving since our initial pilot in late 2020. During 2021 we implemented a global solution and provided localized features for a few critical markets, and then in 2022, all markets had localized features in the tool. This year we tested the tool with the launch of the Hyderabad site. We evolved our thought leadership to create a more holistic experience that can be implemented globally with roles and responsibilities beyond HR. Managers and leaders have embraced the holistic experience, as the cake concept resonates and clearly explains roles in creating a successful onboarding experience.  

Results & Impact

As of 11/1/2023:

  • Our global onboarding new hire favorability rate is 92% which is a 15pt improvement over our previous onboarding rate prior to launching the project.
  • We have successfully onboarded over 300 employees in Hyderabad with an onboarding favorability rate of 94%.
  • We continue to receive positive quotes from our new hire globally claiming that it has been the best onboarding of their career and great experience:
    • “Best onboarding in the 3 companies I’ve worked in my 15-year career so far - thanks!”
    • “Das Onboarding Programm war sehr strukturiert und super organisiert. Toll gemacht!” translated to “The onboarding program was very structured and extremely organized. Well done!”


Today we are continuing to leverage our onboarding measurement dashboard to refine the onboarding experience. In 2024 we are going to continue our change management journey with our managers and business units, establishing orientation ownership at all sites and encourage business units to set up functional onboarding. We will continue to share our story of onboarding with managers comparing it to a cake and convert all our managers to be the best bakers ever.