Back to headlines

Onboarding Remotely? How To Get It Right

Not all businesses can afford to stop their hiring plans, and for some industries, hiring is essential right now. Virtual recruiting is a new way forward and a new process for many. It’s important to deliver a warm welcome, especially since you can’t do it in person.

If you’re new to remote onboarding due to the lockdown, we’ve collated a range of tips that you might find useful. Forming a structured and engaging onboarding process is more important than ever.

BEFORE THE START DATE

Send Tech/Equipment

Order the equipment your new starter needs well ahead of their start date. Ensure that all the necessary equipment has been received and that your IT department is on hand to assist with setup remotely if needed.

Sort the Online Paperwork

Keep it virtual. Services like DocuSign are legitimately and legally binding, which makes remotely signing paperwork easy and efficient. Get this ready before the start date.

FROM THE FIRST DAY (AND BEYOND)

Give a warm welcome.

Send a ‘welcome package’, including a letter, company merchandise, anything you’d regularly give to a new hire, and perhaps a little something extra to make them feel part of the team. First things first, key information the new starter needs to know:

  • Company Overview: your story, mission and goals, performance to-date and history, growth plans, where you see things heading.
  • Office Photos: send some recent photographs of the office space, especially if your new employee has not yet visited.
  • Department Lowdown: the strategy, people and processes; what teams are working on; where people fit in and how they collaborate.
  • A Tools Lesson: explain the purpose of different comms channels (e.g. Slack, Outlook, Zoom) make it clear from the get-go what each is used for and where relevant documentation/resources can be found.

Encourage genuine peer-to-peer relationships.

On the first day, encourage all team members to warmly welcome the new starter. Given the current circumstances, anything less than over-communication could easily lead to feelings of isolation and disconnect. You must remember, your new employee is missing out on the crucial aspect of team culture – being there and being together.

When physically distanced from leadership and their team members, it can be easy to disengage with others; for this reason, you should consider innovative ways you can facilitate comms between the wider team, particularly managers, coworkers and those from other departments that they’ll be working closely with.

Online tools carry great power to bring dispersed employees together. Tools like Slack, Zoom and Microsoft Teams are great for instant comms but don’t make it all about work. Mirror the routine of the office, lead with a productive mindset and engage people, but ensure that your new starter knows that they should take breaks too, make them feel comfortable.

Think games, quizzes, lunchtime socials, virtual morning cups of tea, Friday drinks together – these are all great ways to give a taste of company culture and to remind your new (and existing) employees that everybody is in this together. Encourage conversations beyond work, it keeps people sane.

Streamline the process with honesty.

Communicate with honesty. Explain with clarity how the business usually runs, and how it’s running under current circumstances. Be realistic about the number of activities to make sure that your new starter is on the path to long-term engagement. Use internal communications platforms and video chat tools to keep the important meetings happening virtually.

..But don’t micro-manage.

Remote onboarding can be quite overwhelming, there’s heaps of new information to retain and it can be easy to pass the first week without getting stuck into anything engaging. Check in with the new starter regularly, especially during the first couple of weeks, new starters need to be able to demonstrate how they like to work.

Top tip: It’s a real buzzphrase at the moment, but these are unprecedented times. It is now that directors need to lead with new methods of understanding productivity. Leave no stone unturned, make sure everybody is on the same page, and check in, don’t check up.

We hope these tips have helped. You can learn more about leading and encouraging a remote team this way.

For Sales Recruitment Expertise, please get in touch with enable on 0117 301 8495 today if you are seeking help with the growth of your sales or business development teams.