How to onboard a remote employee successfully

You may ask yourself, should I make a job offer in the current climate?

This is an obvious and natural reaction to the current situation but think about the long-term plan. Skills shortages have not disappeared overnight, and the key areas of shortage will be just as acute after the Covid-19 crisis comes to an end. Once you have identified an individual with the key skills and experience you require, it is important to secure them with a job offer right away.

Paperwork

Use online electronic signature software such as DocuSign, allowing new employees to sign and return key documents securely with an encrypted audit trail. Work with your HR team to adapt your standard compliance process for onboarding.

Support your new hire

Be aware of the worries your new member of staff may have handing in their notice in such a challenging and uncertain market. It is critical to support them and keep in regular contact during this period. These are uncertain times so it is critical that you engage with and keep in regular contact with your new hire over the course of their notice period – we are seeing candidates accept counter offers from their current employer at the last moment. So, it is crucial to keep this in mind and ensure that you start involving them in team calls even during their notice period. Really utilise any opportunity to interact and encourage them to engage with the team culture during this period.

Keep them engaged

Encourage as much face time as possible with their new team, any opportunity for interaction is important, for example including them into a group chat on WhatsApp, Skype etc. This will introduce them and engage them in the team culture. Your key goal before and during onboarding is to over communicate.

Get equipment and logins out swiftly

Ensure that they have all they need to carry out their duties on day one including any computer equipment and the necessary logins. If there is any means of providing them with organisation/ corporate literature remotely, all the better. Ensure they have remote access to all relevant company documents and files. Think about sending a small ‘care package’ as a welcome gift.

Regular one to ones

One to one meetings are important so that new members of staff have an opportunity to communicate with you and other key team members privately, as well as in a group/ team setting. Remember to encourage social get togethers as well, such as using video platforms for a team coffee or drink in order to encourage social interaction.

Record a ‘welcome video’

It allows you and/ or another team member to enthusiastically welcome the new employee to the organisation, discuss the team and how they will be able to carry out their role remotely. Include members of the senior management in this welcome video.

Review your standard induction process

Pretty much every part of the standard induction process in week one can be moved to a virtual process. All training can be delivered online and it is likely that you already have training modules around compliance or health & safety etc. that are delivered via online training. Work with your internal training team or training providers to enhance your virtual offering for new starters.

Organise a team wide meet & greet session

Organise a team wide meet and greet session as a group call and then arrange individual one on ones with key team members so that the new hire is both introduced again to the team but also has an opportunity to start building key internal relationships.

Think about all the key stakeholders that your new hire needs to meet and arrange these as video calls. The more structured you can make this in the first few weeks the better – this will assist your new hire to understand their role and duties more quickly.

Task them with keeping a list of key questions

Ask your new starter to keep a list of key questions they might have and then ensure that they have a platform to start to work though these queries, for example a daily video call with their line manager.

Clearly, working day to day in an office allows these questions would be answered naturally, so it is key that they start with the habit of noting questions as they work so these can be addressed on a regular/ daily basis.

Check in regularly

Check in regularly but don’t keep checking up. By setting clear daily expectations and then following up, you or the line manager will be able to naturally track progress and development. Ask for help and perhaps a HR colleague can support you by organising a monthly catch up call with the new hire.

This will give an extra insight and assist you in keeping an eye on their overall wellbeing.

This is a stressful period for everyone, and a new hire will perhaps be feeling extra pressure to prove themselves in a new organisation.

Be open & adapt

Remote onboarding is a relatively new process for most organisations, so naturally there will be a few issues and perhaps challenges early on. So, it is important that all parties involved are understanding and willing to learn from mistakes. Have this conversation with your new hire early on – ask them to be forging but also ensure that you gather feedback and work to learn from any early mistakes.

The future

Once you have successfully onboarded your new member of staff there will come a point when you will look to reintegrate both them and the rest of your team back into a business as usual way of working in the office.

Remote working becoming business as usual;

It’s very likely that more organisations move to a more agile way of working in the future that may be a blend of both remote and office-based working for the majority of staff. Whilst nobody wishes to be forced into 100% remote working there are obvious positives to this ‘blended’ approach from better work-life balance, enhanced childcare support to improving employee attraction and retention. Who knows, remote onboarding along with remote working may be much more common in the very near future.

If you would like more information about any aspects of remote recruitment or remote onboarding, please get in touch.

1 Comment

  1. admin
    April 5, 2021

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